An assumption is often made that the “Disability Specialist” at the Office of Personnel Management who reviews the Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application understands, comprehends, and applies the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement applications. Now, such an assumption may be logical and reasonable, to the extent that one thinks (A) that those who aspire to working in a specific specialty have some knowledge or understanding of the specialty, and (B) if a decision is made which involves discussing “the law”, one presumes that the mere discussion of it proves some knowledge of it.
The problem with such reasoning, however (apart from the popular tripartite acronym which originates from the word “********-u-me”), is that it betrays the facts: often, from reviewing the denial letters generated from the Office of Personnel Management, it is painfully clear that the administrative specialist, the legal specialist, or whatever other “specialist” designation has been embraced by the worker at the Office of Personnel Management, simply fails to apply all of the applicable laws which govern Federal Disability Retirement applications. This is understandable, to this extent: OPM representatives (other than those representing OPM at the MSPB level) are not lawyers, and as such, do not keep up with the latest evolution of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement issues. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, is another matter altogether.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire