The issue of accommodations for the Federal or Postal employee contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, can be a complicating factor. On the one hand, the entire issue may be approached as merely comprised of, and dispensed with, a single form – Standard Form 3112D, otherwise entitled, “Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts”.
When a Federal or Postal employee files an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, one of the many issues immediately introduced, and which must be confronted, is the legal issue of “accommodation”. The fact that you can show that a medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, is merely the first step in proving eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. […]
In this article, I will be addressing two separate issues: First, the issue of OPM’s Medical Questionnaire, and next, the issue of Accommodations. At each stage of the process, an annuitant must always see his or her monthly annuity as a right which must be fought and protected. In recent months, I have seen an increase in cases where….
I am receiving too many phone calls from people who have been fooled by his/her Agency that they have been “accommodated”, and therefore they cannot file for Federal Disability Retirement. From Federal Workers at all levels who are told that they can take LWOP when they are unable to work, to Postal Workers who are given “Limited-Duty Assignments” — all need to be clear that your are NOT BEING ACCOMMODATED, AND THEREFORE YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO FILE FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT.
I have previously discussed the case of Bracey v. Office of Personnel Management, 236 F.3d 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2001). This is an important case which directly impacts upon the issue of accommodation. One of the threshold issues which a federal disability retirement applicant must overcome, is the issue of whether or not the Agency can accommodate the individual’s medical disability.
In Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law for CSRS and FERS, the main thrust of an application are twofold: proper medical documentation and resolution of all accommodation issues. However, you must also be aware of the hundreds of little “pothole” issues which unexpectedly appear in the course of filing for disability retirement, and it is often such smaller issues which hinder a successful filing.
I am again updating you with this informational sheet concerning Disability Retirement. Remember that disability retirement is an entitlement based upon your Federal Service. Once you have met the necessary time-requirements, it is a benefit accorded to you in the event that your medical condition renders you unable to perform the essential elements of your duties.