While most Federal Disability Retirement applicants whom I represent, and have represented, retain me at the initial stage of the application, a good many of my clients come to me at the Second (Reconsideration) and Third (Merit Systems Protection Board) Stages of the process. I find that the vast majority of the individuals who attempted to put his or her disability retirement packet together, and got it denied at the first level, attempted to simply overpower the Office of Personnel Management with a voluminous compendium of medical records. Wrong move. Always place quality over quantity. Streamlining a case is often the key to winning a disability retirement case.
This is just as true for cases involving Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, etc. Because such medical conditions are often thought of as “not quite” legitimate conditions, applicants often make the mistake of thinking that by overloading the Office of Personnel Management with a thick, unwieldy file of medical records, that the sheer weight of the records will convince OPM that it is a “legitimate” case. Wrong move. Don’t be defensive. Such conditions as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Bi-polar Disorder, panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder — they are all legitimate basis for disability retirement. Such medical conditions need not be apologized for. Such conditions need not be “defensively” or “apologetically” submitted. They are legitimate conditions to file; they just need to be submitted in the proper manner — by having a strong, streamlined, and cohesive medical narrative, properly prepared by the doctor, under the guidance of a Federal Disability Retirement attorney.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire