In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the Federal and Postal employee should focus upon those aspects of the OPM Medical Retirement which are under his or her “control” — directly or indirectly — and not worry excessively about those things which are beyond one’s control or responsibility.
Thus, obtaining the proper medical documentation; accurately, succinctly and coherently formulating the Applicant’s Statement of Disability on SF 3112A, etc., are within the purview of one’s control and responsibility. Having the Supervisor complete the Supervisor’s Statement — SF 3112B — is part of the required final Federal Disability Retirement packet; what is contained within the parameters and confines of the form itself, however, is often beyond one’s control.
While one assumes that a Supervisor’s Statement will be completed with a fair amount of accuracy, it will necessarily contain a certain perspective, intent, and often a sense of “protecting” the agency’s interest and goals. Thus, the Supervisor will often overstate the extent of an attempted accommodation engaged in, real or imagined, in order to justify its actions concerning the Federal or Postal employee. Further, it will often mis-state the concept of “light duty” and how it relates to accommodating the Federal or Postal employee. In other sections of SF 3112B, it may over-state and exaggerate the employee’s conduct or impact of the medical conditions upon the Agency’s workload.
An exaggerated Supervisor’s Statement will often be helpful to a Federal Disability Retirement case. Don’t be too hasty in attempting to correct inaccuracies and differing perspectives; sometimes, the exaggerated statements are merely differences of opinions and viewpoints, and may in fact be helpful in obtaining an approval from the Office of Personnel Management.
In any event, a Supervisor’s Statement is beyond one’s control — and undue focus upon those issues beyond one’s control can detract from the greater mission at hand.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire