Often, pragmatic judgments and decisions must be considered at different stages of a disability retirement application. For instance, whether to submit all of the medical documentation in your possession is a discretionary judgment which needs to be considered. One might wonder why an applicant may withhold some or part of the medical documentation, and the answer is quite simple: if the Office of Personnel Management requests additional medical documentation, or it is rejected at the Initial Stage and further medical documentation needs to be submitted — if the applicant does not have additional medical documentation to submit, then there is very little incentive or basis for OPM to “reconsider” their position of denial.
Now, one might wonder, If the “additional” medical documentation had been submitted in the first place, perhaps OPM would never had requested more documentation, or perhaps they would have approved it to begin with. Not necessarily so. If you have already provided sufficient medical documentation to prove by a preponderance of the evidence your case, sometimes reserving that “extra” set of office or treatment notes is a wise decision. It may be the difference between being able to respond to OPM’s request for additional medical documentation, and not being able to — and the difference between an approval or a denial, and a basis for OPM to “reconsider” their position.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire