Does it make a difference to list that one’s Federal Disability Retirement case is also accepted by OWCP/Department of Labor as an “accepted case”? Or that one has been deemed 90% disabled by the Veterans Administration — or, more to the point, that one has received a 100% unemployability rating? How about having been approved for SSDI? Aren’t these all “indicators” of a medical disability?
The short, uncomplicated answer is that, yes, such acceptance and approval by other agencies and sources can be indicators of a medical disability. The longer, more complicated issue, however, is how to divulge and inform the Office of Personnel Management about the “other” Agency, the acceptance, and the relevance of what an approval or an acceptance by another agency should mean to one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.
Unfortunately, there is no generic or universal rule concerning OWCP-accepted claims, SSDI approvals, VA determinations, etc., with respect to their relevance to an OPM Disability Retirement application. Each case is unique; there is case-law which is applicable to each one, independent of the other; and because the criteria which governs each is different from any other, they must be dealt with in an independent manner. This is not a reflection upon the individual filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS; this is more a reflection upon the asserted independence of each Agency from each other.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire