FERS Disability Disability Retirement: The “Process”

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Federal Disability Lawyer

In my last writing, I briefly discussed why filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is, and why it must be looked upon as, a “process” as opposed to a mere “filing” with an expectation of an “automatic” approval.  This is because there is a legal standard of proof to be met, based upon a statutory scheme which was passed by Congress, and based upon a voluminous body of “case-law” handed down by the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.  With this in mind, it is wise to consider that, because it is a “process” with two administrative “stages” to the process, as well as an Appeal to an Administrative Judge at the Merit Systems Protection Board, then potentially to the Full Board via a Petition for Review, and finally to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals — as such, each “step” in the process would naturally have a different and “higher” level of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement.

Because of this, it is often a frustrating experience for applicants, because a rejection or denial at the First Stage of the process often reveals the utter lack of knowledge by the OPM representative of the larger compendium of case-laws that govern and dictate how disability retirement applications are to be evaluated and decided upon.  Often, the so-called “discussion” of a denial letter is poorly written, meandering in thoughtlessness, and self-contradictory and with unjustifiable selectivity of statements from a medical report or record.  Such poor writing reflects a first-level decision-making process, and can be a frustrating experience upon reading the denial letter.  It is good to keep in mind, however, that the entire application procedure is a “process”, and each level is designed to have a greater level of competency and knowledge in the law.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


2 thoughts on “FERS Disability Disability Retirement: The “Process”

  1. i really need help in getting the right information needed for my federalretirement disability under multi chemical sensentivity.first i tried to received worker comp,they initially approve than my doctor did not send diagnosis,prognois timely.than i decided i really could not worker under the circumstances of my job that countinue to spray chemical in the enviroment daily.telling me i have no rights and they cannot stop them from spraying daily.my story of my exposure and finally a diagnosis has been long.diganosis 03/19/09.

  2. I’m seeing mostly talk about OWCP which I understand is a tough process but, what about non workers comp disability time frames after retirement. I’m talking about the regular Civil Service Disability Retirement without it being a Workers Comp request. Many years of working hard without any specific injury to document where the condition was caused? How long after regular CSRS retirement may you file to request being changed to a non work related disability and disability retirement versus normal retirement.

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