You receive the letter from OPM, open it, and find that OPM denied your application for disability retirement benefits under FERS/CSRS. Chances are, you’ll read the letter over and over, and the more you read it, the less sense it will make. What do you do?
At this point, your choices depend on what stage of the application you are at. If this is the first indication you have received that OPM has denied your FERS or CSRS disability retirement benefits, you have to request reconsideration. Without a reconsideration request, there is no appealable decision. Now, I can count on one hand the number of times that a decision of OPM is changed after a reconsideration, so this step is usually, from your perspective, a waste of time.
One idea as to how to use this time to consider whether or not you want to retain an attorney to represent you. There are a number of skilled attorneys out there with experience representing employees before the MSPB on denials of disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS. There are also a lot of not-so-good businesses out there. The way to figure out which are good and which are not is to use your time between the denial and the reconsideration to consult with a number of attorneys and find the one you are most comfortable working with. You can also check this website, where you will find a number of federal attorneys who post frequently about such topics: www.federalsoup.com
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.
It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals to discuss the facts and law of your particular case. If you have questions about disability retirement under FERS or CSRS, or OPM’s denial of your applications for benefits, contact an MSPB attorney at the Law Office of Eric L. Pines, PLLC, to schedule a telephone consultation.