CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: The Physician I

Initial inquiries concerning filing for Federal and Postal disability retirement benefits often ask the following question: Do I have a doctor to whom I can refer the individual? This question often follows upon the unfortunate circumstance that the individual does not have a very supportive doctor, or has been under the “medical care” of an OWCP-referral doctor.  The answer is always an unequivocal:  No.  The reason:  The Merit Systems Protection Board is very clear about the issue — that in Federal Disability Retirement cases, a medical report is persuasive when written by a doctor who has a long-standing patient-doctor relationship; has had regular contact with the individual; has had clinical contact over a sufficient period of time, such that the doctor can, within reasonable medical probability, provide a rational basis for stating that the individual is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of his or her job. Thus, even before considering taking a disability retirement, it is important for the individual to make a proper assessment as to whether or not one’s doctor is “supportive”; if not, it may be a good idea to think about switching doctors, and finding one who is supportive.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

1 thought on “CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: The Physician I

  1. Jeff

    I have a supporting doctor (psychiatrist) for my federal disability retirement. He has deemed my condition permanent. However, our patient/doctor relationship is only 1 month. I had been seeing a psycologist for 8 months prior as well, but he did not believe my condition would be more than 1 year. However, the psychiatrist DOES and I am currently on a outpatient treatment plan with him. Medications, etc..He is currently working on a medical narrative in support of my disability retirement. Isn’t that great?Will this suffice even though we do not have a long term doctor/patient relationship? It was difficult finding a supporting doctor. P.S: Thanks for your wonderful articles on the internet. They answered many of my questions.

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