Federal Worker Disability Retirement: Agencies & SF 3112C

Agencies have an amazing ability to be inquisitive, especially into those areas which really do not concern them.  Often, Agencies will insist that, despite all of the relevant, pertinent, and desired medical documentation already having been attached to a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the applicant/Federal employee “must” sign the Standard Form 3112C (“Physician’s Statement) , which becomes superfluous and irrelevant.  They insist that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) “requires” the form, which is an erroneous statement.  OPM has never required a signed SF 3112C so long as the Federal Disability Retirement application is accompanied by sufficient medical documentation to support the application.  Sometimes, the insistence by the Agency is merely based upon ignorance; other times, it is based upon an administrative and bureaucratic inflexibility to longstanding “procedures” which the Human Resources personnel cannot adapt to, or change, because “this is the way we’ve been doing it for X number of years”.  Still, there is a suspicion that in some instances, the “requirement” of SF 3112C is because of a more nefarious reason:  The Agency wants full access to all medical records, notes, treatment notes, etc.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Accountability

One often asks the question, “Well, how long can they…” or “Isn’t there some law that can force them to…”   Ultimately, such questions asked, and any similar or related ones, in the entire process designated as “Federal Disability Retirement process under FERS or CSRS” has to do with the question of accountability.  Have you ever noticed that, where X is accountable to Y, X can be subjected to persuasive arguments, and will often be compliant?  But the larger question is, Who is Y accountable to?  And therein lies the problem.  

That Agency to whom all other agencies are accountable, knows no sense of accountability, but will be the first to hold all others accountable.  Thus, the intermediate agency in a Federal Disability Retirement case, the one who employs the Federal or Postal employee, can be persuaded to complete the Federal Disability Retirement packet and to fulfill its obligations, because such an agency cannot “preempt” the statutory authority of the Office of Personnel Management.  But what argument can be made of the final arbiter, the Office of Personnel Management?  

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire