The Top 5 Reasons to Appeal an OPM Denial in a Retirement Case


The federal employment system is a vast web of rules and regulations, especially regarding retirement benefits. A denial from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in a retirement case can feel like a door shutting in your face. But before you resign yourself to that decision, consider this: There are compelling reasons to appeal that denial. With support from the right legal team, you might even convince the government to reverse its initial decision.

At The Vaughn Law Firm, we stand by federal employees and believe everyone deserves their rightful retirement benefits. You worked hard at your job to earn those benefits, and you may need them to provide for yourself after your career with the federal government ends. Here are the top five reasons you should consider appealing an OPM denial in a retirement case.

1: The OPM May Have Made a Mistake

Even the most meticulous systems are not immune to mistakes. The OPM is responsible for many retirement cases, and officials sometimes err in their decisions. Simple oversights, inconsistencies in rule interpretations, or an incomplete review of documents can result in wrongful denials. Additionally, with ever-evolving federal policies, there’s a chance that a decision may not reflect the most current regulations. By appealing a retirement denial, federal employees ensure a second look at their case to verify that they should receive the benefits they’ve earned.

2: Preservation of Earned Benefits

Federal employees dedicate years to serving the public, and during this time, they accumulate significant retirement benefits. An OPM denial could jeopardize these hard-earned benefits. By choosing to appeal the denial, an employee takes a proactive step to protect and preserve what they’ve accumulated. The appeal process provides an avenue to demonstrate that workers genuinely earned their retirement benefits. This isn’t just about securing a financial future; it’s about honoring the commitment and work that an individual has contributed over the years.

3: An Opportunity to Present Additional Evidence

Appealing an OPM denial isn’t just about contesting an unfavorable decision; it’s also an opportunity for federal employees to strengthen their case. Sometimes, the initial denial might be due to missing documents, insufficient clarity, or data that might not have been available at the time of the first submission. The appeal process allows employees to supplement their applications with additional evidence to bolster their claims. This could include new medical records, further documentation of service years, or clarifying letters from colleagues or supervisors.

4: Consideration of Personal and Medical Circumstances

Sometimes, a black-and-white decision doesn’t capture the nuances of someone’s unique situation. By appealing an OPM denial, federal workers open the door for a more holistic evaluation of their personal or medical circumstances. There might be aspects of an employee’s health or personal life that officials overlooked or did not sufficiently consider during their initial assessment. The appeal process provides a platform to bring these factors to the forefront. For instance, an employee’s medical condition might have worsened, or they might face personal hardships that accentuate the need for retirement benefits.

5: Protect Your Rights

Every federal employee operates under a framework of rights and protections established to ensure fair treatment, especially regarding retirement benefits. An OPM denial might infringe upon these rights. By appealing the decision, employees actively assert and enforce their legal entitlements. An appeal reinforces the principle that employees are not passive recipients of decisions – they have the agency and legal avenues to contest unjust outcomes.

Contact a Federal Employment Lawyer Today

With offices in Decatur, GA, and Washington, D.C., The Vaughn Law Firm proudly supports federal government workers. If OPM officials denied your application for retirement benefits, we can file an appeal to help you recover the benefits you earned during your career. Call us today at 877-615-9495 or complete our contact form for a confidential case evaluation.