At Pines Federal, we often take cases on behalf of federal employees who have been approved for Social Security disability (SSDI) but are denied FERS federal disability retirement. Although it may seem odd that two federal agencies don’t reach the same conclusion regarding your eligibility, this happens to federal employees more often than you think.

One of the most common reasons federal employees obtain one benefit but not the other is because SSDI and FERS disability retirement claims are assessed under different legal standards.

When you apply for Social Security disability, you need to prove that you have been unable to perform any “substantial gainful activity” for at least one year due to a medical condition that is “medically determinable.” When you apply for FERS disability retirement, you must prove that disease or injury have prevented you from performing “useful and efficient service” in your current position. You must also prove that accommodation couldn’t be made to allow you to continue working and that you aren’t eligible for reassignment.

Why Is One Claim Approved but the Other is Denied?

OPM and the MSPB are responsible for reviewing disability applications to determine if an applicant should be awarded benefits. If either of these agencies decides that the evidence you submit is inconsistent or inadequate, your claim can be denied. Common reasons FERS claims are denied include:

  • Lack of objective reasoning for why you can no longer work
  • Failure to comply with your doctor’s recommended medical treatment

What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?

If your FERS federal disability retirement claim has been denied by OPM or the MSPB, you need to consult with an experienced federal employment attorney to discuss all of your options under the law. At Pines Federal, our skilled team of lawyers is here to protect your rights and help you secure the benefits you are entitled to. We have represented hundreds of federal employees throughout the years, and we are ready to get to work for you today.

Call (800) 801-0598 to schedule your case consultation with our legal team to discuss your situation.