In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it has often been reiterated and emphasized by this writer that one should prepare each and every case as if it will inevitably take all of the stages of the administrative process in order to obtain an approval from OPM.
What counter-evidence is used, to what extent, how it is used, and whether it is used, is anyone’s guess. It is certainly unquestionably the case that OPM workers at each stage of the process are overworked; nevertheless — whether at the initial stage of review, the Second, or “Reconsideration” Stage; or the OPM Case Worker who represents the U.S. Office of Personnel Management before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board; or perhaps even beyond, to the 3-member full board of the MSPB; and even before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; regardless of which entity or bureaucratic phase, one should assume that all tools and evidentiary avenues will be utilized and investigated, and rightly so.
One such piece of evidence which should be reviewed by the applicant is the information that the Federal or Postal employee who is filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits places on any “social media” page — Facebook, a website page, etc. For, if one is filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and claiming a specific type of medical condition, what one says on Facebook — whether true, untrue, or exaggerated, may well come back to haunt you.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire