FERS OPM Disability Retirement: The Mixed Case
It is easily argued that every case is “mixed,” which means that the topic must always consider case law and statutory requirements in addition to the facts of the case. This is especially true for Federal Disability Retirement applications, where the medical records must be interpreted.
Given these facts, it is all the more important to understand that in a case involving a Federal Disability Retirement, merely repeating the medical records does not settle any points of contention. In consistently rejecting the federal employee’s claim for Federal Disability Retirement, OPM disregards the applicable statutes or behaves like an authoritarian bureaucracy free from any legislative or judicial obligation of the controlling laws.
In reality, every Federal Disability Retirement case is a mixed case in which precedents from similar cases have led to legal decisions affecting particular issues inherent in every application. The core disputes that arise rarely center on the medical documentation but rather more frequently on the legal interpretation that results from the application of the relevant laws upon the medical documentation.
Because the “medical specialists” at OPM are not lawyers, they are unaware of the significance and implications of the constantly expanding body of laws governing federal disability retirement. This is why the U.S. Office of Personnel Management frequently makes mistakes in its initial determination when denying a Federal Disability Retirement application.
This being the case, it is crucial to always reply with the force of the law when responding to an OPM denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application and to repeatedly remind OPM that their refusal to approve your case is not just a matter of analytical opinion; instead, it is a glaring and blatant violation of the laws that govern the issues about your Federal Disability Retirement application.
This is one area where a disability attorney can help. Disability lawyers know how to present a case in the most favorable light for their clients, from submitting the application to the hearing level and beyond. Your attorney can help you focus on the information that will be most persuasive to Social Security when submitting your initial application.
They can advise you on your “alleged onset date” of disability, make the case that your condition qualifies as one of the impairments listed in the “blue book” of impairments, and more. Your attorney can gather and submit pertinent medical evidence at the reconsideration and hearing levels, get your doctor’s opinion, draft a thorough brief to the Administrative Law Judge, and prepare you for questions at the hearing.
They will also collect helpful testimony from you during the hearing and may even cross-examine the vocational expert or medical expert to prove that you cannot work.
An attorney can also create complex legal arguments to demonstrate that Social Security incorrectly denied your case at the subsequent appeals stages at the Appeals Council and federal court.
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Mark, a lifelong Tulsan graduated from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Mark served in the United States Army as a Captain in the 486th Civil Affairs BN. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and retired in 1996. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart Jenny and has four beautiful children. Mark’s passion for his work, which includes over 20 years in the Financial Industry started as an Oklahoma State Bank Examiner. Mark examined banks throughout Oklahoma gaining a vast knowledge and experience on bank investments, small business and family investments. Mark’s experiences include being formally trained by UBS Wealth Management, a global investment firm where he served as a Financial Consultant specializing in Wealth Management for individuals & families. Mark is a licensed Series 24 and 28 General Securities Principal and an Introducing Broker Dealer Financial Operations Principal. Additionally, Mark is a Series 7 and 66 stockbroker and Investment Advisor focusing on market driven investments for individuals, businesses and their families.
Mark specializes in providing financial knowledge, ideas, and solutions for federal employees, individuals, families and businesses. We serve as your advocate, and assist you in the design and implementation of financial strategies while providing the ideas to maximize your security and wealth. Our goal is to give you maximum control of your financial future. We provide the expertise to help you with personal issues such as: practical tax Ideas, risk management, investment solutions, and estate preservation.
Additionally, we’ve counseled hundreds of employees on their transitions from careers in federal government, and private industry to their next life stage, whether that is retirement or a second career. We specialize in devising strategies that roll your TSP, 401(k), pension plan, to a suitable IRA to meet your objectives.
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