In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS from the Office of Personnel Management, one should always make the conceptual distinction between an “entitlement” and an “eligible benefit”.
Federal Disability Retirement benefits fall into the latter category. However, because the technical distinction between an “entitlement” and an “eligible benefit” is often not made, or not thought of, the approach in preparing and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application becomes problematic and fraught with defects.
In speaking with various Federal and Postal employees who are contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, one often hears the case that his or her particular disability retirement application is “a sure thing,” or that the “medical evidence shows that it’ll sail through.”
While self-confidence is an admirable quality, approaching a Federal Disability Retirement application with the idea that the benefit is tantamount to an entitlement because of the strength of meeting the applicable burden of proof, is what is popularly referred to as, “A recipe for disaster”.
When a Federal Disability Retirement application is reviewed by the Office of Personnel Management, it is never a sure thing. It must be carefully prepared and presented, and any amount of taking an issue or element of the application for granted is a foolhardy perspective.
Self-confidence should arise after a good piece of work has been accomplished; and, even then, one should always be prepared to engage in a protracted battle. After all, the eligible benefit of Federal Disability Retirement is worth fighting for, in order to secure one’s physical, mental, and financial future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire