The Standard Form 3112 serves as the necessary documentation in support of Federal Disability Retirement. Forms 3112A-E need to be completed in their entirety and submitted to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in order for an employee to submit an application for Federal Disability Retirement. Each part of the document focuses on a different requirement for the OPM, all to help establish that your disability is preventing you from performing useful and efficient service at your agency. You will also need to fill out SF 3107 which is your retirement application from your agency.
It is imperative to your case for all the necessary and supporting documentation to be included in your application at the initial submission, but we know this can be a very overwhelming process. This blog post will outline some of the common mistakes made when filling out the 3112, and what you can do to avoid them. Don’t miss mistake #8!
3112 A- Applicant’s Statement of Disability
The first form of the 3112, the 3112A, is the Applicant’s Statement of Disability. This statement serves as the single most important part of your application, as all other forms will reference your disability statement and reinforce anything you have written here.
In this statement you MUST provide in-depth documentation of your disability and how it interferes with your employment.
When filling out question number 4 you must list ALL diseases and injuries if they are affecting your ability to work. The OPM only considers conditions listed in this section. You will be able to add additional conditions at the reconsideration stage but you will not be able to remove anything already in your application.
Keep in mind the OPM will consider these conditions as a whole, but may only approve for some of the conditions.
You must include information about how your condition is affecting you in and out of work. Questions 5 and 6 in the 3112-A want specific references to job duties and activities that you can no longer perform.
Incorrectly stating the date of disability. You must give the approximate date that you became disabled for your position. Additionally, the onset date of your disability cannot be inconsistent with medical evidence.
3112 B- Supervisor’s Statement
The Supervisor’s Statement provides the agencies perspective of your disability and performance. This form is completed by your supervisor or someone who is in the position to observe your performance on a regular basis. Some agencies have specific centers that fill out this form so make sure you get a completed copy to ensure it has been filled out correctly and accurately reflects your disabling condition.
A common mistake that often leads to a case denial is a supervisor statement that does not include information about your service deficiency. If they say that your conduct, performance, or attendance has been satisfactory, you will have a hard time receiving Federal Disability Retirement. Attendance deficiencies are typically the most common that could support your case.
Additionally, if their comments about your degradation in service do not focus on your disability, that could harm your case.
You must include your position description so the OPM can see your specific job duties to determine if you can continue to perform them or not. If this is not included your application will be placed on hold until it is received.
3112 C- Physician’s Statement
The third form of the 3112 is the Physician’s Statement, which provides the medical expertise to certify all the previous information is accurate. Your physician or treating medical professional must document all symptoms, history, results of laboratory studies, therapies, and treatments. The OPM is looking for a narrative that will convince a medical specialist of your disability.
You must include the correct address in this section, so when your medical professional mails these forms, they go to the right person, whether that be you or your agency.
3112 D- Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts
Your agency will fill out this section and must show that they have tried and are not able to reasonably accommodate or reassign you. This section serves to determine if a reasonable accommodation will enable you to fully perform your job duties or if a vacant position is available in your agency at the same pay/grade level, in the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.
Additionally, your agency must continue to try to accommodate or reassign you even once you have submitted your application. Keep in mind that partial or temporary accommodations do not disqualify you from Federal Disability Retirement.
You must communicate with your agency about your medical condition. If your agency is unfamiliar with your medical conditions, they often fill out the forms incorrectly or in a way that can negatively impact your application.
The OPM’s reasonable accommodation definition is different than the general reasonable accommodation definition under the ADA, which can cause confusion. We recommend that you talk to your supervisors regarding your medical condition and how it is impacting your job as they can play an important role in this process.
3112 E- Disability Retirement Application Checklist
The final section of the Standard Form 3112 is the Disability Retirement Application Checklist that your agency will fill out. All responses in this section must match what has previously been stated. All additional forms listed in this section must be included in your application when it is submitted. Be sure to include the correct contact information to ensure you receive any information from the OPM.
If you are separated and your agency is unwilling to fill out this form, you can attach a blank copy with your application to the OPM along with any correspondence with your agency to show good faith effort.
You should keep a copy of all forms for your personal records in case the OPM requests any additional information. Current evidence provides the best support and creates the strongest application. All the forms in your application should be consistent with one another. It will make the process a lot harder if your federal agency and your doctor are contradicting one another.
If you are separated from your federal agency, you are required to submit your claim package directly to OPM. Therefore, you must obtain forms 3112B, 3112D, and 3112E from your agency.
Maintaining open communication with your employer can make obtaining these documents a lot easier.
When submitting your application, it is critical to get it right the first time. Processing times can be delayed by months or even indefinitely if there are mistakes on your application. That’s why having a team of experienced professionals on your side can help you avoid these setbacks.
We know this process can be overwhelming and we are here to help. In some cases, Federal Disability Retirement can be a benefit worth well over $1,000,000 – that’s not something you want to risk.
Our firm has helped over 7,000 clients apply for Federal Disability Retirement, and we have the experience to help you submit an application with the right medical evidence and strong legal arguments from the beginning.
Don’t risk your future without the right representation. Schedule a FREE consultation with our office today to learn what your options are!