Recurring issues of FERS & CSRS Disability accommodation and light duty questions

The issue of Agency Accommodations — whether or not an agency can truly “accommodate” an individual; what constitutes a legal accommodation as opposed to temporary light-duty arrangements which do not constitute legally viable accommodations under the standards as expressed in Bracy v. OPM and other cases — keeps coming up in the form of questions and concerns.

Let me just state a few thoughts: First, obviously, the best scenario is if the Agency checks off block 4(a) of SF 3112D, acknowledging that the “medical evidence presented to the agency shows that accommodation is not possible due to the severity of the medical condition and the physical requirements of the position.” Second, however, even if the Agency does not check off 4(a), it is not necessarily a problem, or even a valid concern. Agency Human Resources personnel are notoriously ignorant of the current case-law, and often mistake ad-hoc temporary assignments as constituting an “accommodation”, when in fact they represent no such standard or level of acceptability in disability retirement law. Finally, it is always mindful to remember that disability retirement is a medical issue, not one which is determined by non-medical personnel, and that is why it is important to focus first and foremost upon obtaining a legally sufficient medical narrative report.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

One thought on “Recurring issues of FERS & CSRS Disability accommodation and light duty questions

  1. I am a retired disabled veteran I have sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy I work for the Postal service. I was given accomodation for 6 years I could only work day hours from 5am-5pm. I had a new manager come in and said if I could not work at night closing the station, she had no work for me. She sent me home and put me in no pay status I had requested FMLA sick leave she also denied. She sai I was a light duty person and if they had no work they could send me home. I am a supervisor been in the postal service for 17 years.

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