There are certain tendencies which seem to exhibit themselves on a spectrum of behaviors, and the pattern is fairly common. As such, it is important to be aware of the natural tendencies of all parties involved when filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS. For instance, it is a common tendency for the doctor — Family Doctor, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Neurologist, Psychiatrist, etc. — to avoid having to write a medical narrative report for a Federal Disability Retirement application.
What to do about it? To try and place the doctor at ease by explaining the process in as direct, simple and concise manner as possible; then to tie the importance of the request for a Medical Narrative Report to the overall treatment plan for the patient — you. To have an attorney involved can further ease the natural anxiety of a doctor — but it helps to have the client/patient forewarn the doctor as to the role and involvement of the attorney.
Attorneys and doctors are “natural enemies” (i.e., attorneys sue doctors; doctors hate to be sued; ergo, doctors have a natural tendency to dislike lawyers). If the patient/client, however, approaches the doctor and explains that the lawyer who is representing him or her is there to explain the process, to guide the doctor in the preparation of the entire packet, including giving guidance to the doctor in formulating a medical narrative report, then the tendency towards anxiety and reluctance to assist in a Federal Disability Retirement application can be lessened and overcome. Tendencies are there to be recognized, then to be adjusted in order to achieve a positive outcome.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire