Some question whether or not legal citations are necessary in filing a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS. Certainly, as an administrative process in applying for a benefit from the Office of Personnel Management, there are individuals who attempt to obtain the benefit of Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits without the representation or assistance of an Federal Disability Attorney, and such “self-represented” individuals rarely refer to legal authorities or citations in such an application.
Are legal citations — or references to legal authorities, statutes or case-laws — “necessary” when filing an application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS? If by “necessary” is meant, is it a requirement in order to be eligible for obtaining OPM Disability Retirement benefits, then the obvious answer is “no”.
However, the purpose in referring to legal authorities is quite simple, and logically based: As the Office of Personnel Management is required to apply the legal criteria in determining one’s eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it makes sense to support one’s application by citing the legal authorities which reinforce and explain the legal basis for eligibility.
As such, while citing legal authorities is not a necessary condition in applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it may be a condition precedent which may need to be sufficiently satisfied in order to favorably “weight” the successful outcome which is sought after.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire