Is an IME recommended for Federal Disability Retirement?

Aug 21, 2023

IMEs are not recommended for Federal Disability Retirement person receiving medical evaluation

An IME, or Independent Medical Evaluation, is a single examination by a medical provider who you have not worked with previously. Your employing agency or insurance company may request an IME for various reasons if you have become disabled and apply for benefits, but IMEs are typically not strong enough to support a Federal Disability Retirement application by themselves. For most people, an IME will not be harmful to an application for Federal Disability Retirement, it will simply be unnecessary.

An Independent Medical Evaluation does not show consistent treatment

When applying for Federal Disability Retirement, a critical part of the application is the medical evidence. It’s so important, that an entire section is dedicated to what’s called a “physician’s narrative.” This narrative is vital to submitting a successful Federal Disability Retirement application, and you will need a supportive medical professional to write it. A supportive medical professional is one who you’ve established consistent treatment with, who knows you, and who knows your condition.

If you seek out an IME for your Federal Disability Retirement application, the medical provider will have no history with you or your condition and will likely not have enough context to support a physician’s narrative for a Federal Disability Retirement application.

What Are Examples of Supportive Medical Documentation?

If an IME is not recommended as supportive medical documentation, what is recommended? Some examples of supportive medical documentation for your Federal Disability Retirement application include:

  • Poor performance evaluations
  • Fit for Duty exams
  • FMLA forms
  • VA Ratings
  • Any diagnoses and test results
  • Treatment plans and results

Any of these documents can be obtained from your employment agency, primary care physician, treating specialist, therapist, or any licensed medical professional who has been treating you for your medical condition(s). The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is looking for direct evidence that your condition is affecting your ability to perform your job, and all these documents should support that claim.

Harris Federal will help you through the process of requesting supportive medical documents and a physician’s narrative for your application. With our firm’s proven process, we make it as easy as possible for you and your treating medical professional to put together a successful application.

The importance of strong medical documentation in your application cannot be overstated. If you need help figuring out what medical documentation to include in your application, schedule a free consultation with our firm.

We have helped more than 8,000 clients apply for Federal Disability Retirement, and we have a 99% success rate; we know exactly what the OPM is looking for. Don’t lose out on the benefits of Federal Disability Retirement by taking on this burden alone.

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