The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency which reviews, approves or denies all Federal Disability Retirement applications for those who are under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), is taking an extraordinary amount of time in reviewing disability retirement applications. This is true across the board — whether at the initial stage of the process, or at the Reconsideration Stage of the process.
While certain individual appeals to “personal emergencies” can sometimes move an application ahead of others, the simple fact is that OPM is understaffed and overworked. Patience is simply the only remedy, and the OPM representative will eventually get to a particular case in the order that it was received. Now, the question as to whether a particular case is properly prepared such that it will get approved at the first review, is a separate question. That is why it is important to prepare a disability retirement application properly, and well, at the first stage. Because OPM is taking a long time before it is even reviewed, it is important to try and make your best case at the first stage. However, by “best” does not necessarily mean a volume of medical records.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire