Understanding the OPM Disability Claims Processing
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Washington, DC, has created a new procedure in the disability claims processing that is leaving some applicants hopeful that decisions or approvals are on the horizon. However, the timetable hasn’t actually shifted much, if at all, for a disability initial decision.
The OPM has started assigning CSA numbers extremely quickly. The process of assignment used to take up to four months, but now is sometimes taking less than a week. But the OPM is now holding the file before assigning to a Legal Administrative Specialist for up to five months. Assignment used to be within a week or two.
Once the claim is assigned to a specialist, they can take anywhere from a few weeks to eight months to make the decision.
The change doesn’t really have an impact on the overall time from the submission of the application. Once the application is mailed to the employing agency, an applicant can expect up to a year before the initial decision is made. It can sometimes take even longer, depending on the case load of the assigned specialist.
In addition to the major backlog, the OPM Legal Administrative Specialist can refer the case to one of their medical advisors to review some of the more complicated medical documentation and make a recommendation based on the applicant’s specific job responsibilities.
Remember that this process is long and drawn out. The OPM is working as fast as it can to make decisions, but there is no legal action that holds them accountable to a time frame.
Harris Federal Law Firm, assists federal employees with the application and adjudication process. While there is no guarantee that hiring a federal disability attorney will make the process go faster, Harris Federal Law Firm, attempts to make effort to ave your claim ready for approval and works with the OPM to try to ensure fair treatment in Washington.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the OPM federal disability retirement process. We are here to help!