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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.

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GreenTurtlez  
#1 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 7:36:55 AM(UTC)
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My wife was officially separated by her Agency "Non-Disciplinary Removal" in July 2018 due to accepted work-related injury and as such has recently filed for OPM-disability since her injury has kept her out of work the past 3 years and is going to last over a year longer... (she filed under a year) However, back in early Jan 2018, My wife at one point was receiving correspondence from the Agency notifying her that they were pursuing Non-Disciplinary removal due to injury and had asked her to provide medical information which stated her current status and if/when she could return to work... My wife provided a medical letter from the treating physician which stated that she couldn't return to her former job due to injury as she was still receiving medical treatment but she could return to some type of desk duties that don't infringe on her restrictions while she continues to undergo medical treatment. The Agency didn't offer her any "accommodations" ie.. desk duties outlined by the physician and instead (on March 2018) issued a letter of Non-disciplinary removal for injury and then proceeded to list statement of facts which led to their decision (basically the standard efficiency of service reasoning for removal.) in the letter the Agency referenced the injury acceptance, time out of work, and the Doctor/medical documentation provided as well as referenced the statement that my wife could work desk duties that don't infringe on restrictions. About 3 months later (June 2018), my wife received a letter of rescission which Rescinded the March 2018 Letter of Removal, and the next day in June 2018, issued a new Letter of Non-disciplinary Removal for injury and all the written language in this Removal Letter was the same as the first letter except they now omitted the statement of fact that my wife could work desk duties that don't infringe on restrictions while undergoing continued medical treatment.

My wife meets all the required OPM disability qualifications, ie.. injury/disability will last more than a year, can't return to original position, has 2 accepted Owcp claims, has filed required SS disability, but I am curious as to the agency not offering her a desk/light duty position (I know they don't have to offer accommodation) and attempting to omit the statement of fact will hinder my wife's OPM approval. She did inform OPM of both letters and omission by her agency in her filing.

Is there anything that we missed and/or anything negative the agency is trying to do? Any thoughts?

Edited by user Friday, July 12, 2019 7:39:51 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

gembarok  
#2 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 10:09:09 AM(UTC)
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Greetings,

Sounds like someone didn't wait for legal to review her letter before they sent it to her. Let's look at what maybe can be considered "missed." Firstly, although it is really a non-issue here, reasonable accommodations have to be requested. A doctors note that says what she can do is NOT a request for reasonable accommodations. They must be requested. Her agency will have to address that in the 3112. Just make sure your wife does ask for some. Same with light duty. Personally, I would do this "informal process," in writing. Still, not an issue. Technically, with light duty or RA's she can do some of her job or a similar position. It is again on the agency to explain why that would be an undue hardship.

Just make sure you include with your evidence to OPM a statement covering all this but as is, it shouldn't hinder FERS DR approval. LOL... now your agency trying to explain how changing a legal document and excluding evidence would not be considered a "Constructive Discharge..." well that is another matter.

S/
K
thanks 1 user thanked gembarok for this useful post.
GreenTurtlez on 7/12/2019(UTC)
GreenTurtlez  
#3 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 10:27:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: gembarok Go to Quoted Post
Greetings,

Sounds like someone didn't wait for legal to review her letter before they sent it to her. Let's look at what maybe can be considered "missed." Firstly, although it is really a non-issue here, reasonable accommodations have to be requested. A doctors note that says what she can do is NOT a request for reasonable accommodations. They must be requested. Her agency will have to address that in the 3112. Just make sure your wife does ask for some. Same with light duty. Personally, I would do this "informal process," in writing. Still, not an issue. Technically, with light duty or RA's she can do some of her job or a similar position. It is again on the agency to explain why that would be an undue hardship.

Just make sure you include with your evidence to OPM a statement covering all this but as is, it shouldn't hinder FERS DR approval. LOL... now your agency trying to explain how changing a legal document and excluding evidence would not be considered a "Constructive Discharge..." well that is another matter.

S/
K


Thank you so much for the reply....

So with what you have stated do you think it would be a good idea to send an email (for documentation purposes) to the HR department expressing interest for an accommodation while awaiting OPM DR? When my wife received the letter questioning her duty/medical status for duty availability, we basically thought it was implied she was requesting/available to work an accommodation in her response letter from the doctor that stated she could do some type of desk duty that didn't infringe on her restrictions, but when she received the follow up letter notifying her of Proposed Non-Disciplinary Separation for work injury we assumed that her request/option to work was denied by the Agency....

My wife does not want to Retire and still wants to work, but due to the Agency involuntarily separating her she had no choice but to file opm dr... Even though she is separated, she still is however receiving full OWCP benefits/pay compensation as she is still getting medical treatment.
GreenTurtlez  
#4 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 10:41:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: gembarok Go to Quoted Post
LOL... now your agency trying to explain how changing a legal document and excluding evidence would not be considered a "Constructive Discharge..." well that is another matter.

S/
K


YES... we were wondering that too... When my wife received the "Notice of Rescission" letter regarding the original Proposed Removal letter we thought the Agency was going to give a her an accommodation because there was no explanation in the Notice of Rescission letter as to why the Agency was Rescinding the original Removal letter. Then the very next she received another letter in the mail which was another Proposed Non-Disciplinary Removal letter... We then thought maybe they corrected some dates from the original or something like that.. but after we read the letter we realized it was the exact same letter as the original Proposed Removal letter word for word only with exception that they took out the statement I mentioned previously about working desk duties not infringing on restrictions.

We included an explanation to OPM about this issue with the agency omitting facts from the letters but I hope it doesn't come back to bite my wife in the butt somehow.
gembarok  
#5 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 12:52:24 PM(UTC)
gembarok

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Greetings,

I'm a pretty harsh critic but here's what I have learned in 30+ years of federal and military service. Nobody is your buddy and for management (in general) to do the right thing by an employee, the employee needs to be in a position of power. They need to be vocal about that power but be respectful with it. What's best for management in your scenario is to get her position open and filled as quickly as possible. I respect that and the fastest way to do it is by termination or resignation. The longer , harder route, is to assist her in getting DR. For three years they have been without that position so why not get on team "your wife?" Reasonable accommodations have to be addressed. It's on the SF3112. So let's all knock it out real quick and move on. Let's stop playing around with getting the perfect termination letter so we don't get our pee-pee spanked and just help her out to expedite the paper process. Because if your wife wants, she can drag this out another year or two based on the veiled constructive discharge attempt and an EEO complaint about not working the RA's. But be polite. That would be my approach... but to do so you have to be really sincere that she is ready to hang up the gloves. Good luck.

S/
K
gembarok  
#6 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 1:08:08 PM(UTC)
gembarok

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LOL... interestingly enough... I found this online

http://myfederaldisabili...-federal-postal-service/

S/
K
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