As a general rule, denials will normally be sent by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management by Certified Mail with a signature requirement. If the correspondence is otherwise received by regular mail with no such signature requirement, it is likely either a request for additional information or an approval. Preliminarily, it is crucial to point out that a Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who receives a denial in response to an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must file a Request for Reconsideration within 30 days of the date of the Denial Letter — NOT 30 days from the receipt of the denial.
Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be ultimately submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is often mistakenly thought to be a straightforward administrative process. The keyword here, of course, is “effective” — as opposed to “ineffective” or even “doomed at the outset.” What we do not know and what we assume to be true can often come back to bite us.
Adverse actions, administrative procedures of implementing increased pressure for greater productivity and, in the process, to enhance the efficiency of the Federal Service; PIP actions; leave restriction memos; refusing to grant LWOP beyond the allowance under FMLA; placing individuals who have exhausted all Sick Leave, Annual Leave and FMLA on AWOL status; these are some of the “big stick” pressures in the seemingly infinite arsenal of weapons, and more, at the discretionary use of every Federal Agency.
Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available for all Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers, whether under FERS, CSRS, or CSRS Offset. So long as minimal eligibility requirements are met – 18 months of Federal Service for FERS employees, and 5 years for CSRS (which, given the nature of the old CSRS system, one assumes that anyone from that bygone era will necessarily have met that criteria) – the prefatory threshold for filing can begin; but beyond, the complexity of the law, the preponderance of the evidence to meet, the bridging nexus to formulate, and the administrative procedures to follow.
The essential principle behind Federal Disability Retirement is twofold: (A) recognition that individuals may become disabled, through medical conditions or injuries which impact one’s ability to continue in the chosen vocation in the Federal Sector, combined with (B) a progressive acknowledgment that the mere fact that one is disabled, should not mean that the disabled individual cannot potentially remain productive in another vocation, capacity, or employment sector.
The issue of accommodations for the Federal or Postal employee contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, can be a complicating factor. On the one hand, the entire issue may be approached as merely comprised of, and dispensed with, a single form – Standard Form 3112D, otherwise entitled, “Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts”.
These are difficult economic times. For the everyday worker, both Federal and Postal employees, the decisions made at the top echelons of the Federal Government and the U.S. Postal Service impact the financial security and viability of each and everyone. Bad decisions have a cumulative impact upon future alternatives for economic security. Wasted funds thrown at various programs which engendered political favoritism and popular responses at the time, are spent resources which now squeeze out necessary services and programs.
Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management requires, first and foremost, a sophisticated understanding and insight into the entirety of the Federal Administrative Process. Whether it is the procedural rules and regulations governing all Federal Disability Retirement applications — that all Disability Retirement applications, whether under FERS or CSRS, must be submitted through one’s agency if still employed, or within thirty one (31) days of being separated from Federal Service.
In undertaking any endeavor, one should never engage the activity until one has thoroughly analyzed and understood the overarching rules which govern the enterprise, whether it is in sports, a trade, a craft – or applying for a benefit at the Local, State or Federal level. Would you advise your child to play football without first going over the rules? Would you hand a power tool to a novice? Or entrust a large sum of money to an individual who possesses no knowledge about financial management?
The preparation, formulation, and finalization prior to filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS (the Federal Employees Retirement System) or CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System), should be sufficiently reviewed and carefully scrutinized prior to submission to the Agency of the Federal Employee (if still employed or separated but not more than 31 days) or the H.R. Shared Services Center for the Postal Employee (in Greensboro, North Carolina, where all Postal Disability Retirement applications are processed….