FERS Disability Retirement: The Frustration of Dealing with OPM

Last Updated on December 8, 2022 by Federal Disability Lawyer

The Office of Personnel Management is a large bureaucracy which handles thousands of cases, including disability retirement applications.  Lately, more and more frustrating post-approval issues are appearing, including: sudden interim payments without any prior notice of approval of a claim (not a bad thing to happen, certainly, in comparison to a denial); non-receipt of a letter from OPM, whether approving it or denying it; no communication from OPM after an approval, for months on end; and other problems ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Unfortunately, once a disability retirement application has been approved, there is very little that an attorney can do, anymore than the client can do. Persistence is the key; courtesy is the keyhole; finding the right, competent person at the Office of Personnel Management, and being courteous and persistent, often opens the door. Remember that there is a wide chasm of qualitative difference between “rudeness” and “persistence”; the former will never get you anywhere; the latter can be accomplished with courtesy, and get you very far.

When contacting someone at the Office of Personnel Management, keep three (3) things in mind: (1) Be courteous (2) get the name and telephone number of the individual you are speaking with, and (3) try to obtain a specific date on which you will call that person back, and be clear as to what action it is that you want taken, and why. Persistence, courtesy, and further persistence.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


2 thoughts on “FERS Disability Retirement: The Frustration of Dealing with OPM

  1. I am currently a FERS civil servant (20 years) [GS-11], and was hit in the head with loss of conciousnous. For over 4 years I have been trying to find a way to get a disability retirement, without results.
    I have been seeing a very kind doctor (who would see me under DOL insurance… not many wiil) The pain has been excruciating, and I keep getting the run-around from HRO and the DOL. The DOL keeps me loaded with Morphine pills, Xanax, and other drugs, but often turns down my doctors requests for MRI’s, Orthopedic doctors, and the adjuster is an idiot. He apparently has no heart, feelings (brain?). I did see a psychiatrist one time and she diagnossed me with PTSD. I am offen sucicidal and feed I can making it one moe day.

  2. Pingback: Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Social Contract Theory – Federal Disability Attorney

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