To some extent, there is indeed a “difference” and a “distinction” between an Administrative process of law, and a “legal” or “courtroom” (i.e., “adversarial”) process of law. Doctors are, by either personal & professional direct experience, or from hearing or reading about others, keenly aware of the horrors of the “legal” process. Malpractice lawsuits, personal injury lawsuits, subpoenas, depositions, being cross-examined by a defense attorney (or the Plaintiff’s attorney, whichever may be the case) on the stand — these are all intimidating factors that are deliberately avoided.
Because of such negative experiences, perspectives, memories or viewpoints about the legal process, it is often an unfortunate fact that doctors “run for cover” whenever there is even a hint that one is being asked to involve him or herself in such a “legal process”. Doctors will outright refuse to write a medical report; one may be dropped as a patient suddenly and without warning; there may be considerable delays and obfuscation in responding to a request for a written narrative report. These are merely some of the underlying reasons why an SF 3112C should never be used — because it does not properly explain what it means to “get involved” in the administrative process. To this extent, it is important to have an attorney who will carefully, and with great tact, explain the process of obtaining Federal Disability Retirement benefits — and thereby “disarm” the doctor from being intimidated.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire