Why does it take so long for an OPM approval? Filing for federal disability retirement benefits can be a long process sometimes lasting over a year. Waiting this long for a benefit that so many desperately need is frustrating and sometimes confusing.
OPM Approval for Federal Disability Retirement
So, what exactly is happening at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) during this time? Located in Washington, D.C., the OPM houses the Disability and Appeals Branch, which is responsible for all decisions on Federal Disability Retirement applications. Although it may feel like they are working against you, the reality is that they simply have a lot of work.
Challenges Faced by the OPM
The OPM office is terribly understaffed and overwhelmed with the quantity of applications. The government shut downs under the sequester makes the situation even worse.
The OPM is a part of the Executive Branch. It, like other government areas, has limited funds. Sometimes, it cannot hire new employees.
Furthermore, the OPM has roughly 16 Legal Administrative Specialists (LAS) that review cases and make decisions. During a year, those 16 people process around 10,000 cases! Reviewing all the medical documents and evidence for OPM approval is a lot of information to go through.
The Importance of Thorough Case Reviews for OPM Approval
No one wants a ‘hasty’ decision! They must check all evidence before deciding whether to approve or deny an OPM claim. You certainly do not want the LAS to deny you because they didn’t read your file!
This takes a significant amount of time, with each LAS having roughly 625 cases to process each year. While it may seem like your claim is taking forever to get a decision, the specialists are working diligently to get to yours.
How Harris Federal Law Firm Can Help with OPM Approval
At Harris Federal Law Firm, we strive to prepare your claim in the best way possible for OPM approval. We handle many cases each year and have a 99% success rate because we know how to get approval.
We think that whenever the LAS does get to your case, we want them to make the best decision possible. We make sure to present your evidence strongly to show that you meet the requirements clearly.
Making the Most of Your Application Process
We can’t promise to make the process shorter. We have lots of experience winning disability retirement claims and can help you with your application.
If it is going to take a year, we want to make the most of your opportunity in front of the deciding Specialist. Call us to schedule a FREE consultation and answer any questions you may have about filing your claim. We want to help you through the filing process.