If you filed a Federal Disability Retirement claim with your agency or the Office of Personnel Management and were denied benefits, you should be able to exercise appeal rights.
If you are eligible for disability (note: the qualifications are to be determined, simply eligible means that you worked the necessary minimum of years in a career position with a federal agency and are within normal age and service parameters) you may elect to file for a Reconsideration of your claim.
What is the Appeal Process?
Whenever a claimant is denied, they have on 30 calendar days from the date of the denial letter to file notice of their appeal. Sometimes, the claimant may elect to ask for 30 additional days to continue to collect additional evidence in support of their claim. However, the claimant should never delay the appeal notice form as instructed in their denial and appeals package from OPM.
Once the appeal is received by the OPM, they will assign it to a new Legal Administrative Specialist within the office to review the previous decision and any new evidence provided by the claimant. After reviewing the merits of the case, the new LAS will render their own decision to either uphold the initial denial decision, or overturn it and issue an approval decision.
Who Can Help Me Appeal?
If you are initially denied on an OPM disability retirement claim, it is recommended to consult with an attorney to explore what other rights or remedies you may have. If you waste time, there may not be much that a representative can do for you. A claimant only has 30 calendar days to file the appeal and usually does not receive notice of the initial denial decision until a few days after the decision is made, the clock has already begun to tick.
Contact Harris Federal Law Firm, to find out more about the appeals process.