Social Security Disability Insurance requires the applicant to be unable to perform Substantial Gainful Employment as a result of their medical condition, which would essentially disqualify the applicant from working at almost any job in order to meet this condition. OPM Disability Retirement, however, only demands that the applicant be unable to perform one or more critical elements of their most recent position description due to their disability.
Clearly, SSDI holds the applicant to a more exacting standard. If a disabled federal employee is accepted for SSDI, they have legitimate reason to believe that their OPM Disability Retirement case is solid in this respect. (There are other eligibility requirements to consider for OPM, and such an employee would be strongly advised to pay close attention to completing the application properly and to ideally retain an attorney with experience in OPM Disability Retirement).
By the same token, though, if an individual is rejected for SSDI, it can be simply because he/she CAN work and perform Substantial Gainful Employment – only not in their most recent job, and may be the perfect candidate for OPM Disability Retirement! In this instance it would be advisable for the individual to contact a law firm such as The Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC to evaluate the strength of their case for OPM Disability Retirement.