In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is important to garner the support of the treating doctor.
Such needed support is obvious; it is, after all, a paper presentation to the Office of Personnel Management (despite the move to a “paperless” society, the conceptual application is still relevant; for, whether paperless or not, some mode of presentation must still be forwarded to the Office of Personnel Management). As such, one should be prepared to discuss with one’s treating doctor the “medical” benefits of filing for Federal Disability Retirement — and not just focus upon the administrative and legal efforts which must be engaged.
Thus, for example, one should inform the doctor that obtaining OPM Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS does not prevent one from seeking other, alternate employment — one which will not medically exacerbate the conditions which one is suffering from. As such, going out on Federal Disability Retirement has a therapeutic impact, inasmuch as it (1) allows one to recover by ceasing the type of current work and (2) as work is often considered good therapy, it allows for productivity in another, separate area.
Remember that a treating doctor’s concern is focused upon the medical health of the patient; persuading a doctor to support one’s Federal Disability Retirement application should thus focus upon the concerns of the doctor. Persuasion must always take into account the “other’s” concerns. That is the key to effective persuasion.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire