The Merit Systems Protection Board has reversed the decision of an administrative judge who, after a hearing, sustained the denial of the disability retirement application of an 18 year veteran of the US Border Patrol. The employee was injured and subsequently put on administrative leave for the investigation of non-work related misconduct. In denying the Agent’s initial application, OPM had stated that he had failed to show he was injured before he was placed on administrative leave. The Board ruled that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) should have considered whether the injured worker became disabled at any period during his employment, up to and including the period of time that he was on administrative leave.
The employee had introduced uncontested medical evidence showing that he had several herniated discs. The Board found that the claimant had “presented an overwhelming body of consistent and competent medical evidence that corroborate[d] his subjective complaints, and [established] that his medical condition [was] incompatible with either useful and efficient service or retention in his former position” (Henderson v. OPM, Docket No. AT-844E-08-0071-I-1, August 4, 2008 at p.14).