In everyday, common and familiar usage, what does the word “accommodations” mean? It is to go out of one’s way in order to meet the needs of someone else. It is to try and allow for another person to fit in, to find comfort or to be allowed to remain even though some extra effort may have to be expended.
In legal terms, especially in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, the term “accommodations” has a similar meaning and import. It is that “something” which the Federal Agency or the Postal unit must do such that a person who suffers from a medical condition or disability can continue to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job. It may well be that the Federal Agency or Postal Service is unable to accommodate the medical condition and, try as they might, a determination and conclusion is made that no such accommodations exist, or can be allowed for, because of the nature, extent and severity of the medical condition itself.
The “accommodation” question is one of the hurdles that must be overcome in a Federal Disability Retirement application.
It is a complexity in Federal Disability Retirement Law that poses many problems and greater questions. Is the accommodation permanent or temporary? Will it allow for the Federal or Postal worker to perform the essential elements of his or her position? Can a future supervisor “take back” the modification allowed for, or does it become a permanent feature of the position description?
These and many other questions surround the issue of agency efforts for reassignment and accommodations, and in order to obtain clarification and move forward in a Federal Disability Retirement application, consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire