OPM’s methodology is important to understand in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application. Such understanding of the methodology, however, must be for a singular purpose: to refine the methodology of the applicant in preparing a disability retirement application. Thus, lessons learned must be lessons applied. An applicant must not be overly general in listing and describing the medical conditions.
The list of medical conditions should be in the order of their severity. The list should not be a “laundry list”, but each medical condition should clearly be significant, to the point where a “nexus” can be described between the particular medical condition and one of the essential elements of one’s job.
Finally, an applicant should not overstate the severity of the medical condition described; rather, the supporting medical documentation should support the claims of the applicant in every detail, in every essential respect, and in every significant aspect. The applicant’s statement must have integrity, and must accurately reflect the truth of the applicant’s medical condition. If this is done properly, one’s application for disability retirement should be approved at the first stage of the process.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire