On those occasions when an OPM denial specifically (and correctly) identifies and asserts deficiencies in a disability retirement application, it is important to have a targeted response in addressing the denial. The reason for such a targeted approach is for two primary reasons: (1) One should always address the alleged specific basis of OPM’s denial of a Federal disability retirement application, and (2) By specifically addressing and answering OPM’s specific basis for the denial, if the Office of Personnel Management denies the application a second time, and it is therefore appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, it is important to view the entire case of OPM as “unreasonable”.
In other words, it is important at the outset to “prejudice” the Administrative Judge as to the unreasonableness of the Office of Personnel Management. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this — because the “prejudice” which the Judge may perceive is in fact based upon the truth of the matter: OPM is indeed being unreasonable, and it is important for the Administrative Judge to see such unreasonableness. It is important to be able to say to the Judge, Your Honor, do you see how we answered the basis of the denial — and yet, even after specifically addressing the basis of the denial, OPM still denied it? What else can we do? It is always important to prepare each step of the case not only for the “present” case, but also for the potential “next” case.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire