We recently assisted a federallicensed practical nurse (LP) with her FERS disability reconsideration appeal. She suffers from several psychiatric disorders, including PTSD,major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. When this employee first came to us, she was absolutely distraught over the rejection of her initial claim. She couldn’t understand how OPM could deny her, given the severity of her symptoms, her history of psychological trauma, and her documented absenteeism and inability to perform the core functions of her job. When we reviewed her initial application, we discovered that, even though all of the pertinent information was included, the overall application was extremely disorganized and haphazardly assembled. Furthermore, and most importantly, the physician’s statement was extremely brief and did not address the majority of the questions posed in SF 3112C.
We worked closely with the employee and her psychiatrist to draft a 13-page statement, which discussed the employee’s medical history, symptomology, diagnoses, prognosis, and most importantly, the nexus between her disabling medical conditions and her inability to perform the essential functions of her LP position. Then, we drafted a cover letter in which we discussed how the employee legally meets or exceeds each of the eligibility requirements for FERS disability retirement by citing relevant case law and referencing supporting medical documentation. Not only were we able to submit the appeal to OPM within the 60-day deadline, but we are ecstatic to report that it was approved only one month later!