In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is often easy to confuse the varying roles of the individual and agency entities which are involved in the process.
First and foremost, the Agency for which the individual works, has certain administrative obligations which must be met — of completing certain forms, such as the Supervisor’s Statement (SF 3112B) and the Agency Efforts for Reassignment and Accommodation (SF 3112D). The Office of Personnel Management, on the other hand, is the ultimate arbiter and deciding entity determining the viability of a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, as to meeting the legal criteria for eligibility for the benefit.
The agency cannot make promises to the Federal employee, or the Postal employee (if the case happens to be the U.S. Postal Service), as to “getting” the individual Federal employee or Postal employee, a Federal Disability Retirement.
There can certainly be actions taken by the agency, or the representative of the agency, which may help to “enhance” the chances of an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement. However, enhancing the chances of an approval is quite different from promising to “give” or to “get” a Federal or Postal employee a Federal Disability Retirement from the Office of Personnel Management. Only the latter entity can accomplish that.
As for any promises by the agency that “he said X” or “he promised Y” — get it in writing. It may only be worth the paper it is written on, but at least by asking, you can determine the truth or falsity of such a promise.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire