In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important not to confuse the difference between that which is central in proving one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, from that which is merely of persuasive import.
In some cases, there may be a necessity, for very pragmatic reasons, to deliberately switch the two; but as a general rule, the argument for persuasive documentation should be used as secondary sources of proof.
Often, the choices are limited for the Federal or Postal employee: either one continues to work at a job where it is clear that performance, attendance, or capability to continue is steadily and progressively deteriorating; or one can simply quit and walk away from the Federal or Postal job without doing anything (not an advisable option); or, one can file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. That being said, if the Federal or Postal employee takes the third option of Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, then one must necessarily prove one’s case.
In order to prove one’s case, one must have a supportive doctor.
While VA ratings, OWCP Second Opinion doctors’ reports, etc., constitute examples of evidence which may be persuasive, the centrality of one’s case is represented by a narrative report from one’s own treating doctor. In some cases, when one’s own doctor will not support such a case, one may use the persuasive evidence as the key to proving one’s case, but as a general rule, they should remain as collateral sources of proof.
Remember that “what” is used is important, but sometimes, “how” it is used can be just as important, if not more so.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire