In order for the OPM to verify that an applicant meets all of the requirements for federal disability retirement, the agency must verify a few details about the employee’s work. These are referred to as agency forms, since they must be filled out by your agency. The supervisor specifically must answer questions regarding the employee’s service deficiency(ies).
A service deficiency is defined as being ‘less than fully successful’ with regards to either performance, attendance, or conduct. The supervisor is the person deemed to be most acquainted with those aspects of the applicant’s employment. There are certainly flaws within this system, but this is the current manner the OPM gathers this information.
Some federal employees are concerned that due to a hostile work environment or a relationship with their supervisor, the forms will be completed incorrectly. Remember you are trying to prove a service deficiency. If your supervisor indicates that your service is less than fully successful, it can actually be a good thing for your federal disability retirement claim.
However, if you have been keeping your disability from your supervisor, this could be a problem. We see a lot of clients who have never spoken to their employing agencies about their disability or medical condition– this would prevent your supervisor from successfully filling out the agency forms. It can be a scary step to speak about your medical conditions, but it will ultimately support your federal disability retirement case.
In the absence of a service deficiency, you must prove that your condition is incompatible with continued service or retention in your position. This can be a little more difficult so having a documented service deficiency in performance, attendance, or conduct can be beneficial to your Federal Disability Retirement case.
Our firm guides you through the application process and we know what the OPM is looking for in regards to your documentation. We strive to ensure your application is as strong as possible from the beginning, in order to avoid a denial.