In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is important to allow for the medical evidence and other supporting documentation to “speak for themselves”. Yet, at the same time, a cover-letter, or a “roadmap”, should always accompany a Federal Disability Retirement application.
In representing Federal and Postal employees, at every stage of the process — whether at the Initial Stage of compiling and preparing all aspects of a Federal Disability Retirement application; and at the Reconsideration Stage, in rebutting and responding to an OPM denial for the First Stage of the process — a cover letter always accompanies a disability retirement packet.
The cover letter is, and should be, lengthy to the extent of providing a concise roadmap of addressing all of the essential elements of the disability retirement packet; with appropriate “red flags” to apprise the OPM Representative of the relevance of the attached documents; of arguing the relevant law which clearly and by a preponderance of the evidence shows that each of the legal criteria in a Federal Disability Retirement application have been met; and why the Office of Personnel Management has no choice but to approve the Federal Disability Retirement benefit.
But like all roadmaps, it is important to establish the credibility of such a map, by showing that each statement, assertion and claim is vindicated by the truth of a relevant document or evidentiary source. Credibility is established by substantive content backed by truth. Have you ever followed a roadmap that resulted in taking you to the other side of town? Such roadmaps are worth the paper they are printed on, and make for good fire starters.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire