In preparing and submitting an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS, it is important to know your own case. This will often take some time and effort, but it is worthwhile, for many reasons: Knowing and understanding the extent to which your doctor will support you; understanding fully the medical terminology which your doctor has used; knowing that what you say in your Applicant’s Statement of Disability (SF 3112A) does not contradict or otherwise invalidate what your doctor states in his or her medical report — these are all important aspects of a Federal Disability Retirement case.
Often, doctors use medical terminology which, read in the context in which it is written, can be misunderstood and mininterpreted. Such misreading then leads to a misstatement by the applicant in his or her Applicant’s Statement of Disability, thinking that it is supported by the medical documentation which is submitted. Even if it is an honest error, such a self-contained contradiction can harm a case, as when the Office of Personnel Management is able to point to a doctor’s report and is able to state: While you claim X, your own doctor states Y…
Robert R. McGill, Esquire