As each collateral source of disability benefits must be carefully assessed before utilizing it as a tool in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS, so it is with those benefits which rely primarily upon percentage ratings. First, one should note that, if a Federal Disability Retirement application is approved under FERS or CSRS, that there is no offsetting of benefits between Federal Disability Retirement and Veterans benefits. The two are treated as independent of one another.
At the same time, however, that does not mean that you cannot utilize a VA disability rating decision in pursuance of an approval from the Office of Personnel Management, when filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS. Indeed, there is case-law which states that the Office of Personnel Management, or the Merit Systems Protection Board (if it has been previously denied twice and is appealed to the MSPB) must consider such evidence in the totality of all of the evidence, in making a determination on the approval or disapproval/denial of a FERS or CSRS Disability Retirement application.
If a VA Rating decision is used, however, in such an application, it must be done with some thought and care. How to go about using it; what to use; whether to use; those are all discretionary questions which must be carefully considered. In such cases, it is prudent to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement law.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire