In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, there is nothing to preclude one from attaching multiple supporting documentation in proving one’s eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
In doing so, however, it is appropriate to keep in mind that the conceptual paradigm of “supporting” should be just that — it must be to assist, help, or otherwise enhance such evidence which constitutes the central component of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.
Thus, “supporting” should not be the primary basis of one’s evidence, but rather, that which further enlightens and advances the primary documentary evidence. For example, statements from co-workers, photographs, and similar supporting evidence can be provided to OPM, but only if –and as — it enhances the primary documentation, which should be comprised of medical documentation from treating doctors, specialists, referral consultative medical providers, etc. Even ancillary supporting documentation — SSDI approvals, VA assignation of disability ratings, OWCP acceptance, OWCP second-opinion doctor’s reports, etc — should be viewed as “supporting”.
It is important, as an aside, to recognize that the OPM Case Worker does not, and will not, expend hours upon hours reviewing every piece of document one submits, and therefore it is important to streamline and provide an efficient, effective presentation.
Think about it this way as a guiding principle: If you approach a file which is an inch thick, or one which is 8 inches thick, which do you tackle on a Friday afternoon?
Robert R. McGill, Esquire