The Office of Personnel Management has been sending out a number of decisions, and many have been denials. They seem to come in batches; whether by coincidence, or in systematic fashion, OPM has tended in recent months to send out denials which fail to explain, leaving aside any concept of “discussion“, the basis of their denials.
The irony of having a section entitled, “Discussion”, then merely delineating a regurgitation of the “applicable criteria to be eligible for Disability Retirement benefits“, then making a conclusory & declarative statement somewhat in the form of: “You do not meet criteria X and Y” is hardly a “discussion” of the issues.
Moreover, even in the denials which appear to be lengthy is the number of sentences, paragraphs or pages, the content is devoid of any substantive discussion of the issues. It is more often simply a reference to a doctor, without any rational basis given as to what is lacking, but merely ending with a statement of conclusion, saying, “No objective medical evidence was provided,” or “The medical evidence does not show that…” One would expect that a logical structure of reasons would be provided, but such an expectation would fall short of what actually occurs.
The real problem is that, in reading such a denial letter, one doesn’t know where to start, what to answer, or what additional information needs to be submitted. Thus, you must “read between the lines”. The cost of doing nothing is to get a further denial; that is simply not an option. The best option is to reinforce what is already there.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire