OPM Disability Retirement: Termination (Part 2)

Last Updated on October 6, 2015 by Federal Disability Lawyer

There are times when an Agency will proceed and terminate a Federal or Postal employee based upon adverse grounds — of “Failing to follow proper leave procedures”, for being AWOL, for Failure to do X, Y or Z.  Such adverse actions may be the “surface” reason for the actual, underlying reason — that of one’s medical inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

Once a proposed termination becomes an actual termination, then the course of action to take, of course, is to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board.  An Administrative Judge can often be of great assistance in defining and narrowing the issues, and in gently persuading and convincing the Agency to consider changing and amending the “surface” reason to the true, underlying reason of medical inability to perform the job.

The goal here, of course, is to do everything to help in “weighting” a disability retirement application in your favor, and while obtaining the Bruner Presumption in a case is not critical, in many cases, it can be helpful.  And the way to get the Administrative Judge on your side, so that the AJ will then try and persuade the Agency to consider amending a removal, is to obtain well-documented, well-written medical narrative reports from the doctors.

As is almost always the case, the underlying basis for any disability retirement application begins and ends with a well-written medical report.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

One thought on “OPM Disability Retirement: Termination (Part 2)

  1. I was put on LWOP in Nov 2012. I could not return to work and was in treatment for my medical condition. I requested that my agency extend my LWOP and they did not. I never returned to work but was placed on AWOL status from April 2013 until my resignation date of August 2013. My disability retirement case was approved in Feb 2014. I only received back pay to my resignation date of August 2013 and not my last day of pay in Nov 2012 because of the AWOL status. Is it possible to fight the AWOL status and receive back pay to my LWOP date? Even with the AWOL on my record, doesn’t the rule say that back pay is determined by the last pay received? Thank you for your help.

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