Reading a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS from the Office of Personnel Management is often a fascinating exercise in attempting to imply, infer, “read between the lines”, assume and presume what the basis of the denial is/are. Just as gathering a 6-inch thick set of medical records and attaching them to a Federal Disability Retirement application does not constitute a logical, persuasive argument that you are entitled to Federal Disability Retirement benefits, conversely, referring to submitted medical documentation and acknowledging their existence, then concluding: “You have not submitted sufficient medical documentation to be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits” — does not constitute a sufficiently informative denial. As the applicant must meet the legal criteria, the Office of Personnel Management has a duty and obligation to review it fairly, evaluate it objectively, and apply the laws and legal criteria. If OPM decides that the application does not meet the legal criteria, then OPM has an obligation to provide a sufficient explanation that is clear, cogent, and logically persuasive. Anything less would not meet the statutory obligation that OPM is under.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire