“When an employee finds herself unable to provide useful and effective service because she does not follow or accept normal treatment, her disability does not arise from the illness or injury itself, as required by law, but its failure or willful refusal to take available corrective or ameliorative action. Baker v. Office of Personnel Management, 782 F.2d 993, 994 (Fed. Cir. 1986)
Know this: For those considering applying for an FERS disability pension, part of ensuring you have a good record is doing your due diligence by seeking appropriate medical care from licensed medical professionals and following their recommendations. .
Kimberley A. Craig v. Office of Personnel Management provides further clarification of the limitations of this requirement for the claimant, and much clarity can be gained by reviewing the details of this case.
For federal employees with physical disabilities: Consult your doctor regularly (it is advisable in all cases to have up-to-date evidence documenting the progression and severity of your disability) and whether it is a disorder with mainly painful symptoms, try painkillers or other medications offered. medication, reasonable surgical treatment or physical therapy recommended by your doctor.
And don’t stop unless the treatment period runs out, proves ineffective, has unwanted side effects, or your doctor advises you to discontinue treatment for any other reason.
For federal employees with mental health issues, this usually means undergoing some consistent form of psychotherapy in addition to drug treatment. A candidate with anxiety or major depressive disorder can easily be turned down if they have not had any kind of talk therapy or medication, as this is seen as standard treatment. Seeing a psychiatrist is not required if the primary care physician has not specifically recommended it and the claimant is undergoing psychotherapy with a licensed mental health practitioner or therapist.
An additional point to allay your concerns: OPM should not turn down an otherwise qualified candidate based on their inability to pursue more expensive treatment for financial constraints.
Cyril Dubin works exclusively with federal employees to prepare their application for FERS disability retirement. With her years of experience and honed process, she aims to make the experience smooth and stress-free. Contact Cyril at [email protected] or visit the FERS Specialists website.
© 2022 Cyril Dubin. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Cyril Dubin.