I hear it in both the content of the question and the anxiousness in the voice of a potential client seeking representation to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS: Can the agency influence the application negatively? Can they terminate me upon learning that I am seeking disability retirement? Can they stop me from using my sick leave? The power of the Federal Agency can be overwhelming, but there are limits as to what “influence” they can have over a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Ultimately, good or bad, the Office of Personnel Management is the agency which makes the determination on an approval for all disability retirement applications, and as I have written in many articles in the past, the best way to “neutralize” the power of an agency is to prepare the medical aspect of the Federal Disability Retirement application in an excellent manner. This is done, first and foremost, by garnering the support of the treating doctor, gathering the best medical evidence possible, etc. Other actions of the agency — of attempting to place you on AWOL, or filing an adverse action during the process, can normally be stopped by an attorney experienced in Federal Disability Retirement laws. Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS is not just a matter of filling out forms; it is a matter of securing the future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire