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Federal Disability Retirement: Can a postal worker or federal employee file a second application for disability retirement?

Federal Disability Retirement: Can a postal worker or federal employee file a second application for disability retirement?

Often times, when a postal worker or federal employee is denied disability retirement by OPM, I am if they can refile their application for federal disability retirement.

This question is answered differently based on two different scenarios.

First, you can always file a second application for federal disability retirement(within the appropriate time limits, of course) if the condition you are claiming on the second application is different from the first application. For example, let’s say that in her first application for federal disability retirement, a postal worker or federal employee sought a retirement annuity for a degenerative disc condition. OPM then denies that claim. The postal worker or federal employee then decides to file an application for federal disability retirement based on another condition – let’s say fibromyalgia. So long as the postal worker or federal employee applies within one year of separation from federal civil service, the rules and elements that must be proved are the same as in the first application.

In the second scenario, however, let’s say that the same postal worker or federal employee’s first application for federal disability retirement from OPM (for a degenerative disc condition) is denied because OPM and the MSPB concluded that the condition did not prevent the postal worker or federal employee from performing the essential functions of their last government position. If the postal worker or federal employee wants to submit a second application for federal disability retirement – based on the same condition – then the applicant’s burden is different. The postal worker or federal employee must show that the application covers a different time period than addressed in the first appeal, or must be based on new evidence showing a worsening of her medical condition.

No post on this website is legal advice, is meant to be legal advice, and certainly does not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the federal employee, with some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Federal Employees.

The Law Office of Eric Pines represents Federal employees under FERS or CSRSin their applications for federal disability retirement to OPM. If an application for federal disability retirement is denied, the Firm represents Federal employees under both FERS and CSRS in their MSPB appeals of denials of federal disability retirement applications by OPM.

It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and federal disability retirement appeals to discuss the facts and law of your particular case. If you have questions about federal disability retirementunder FERS or CSRS, or OPM’s denial of your applications for federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, contact an MSPB attorney or a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer at the Law Office of Eric Pines to schedule a telephone consultation.