When Federal and Postal employees who have filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, and have been denied at the initial stage of the process, many are sincerely disheartened. In my initial contact with the denied applicant, there are multiple levels of reactions, including: the denial letter points to legal criteria which they were unaware of; it refers to doctors notations which are taken completely out of context; they have completely ignored major portions of what the doctor has stated; OPM points to legal criteria which has been met, but which OPM simply denies that it has been met. What can be done? This is the strategy of disheartening the opposition. In other denials, it is simply a matter of referring to a doctor’s report here, and to a medical notation there; then to simply declare: You have not submitted sufficient medical documentation and fail to meet the legal criteria to be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. What can be done? No explanation; just scant references, then a unilateral declaration. Again, this is the strategy of disheartening the opposition. What to do? Don’t get disheartened. Respond.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire