In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the Federal or Postal employee will be asked to complete a mountain of standard government forms. The forms themselves appear to merely request “information”. Don’t be fooled. It is not mere information; it is the basis upon which OPM approves or denies a case.
For the CSRS employee (which is becoming rarer by the hour because of the replacement of CSRS with FERS back in the mid-80s), in addition to SF 3112A, SF 3112B, SF 3112C & SF 3112D (which both CSRS and FERS employees must complete), Standard Form series numbered 2801 (SF 2801), along with Schedules A, B & C must be completed. For FERS employees, in addition to the SF 3112 series (again, SF 3112A, SF 3112B, SF 3112C & SF 3112D), the Federal or Postal employee must complete SF 3107, along with Schedules A, B & C.
These forms constitute the “nuts and bolts” of the Federal Disability Retirement application process. Not only must “information” be provided in filling out these forms; there are “tricky” issues which must be addressed at the outset.
For example, SF 3112C is the “Physician’s Statement”, and is meant to be used in order to guide the physician into providing a detailed physician’s statement. It is a confusing, convoluted form which often makes the doctor feel intimidated. It is preferable to have the doctor address the elements requested on SF 3112C without actually using the 3112C. However, if a Federal or Postal employee is unrepresented and unaware of this, then the potential disability retirement applicant may unknowingly sign the form, when it may not be in the best interest of the Federal or Postal employee to do so.
Be aware; “information” is not a mere compilation of facts and figures; rather, information is always used — whether for, or against, something or someone.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire