CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: Standard Forms Do Not Mean “Standard Responses”

The problem with “Standard Forms” is that they often appear to solicit “standard responses”, and in a Federal Disability Retirement case under the Federal Employees Retirement Systems (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), nothing could be further from the truth.  Indeed, it is often because a Federal or Postal employee/applicant who confronts and begins to fill out SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, the very “blocked” appearance of the form, and the constricting questions themselves, makes it appear as if a “standard response” is required.  Don’t be fooled.

By way of example, take a “special animal” — that of a Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controller who must take a disqualifying medication, loses his or her medical certification from the Flight Surgeon, and thinks that filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is a “slam dunk”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Or, a Customs & Border Patrol Agent who goes out on stress leave, or suffers from chronic back pain.  Are there “standard responses” in filling out an Applicant’s Statement of Disability?  There are certain standard “elements” which should be considered in responding to the questions, but don’t be constricted by an appearance of “standard responses” to a “standard form”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

2 thoughts on “CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: Standard Forms Do Not Mean “Standard Responses”

  1. Good morning Sir:
    I am an employee with DLA and is thinking about applying for disability. However, I am 54 years old, and I think that I can take early retirement at 56. Do you think that it is a good idea for me to accept Disability retirement or should I wait a little longer for early retirement? Which do you think is more beneficial? Also, if I accept disability retirement, am I allowed to re-enter the Federal Government at a later date and still retain all of my benefits as if I had never left?. Your answere will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. This the case of a 65 yr old pilot who can no longer teach fighter pilots to fly on a flight simulator due to cognitive decline, documentation from top cancer hospital as well as unable to pass check ride after retraining. He was not going to retire for at least 1 1/2 years to reach full SSecurity age. He was told no opportunity for disability or med retirement after age 65 by OP M. Must he just voluntarily retire early? Can he be in a position for unemployment benefits? Decision to be made tomorrow. Date of retirement now to be Aug 31. Does the government really move that fast?

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