There are many different companies and employers in the Washington D.C. area. There are many private companies that employ many, many people. However, as the federal government is centered in this area, there are also many people who work for the various federal agencies or other public agencies. On a day to day basis people may not really see big differences between working certain jobs for governmental agencies and private sector jobs, but one big difference is how the benefits are handled.
Many people in the private sector have insurance through non-employer sponsored carriers. Also, often times their retirement benefits come in the form of 401(k)s or pensions. These plans are governed by a federal law referred to as ERISA. However, federal employees often times have their retirement benefits through a different system that is governed by a different set of rules. This is important to know primarily if federal employees have a dispute about their benefits.
Process for appealing denied benefits
After a complaint about benefits is made to the Office of Personal Management (OPM) they will make a decision. People may not agree with this decision though. If this occurs the first step they can take is to seek reconsideration. This request must be made within 30 days of the initial decision. After the initial decision is reconsidered by the OPM, they will issue a final decision. If people disagree with that decision, they can then appeal it to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) which will then make a final decision on the issue.
Federal employees working in the Washington D.C. area receive good benefits and it is certainly one of the reasons that draws people to that type of work. As people work for and expect to receive these benefits, if they are denied, it can be devastating. People may be able to appeal initial decisions and eventually receive the benefits they deserve. It can be a complicated process though and consulting with experienced attorneys could be useful.