Once a Federal Disability Retirement application has been denied at any given stage of the process (at the First Stage or at the Reconsideration Stage) by the Office of Personnel Management, a Federal or Postal employee must determine the proper response.
As stated in the immediately preceding blog, there is first the administrative response which must be satisfied, before one even gets to the issues of a substantive response. The administrative response takes care of the timeliness issue of satisfying the administrative requirements set forth by the law — upon a first denial, one must submit a “Request for Reconsideration” within thirty (30) days of the denial; upon a second denial, one must file an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board within thirty (30) days of the denial, etc.
As for the substantive response, the worst mistake that a Federal or Postal employee can make is to immediately write an angry diatribe and submit the response. There is time enough for a thoughtful and proper response. The issue is whether to rebut each point which the Office of Personnel Management makes, or to selectively choose one or two main points, and to focus upon those. Normally, the latter is preferable, if only because such an approach normally addresses all of the subset, minor points of a denial in the very process of presenting one’s case. Remember that, throughout the process, the mere fact that OPM asserts an argument, does not mean that the argument is true, or even valid.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire