Why OPM May Deny Your Federal Disability Retirement Claim

by | Nov 18, 2015

Last Updated March 18, 2024
opm denied

Common OPM Denials

At Harris Federal, we pride ourselves on our success rate. We have worked with federal employees for over a decade now, and our substantial tenure has allowed us to become adept to the various intricacies involved in the federal benefits system. We love what we do, and we are grateful that we have had the opportunity to help so many people get approved for Federal Disability Retirement from the OPM.

With that being said, it’s important to note that there are several federal workers who apply without our assistance and aren’t so lucky. An unfortunate reality is that a large number of applications are denied. The Office of Personnel Management adjudicates applications for federal disability retirement for all career federal employees that apply, and the reasons that some applications are denied vary greatly.

While our office rarely has denials from our client’s cases, we often take claims that were denied before we became involved. When reviewing denial decisions, several claims are often disproved because the claimant failed to establish that their disability was of the severity to warrant an approval.

Simply put: Their case needs more evidence.

What many don’t realize though, is that overloading your Legal Administrative Specialist with additional paperwork and “evidence,” is not necessarily the best strategy. To prove a medical condition is disabling, you have to submit the right kind of evidence – you need to know what OPM is looking for.

If you choose to not hire a representative to help you with your claim, you must be sure that all of the evidence you submit leads directly to how your medical condition explicitly causes you to be unable to fully perform your job for a sustained period of time.  The evidence needs to be relevant to that point, and simply sending every piece of paper you have collected over the years is not your best option. OPM has struggled to process an ongoing backlog of federal retirement claims, and being overwhelmed with excessive paperwork is more likely to frustrate your Legal Administrative Specialist (LAS)  than it is to result in an approval.

When considering your claim, be objective when evaluating your case and supporting evidence. You must be able to convince someone who does not know you, and won’t ever know you, that you have a disabling medical condition that precludes you from providing full service in your current job. It may seem easy, but there is a very strict set of rules and guidelines that the LAS’s follow to make sure the claims they approve are appropriate.

At Harris Federal, we do not charge you for an initial consultation – it’s free. If you are concerned with how to effectively build your case, please reach out to us. Just because you have a serious medical condition does not make your claim a home-run approval. We have worked in this business for over a decade, and strive to help federal workers in any way we can. We are happy to answer questions you may have,  so call us or fill out our contact form as soon as possible. We want your case to be a success.


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