What is the Merit Systems Protection Board ?

Jul 7, 2014

federal disability retirement lawyers

The federal executive branch of the United States government has many agencies each with its own mandate. Understanding the function of each agency is difficult, to say the least.

For instance, if you have a federal employee disability claim, where do you file your complaint? Which board hears your appeal? These issues are frustrating and without a knowledgeable representative to help you, the process can feel overwhelming.

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) will be involved in your action. Here is what you need to know about that agency.

What is the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)?

The MSPB is an “independent, quasi-judicial agency” within the executive branch of government. Its main purpose is to protect the civil service merit selection system. It also maintains diversity and effectiveness in the federal workforce.

The MSPB hears appeals from employees and reviews the actions of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). It also upholds the merit principles established in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.

The nine merit principles range from seeking to recruit qualified workers to protecting equal pay for equal work. The MSPB seeks to protect federal employees from reprisals by their agencies for whistleblowing on issues of fraud, waste and abuse and it protects employees from agency favoritism, or arbitrary or coercive action.

How Does the MSPB Play into my Federal Employee Disability Claim?

When you file for federal disability retirement, the OPM will review your case and determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements. The OPM must follow the law and federal rules regarding your eligibility and qualifications for disability retirement benefits.

If what the agency or official does is prohibited by law, then you may have a right to appeal. Naturally, the decision to appeal a denial of a retirement claim arises when you, or your representative, after reviewing the denial fairly believe that the denial was not proper and based on a factor that is illegal or is a prohibited personnel practice.

Appealing Your Denial of Federal Disability Retirement

Receiving an adverse determination by the OPM regarding your disability retirement eligibility can be frustrating. You may feel anger or resentment. However, the MSPB was set up to help streamline these appeals rather than bog down the court systems. That does not mean that the Merit System Protection Board will take your side. However, you will get your appeal heard.

According to the MSPB’s website, the second highest number of appeals it receives is from retirement decisions made by the Office of Personnel Management.

How to File Your Appeal

The MSPB has a separate website devoted to filing appeals through the Internet. It’s called e-Appeal Online. You can fill out the proper forms and submit them online. You can also make changes to your appeal, add addendums, and review filed forms.

More information on the appeal process can be found on the MSPB’s webpage.

Given the number of appeals and the difficulty and confusion surrounding the rules, a qualified representative like those at Harris Federal Law Firm may be an option to consider to ensure you receive federal disability benefits.

If you’re considering Federal Disability Retirement, please give us a call to schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify.

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

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