OPM Disability Retirement: The Details Determine the Path of Success

One is often asked concerning the steps to be taken in order to formulate a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  Whether under FERS or CSRS, all such Federal Disability Retirement applications will ultimately be reviewed and critically analyzed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, to be determined as to whether such an application meets the legal standards for eligibility and entitlement under the statutes, regulations and case-laws governing Federal Disability Retirement.

As with all things in life, the path which one undertakes in an endeavor of this nature — the logistical “steps” that must be completed — will depend largely upon the particular facts of each case.  Yes, the general outline is somewhat identical for each; and, yes, the character and kind of evidence to be compiled may be similar.  But it is the uniqueness of the particular set of facts, for each Federal Disability Retirement application, which determines the type, extent and quality of a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.

Thus, to take an extreme example:  A Letter Carrier for the U.S. Postal Service who suffers a horrendous accident and becomes paralyzed, will not need much more than the emergency room and hospitalization records, and perhaps — and this is a “big” perhaps — a short (couple of sentences) statement from a doctor.

On the other hand, an IT Specialist working for a Federal agency who suffers extreme stress, will require a comprehensive medical report which details specific reasons as to the impact upon the positional requirements of his or her job.

As with almost everything in this complex compilation of sensory perceptions we identify as “life”, the details of a particular endeavor and encounter with a Federal Agency will determine the pathway to success; details matter, and in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is precisely the details which determine which devil will rear its ugly head, and how to avoid such devilish encounters.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Enhancing and Reinforcing the Case

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is often the case that enhancing one’s case, or reinforcing the strength of one’s case, is a continuing effort that can and should be engaged in, whenever the appropriate occasion arises and presents itself.  Of course, the key conceptual opportunity or pitfall (whichever perspective one chooses, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case) entails the word, “appropriate”.  

One should always let the strength of one’s case — based upon the medical reports submitted, upon the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, and upon the legal arguments made — stand on its own.  As the old adage goes, when one protests too much, one reveals the implicit weakness by the very protest one makes.  On the other hand, if additional information is relevant and enhances or reinforces what has been previously submitted, it may be a good idea to forward such information to the Office of Personnel Management.  

As with so many things and issues in life, such additional enhancement and reinforcement “depends” upon the circumstances and relevance of each case.  Too much enhancement may constitute an admission of weakness; too little, or none, may result in a lost opportunity.  It all depends upon the information spoken about, and the discretionary decision based upon the particular issues of a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire