There are multiple mistakes often made when an unrepresented individual files for disability retirement under FERS & CSRS. One such common mistake is the very presentation of an application packet that is presented to the Office of Personnel Management.
Often, when an individual has a disability retirement application denied at the First Stage, and has asked me to represent him/her at the second, Reconsideration Stage, I find that what the individual did at the first stage was to put together the packet of medical records — often, a voluminous set breathtaking in its sheer quantity of pages — thinking that because he/she has serious medical issues, that the great quantity of medical records in itself will justify qualification of a disability retirement packet.
Volume of medical records rarely qualifies an individual for disability retirement. Instead, it must be remembered that eligibility and qualification for disability retirement benefits is determined by a set of legal criteria that must be met by a preponderance of the evidence, and it is up to the applicant and his/her legal representative to meet that burden of proof.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire