OPM Disability: How Can I be Sure that my “Physician’s Statement” Contains Everything I Need for OPM Approval?
If you’ve already begun the process of applying for CSRS or FERS disability retirement benefits, then you’re probably intimately familiar with Standard Form 3112, “Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement Application.” For those who aren’t, there’s a section in the application called “Physician’s Statement,” which must be completed by your doctor.
Hey, I bet your doctor is absolutely wonderful and totally committed to providing you the highest level of care. But if your doctor is like most, she doesn’t have the time or energy to devote to this tedious form. And let me tell you from observation and experience, a poorly written statement from your doctor will most likely cause your application to be rejected. So what can you do?
Write the statement yourself.
No, I’m not suggesting that you pose as a medical professional and commit fraud. Rather, I’m suggesting that you write a draft of the medical statement and submit it to you doctor for her review and approval. Let’s face it, nobody is as intimately familiar with your medical condition(s) as you are, and nobody is going to spend more time and energy to ensure that the medical statement contains all of the components necessary for OPM approval than you. And if your doctor is like most, she’ll be absolutely thrilled that you took the initiative.
So what are you waiting for? Start writing!
As mentioned above, the OPM application process for disability retirement benefits can be tedious and complex, so you may want to consider hiring an experienced attorney to work directly with you and your doctor to maximize your chances of OPM approval. Again, from personal experience I can tell you that there are a number of factors OPM is expecting to be addressed in your letter. That’s why it makes sense to spend some money up front to get it right the first time, or you may find yourself seeking out that same attorney to help you with your appeal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Scott G. Santarelli
Federal Employment Specialist with the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.