The Office of Personnel Management has sent out a number of denials in recent weeks, and the undersigned attorney has had multiple opportunities to review many of the cases which have been submitted at the Initial Stage of the process, by Federal and Postal workers who are or were unrepresented by an attorney.
The spectrum of the quality of the applications vary; some have obviously engaged in some research, and attempted to put together a Federal Disability Retirement application by following some guidelines which have been put forth. But in most cases, there is still the problem of an “imbalance” — of not reaching the correct median between the subjective and the objective; of an inability to stay away from the workplace issues, of harassment, of complaints about the Agency, etc.
Remember that this is first and foremost a medical disability retirement application, and the operative term which should always be focused upon and emphasized is the “medical” aspect of the formulation. While there is ultimately no formulaic Federal Disability Retirement packet (precisely because the particular medical condition which is unique to each individual resists any such attempt to package a Federal Disability Retirement application in a generic sort of way), nevertheless, there are certain key points which should be addressed and emphasized, while other “non-key points” should be avoided.
Put in a different way, in proving that a medical condition prevents a Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, one must include multiple “essential elements” in meeting the burden of proof.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire