Of course, it can be readily argued that every case is a “mixed” one — meaning thereby that the disability case itself cannot ever be merely based upon interpreting the facts presented (or, in the case specifically of a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement claim, interpreting the medical documentation), but necessarily includes case law and statutory criteria beyond the facts of the case.
That being so, it is all the more relevant to recognize that in a Federal Employee Disability Retirement case, mere recitation of the medical documentation does not resolve any differences of analysis. OPM systematically either fails to recognize the applicable laws in denying the Federal or Postal employee’s application for Federal Disability Retirement, or acts as if they are an autocratic bureaucracy unrestricted and uninhibited by any statutory or judicial mandate of the governing laws.
The fact is that every Federal or Postal Disability Retirement case is a mixed case where the precedents of prior similar cases have rendered legal decisions impacting upon specific issues inherent in every disability retirement application, and the core disputes which arise rarely focus upon the medical documentation, but more often upon the legal interpretation arising from the application of the relevant laws upon the medical documentation.
That is why the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is so often wrong in their initial determination in denying a Federal Disability Retirement application — because the “medical specialists” at OPM are not lawyers and therefore are not conversant in the relevance and impact of the ever-growing body of laws governing Federal Disability Retirement.
That being said, in responding to a denial of a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement claim by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is important to always respond with the force of the law and to continually remind OPM that their failure to approve your case is not merely a difference of analytical opinion, but is a clear and blatant violation of the applicable laws governing the issues concerning your Federal Disability Retirement application.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.