How do I get the government to award me retirement if I can't prove that I have disabling symptoms?

ANSWER: The law has accommodated the imprecision of medical science by providing alternative methods of proof. Deficiencies in either attendance, performance, or conduct may be used to infer the presence of disabling symptoms. To that end, the "Applicant's Statement" and the "Supervisor's Statement" specifically raise questions about such deficiencies.

However, just because you demonstrate such deficiencies, it does not mean that OPM will use them in your favor to infer that you have a disabling medical condition. Quite the contrary, OPM often, and without good reason, uses evidence of such deficiencies to trash employees for laziness and ineptness, thereby defeating the purpose for which they raised the deficiencies in the first instance.

Apart from the inferences provided by various deficiencies, the law has developed a special presumption concerning the credibility of government employees with long tenure and a good record. The bottom line is that you have a right to be believed even if your symptoms can't be perceived by others. Especially if you have long tenure and a good record, you are entitled to be taken seriously in your claims of disabling symptoms. If your claims are consistent with the nature of your medical condition, you are entitled to disability retirement.

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