There are only one of several ways in which a Federal disability retirement application under FERS or CSRS can be lost: Either a Judge at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals renders a final opinion denying a Federal or Postal Employee his or her disability retirement, or the Federal or Postal employee simply gives up. As to the former: Even then, if the Federal or Postal employee has not been separated from service for more than one (1) year, he or she may file a new application for OPM Disability Retirement.
Thus, we are left with the latter: a disability retirement applicant simply gives up. By “giving up” is meant: the next step is not taken; the time-frame within which to file a Request for Reconsideration or an appeal is allowed to “lapse”; or, if an appeal is taken, it is done with resignation and surrender. Nothing good can come out of such an approach. Each step of the process in a Federal Disability Retirement case must be attacked aggressively. Each step must be looked at as a potential place for a new review.
Think about it in reverse: If you don’t take the next step, then nothing good will certainly happen, so what is there to lose? Indeed, there are times when a client hires me to file a Request for Reconsideration or an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the mere filing of my appearance into the case persuades and convinces the OPM representative to reverse course and grant the disability retirement application.
The point of making such a statement is not to “brag”, but to make the larger point: good things can happen only if you affirmatively act. Otherwise, you are left with what King Lear said to his daughter Cordelia, that “nothing can come from nothing”.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire