Federal and postal workers fall into either of two possible retirement systems: FERS (short for Federal Employee Retirement System) or CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System). Whatever system the federal or postal worker falls under, the federal disability pension benefit is an option available in the event that a federal government employee is no longer able to perform at least one of the essential elements of his job feed. Remember, to qualify for federal disability benefits, the medical condition or injury does not have to be work-related. Indeed, on a ski trip, you could have suffered a career-ending back injury and still qualify for federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.
The Office that determines that a federal or postal worker is entitled to federal disability benefits is the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). They are legally authorized to investigate any application for approval or rejection. In order to qualify for federal disability benefits, three basic components must be proved by the preponderance of evidence:
(A) a federal or postal worker under FERS or CSRS has a medical condition;
(B) the medical condition prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of his work; and
(C) that the Agency cannot accommodate the person or, alternatively, cannot reassign the person to a position with the same salary or rank.
In order to successfully prepare and submit an application for a federal disability benefit, two overarching elements must always be kept in mind: consistency and consistency. “Coherence” has to do with the form of the application, while “coherence” has to do with the content or content of the application. Both elements are important in preparing an effective federal disability pension application. An effective application for a federal disability pension is therefore logical and fits everything (coherence), and has an internal information structure that corresponds with each other (consistency).
How does someone prove that he or she is eligible for federal disability benefits? Is there a table or schedule of accepted medical conditions? As for the last question, the general answer is “no”. Qualifying medical conditions have more to do with the symptoms of a medical condition than a formal diagnosis. For example, physical disorders can range from cervical and lumbar disorders, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, ankylosing spondylitis, failing back syndrome, chronic pain; Fibromyalgia; total hip replacements that limit and limit flexion and mobility; heart problems; migraine headache; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Chemical sensitivity problems; Asthma; Hypothyroidism; Plantar fasciitis; Carpal tunnel syndrome; shoulder problems, often called bursitis or shoulder impingement syndrome; trochanteric bursitis; lupus, multiple sclerosis, as well as a myriad of other conditions not listed here that are too numerous to catalog. As for psychiatric conditions, the list can be just as long: major depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, ADD & ADHD; Paranoia; Schizophrenia; Aspergers; and several other psychiatric conditions. Whether you are trying to claim a federal disability pension benefit on the basis of a physical or psychiatric medical condition, it is important to prove that you are eligible for the benefit.
That brings us to the first question: How does someone prove that he or she is eligible for federal disability benefits, either under FERS or CSRS? With every application for federal or postal disability benefits, one must ensure that the application is both coherent and consistent. Coherence of an application occurs when all the different components of the application “fit” together. So, for example, when preparing the applicant’s disability statement (SF 3112A), block 4 asks the applicant to “describe your illness or injury in full.” If the illness or injury is physical, the focus of the story should be on describing the pain, the physical limitations and limitations, etc. If one then comes to block 5, asking how your illness or injury is performing ” disrupts your duties, your presence or your behavior, the focus should be coherent with the previous answer – meaning that if the narrative describes physical problems, the impact on someone’s work should therefore be focused on the physical aspect of the job. So to say, for example, that you cannot “concentrate or concentrate” on any aspect of the job would only be coherent if either (A) the job required cognitive-intensive work and the severity of pain one’s cognitive abilities, or (B) The prescription medications to relieve physical fitness affect a person’s focus or concentration. Conversely, if the story of a person’s medical condition primarily involves psychiatric problems, then the impact on a person’s work should include cognitive problems (i.e. focus, concentration, ability to analyze, evaluate, etc.). As you can see, coherence in an application for federal disability benefits is an important part.
In addition, an effective application for federal disability benefits under FERS or CSRS must be consistent. Every part of the application should, where possible, “match” with all other components. Where inconsistencies arise – for example, between what the treating physician says and what the applicant states in his or her explanation of SF 3112A – a red flag may arise, which may lead to refusal by the Office of Personnel Management. Therefore, do not try to “exaggerate” the description of the medical condition. Remember how, when you were deadly ill but your voice sounded completely normal over the phone? You had to report sick and you had to “sound like” you were sick, even though you were actually sick. When preparing for a federal disability application, this is not the time to “sound” more than what the treating physician is saying.
Ultimately, the success or failure of an application for a federal disability pension under FERS or CSRS as filed with the Office of Personnel Management depends on the coherence and consistency of the application. Preparation is key to success and it is important to always remember that coherence and consistency are two elements that should always guide the formulation, preparation and submission of a successful federal disability application.