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Sometimes federal employees hoping to receive Disability Retirement (DR) benefits unfortunately make an employment decision that can render them disqualified for DR benefits according to OPM’s criteria. Here are a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” that can make or break your DR application:


Be up front with your agency about your medical conditions and how they are preventing you from successfully performing your duties, attending work, or conducting yourself in a professional manner. (*Important Tip: It is crucial to keep records of any correspondence you have with your agency regarding your performance, attendance, conduct, or medical conditions.)


“Grin it and bear it” until you are forced to resign because you cannot work another day. Although you still have a chance of being approved for DR benefits if this happens, it makes your claim harder to be approved if your agency has no idea that you were suffering from a disabling medical condition.

Engaging an experienced law firm is another recommended step when dealing with the complex and nuanced criteria for OPM Disability Retirement. Contact Pines Federal at (800) 801-0598 for skilled guidance in all areas of the OPM Disability Retirement application process.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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