By, Elliott Andalman, Esq.
Due to the nature of many illnesses and how quickly sickness or injury can upend employment plans, federal and postal workers often obtain medical reports and records after their separation to support claims for disability retirement benefits. Of course, to win these types of claims you must prove that you became disabled on or before your last day of work. Unfortunately, OPM sometimes rejects medical reports and treatment records, particularly, if they are based on treatment that post-dates the separation from work.
Don’t accept OPM denial decisions based on OPM’s rejection of this type of evidence and don’t fail to submit medical evidence that you obtain after your separation.
O.P.M. regulation (C.F.R. § 831.1206(c)) and a recent Federal Circuit decision in Reilly v. O.P.M., 571 F.3d 1372 (Fed.Cir. 2009), require that post-separation medical evidence generally be considered by OPM disability retirement caseworkers. The Court noted that not only are non-contemporaneous medical records relevant to the determination of whether the onset of disability occurred on the date alleged, but also that all medical reports are inevitably rendered retrospectively and should not be disregarded simply because of this.
If you are in need of representation in the area of disability benefits, including FERS/CSRS disability retirement, Social Security Disability, Long Term Disability or Maryland State Disability Retirement, please do not hesitate to contact Elliott Andalman, and experienced disability retirement lawyer online or by calling 301-563-6685. Consultations are normally free.