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Disability Retirement

The federal government allows employees who are unable to work to retire under a disability retirement. It is in the best interest of both employees and the federal government for employees to remain gainfully employed in their current grade or pay level, as long as they can provide useful and efficient service without endangering themselves, others or government property.
Disability retirement should be the very last option and should be used only when attempts have been made to preserve an individual's employment, and those attempts have failed.

Order our Disability Retirement guide to educate yourself on the rules and regulations concerning disability retirement for federal employees.

To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
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#1 Posted : Monday, May 12, 2008 4:56:29 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 5/12/2008(UTC)
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I am a federal employee working for the Social Security Administration for 4 years. I applied for my FERS disability on April 22, 2008. I have been sending doctors, counselors and friend/family statements regarding my disability of Depression, Schizophrenia and anxiety from my divorce and stress from retaliation from managers at my job for EEO complaints (7 of them). I have sent all the documentation in to HR and I am meeting with my family Rx today to get another statement that clarifies why I cannot perform my duties anymore.

I was just informed by HR that they still have not received my managers section completed. My question is how can they deny a claim when someone is being harassed daily from retaliation(documented by union and EEO complaints) and has told pyschiatrists and doctors that I may snap one day due to this constant harassment. I have written letters to congressman and senators in my state (WA) and have notified them that I want them to make sure my application is dealt with legally and justly. Wouldnt these factors along with my constant evidence I am sending to OPM be pretty good grounds for an approval at the 1st stage? Why wouldnt they want to get rid of me when I have over 7 law suits pending and have made it clear that I am at the breaking point and need to get out of this job before I lose it?

Does OPM usually take into consideration that many eyes are now watching my case and its in their best interest to approve me to save anymore inquiries from congressman and senators? I would think that mountains of medical documents saying that Im crazy and my own statements to counselors and doctors stating I am not going to last long would convince OPM to approve me. Do family/friends statements help in OPM's case along with a solid doctors statement?

What particular trigger words can my supportive doctor use to get them to see my medical conditions meets the criteria for an approval?

I also used to adjudicate claims for WA state unemployment for 5 years, so I understand the need for proper evidence to get an approval. Any help is greatly appreciate. Awesome message board!
#2 Posted : Monday, May 12, 2008 11:41:24 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 2/19/2002(UTC)
Posts: 55

look "situational".

To get an OPM disability retirment you must establish that you are unable to perform the duties of your current position and that the disability is expected to last a year or more.

Too much emphasis on how you "have been wronged" and you shift the focus away from your medical condition to the situation itself. This emphasis can cause OPM to regard your disability as "situational" and you could get denied.

Have your attending physicians focus on how your condition interfers with your ability to do your job.

Do you have difficulty concentrating because of prescribed medications, for example? Be sure you physicians document such, if it applies.

Do you have performance "deficiencies" because of your condition? Again, have your physician document that your medical condition is the reason for these problems.

Do you have attendence problems related to you medical condition. Again, have your physician document that your condition interfers with your ability to be regular in attendance.

Do you have difficulty meeting deadlines, working on a team or with others or other interpersonal issues because of your condition? Again, your physician needs to thoroughly explain how you condition leads to these behaviors and that your condition is unlikely to change even with treatment.

The key evidence with a disaiblity retirement application is how well your physicians document that you are unable to perform your job duties because of your medical condition. Leave out the EEO complaints, the grievances, etc. Save your energy and ammo for those forums when the time comes. Concentrate on making certain your physicians understand what they need to supply in their medical reports to get your claim approved.

I would not get too wrapped around the axle at this point about the employer's part of the form. The agency does get time to research and make certain that they cannot provide a reasonable "accommodation" etc. The agency does have to convince OPM that it made the effort. If the agency's part of the form is not done with 30 days, then, it may time to complain. It has not been 30 days from April 22, 2008 at this point.
#3 Posted : Wednesday, May 14, 2008 12:38:19 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 5/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 14

Thanks for the great reply Hearts86. I ready this type of information on another board and just read this one today. So I wanted to share what I did. I wrote up my ailments (according to me and my doctors diagnosis) and wrote up all my job duties (as listed on USAJOBS) and wrote out how I felt each job duty was hampered by each of my conditions. I took that with me to my doctors appt yesterday and he sat down and put it in his own words, emphasizing that he feels given these particular job duties and my inability to perform them effectively, that he feels I can no longer perform those duties. He listed that my cognitive thinking is messed up from the constant dizziness and ringing in the ears. He also said that I am unable to handle the stresses of taking call after call (telecenter) as my anxiety and depression are too severe for that type of work anymore. He also stated that it was not only my job that was affected, but also my every day living outside of work. He listed that I have to have help with my groceries, driving, and cooking etc. He then put that my conditions are getting worse and that I have followed all of his medical therapies and medicines and to date there is no change. He kindly also told them that I have been a patient of his for 8 years. Smile Anything I missed? Any other suggestions? I sent in my friends and family statements and I hope they will help, anybody else use that tactic to help with their cases? Thanks again! I appreciate it.
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