Out of all of the elements comprising a Federal Disability Retirement application — the various aspects, including medical, personal, impact-statement, statement of disability, Supervisor’s Statement, etc. — the essence of it all must be coordinated around the core of the case: the medical narrative report.
That alone has multiple, inherently complicating factors: Why won’t the surgeon write the report? Why is it that the Pain Management doctor, or the Internal Medicine doctor, or the Family Physician is the one often most cooperative and willing? Is the Chiropractor’s opinion sufficient? Is it helpful? How detailed must the report be? How long must you be a patient in order to establish the threshold of having a “longstanding doctor-patient relationship“? Are medical records in and of themselves sometimes sufficient to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits? Is it sufficient to get a Therapist to do the report, without the Psychiatrist? Can a therapist alone win a case? Must I undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation? Can I use reports from an OWCP Second Opinion doctor? If my Psychiatrist only sees me for five minutes each time and prescribes the medication, is it necessary for him/her to write a report? How detailed must the report be? Is the doctor going to understand, let alone actually read, the SF 3112C? These are just some of the questions which one is immediately confronted with, in beginning the process of putting together a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS. It is a complex, overwhelming process.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire