FERS Disability
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Medical Conditions

Illnesses and type of injuries that will most likely qualify for disability retirement

Medical Conditions which May Qualify

     It is important to understand that, in filing an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, there is no “table of medical conditions” by which one may qualify.  Instead, the focus is upon the symptoms exhibited, as opposed to a formally diagnosed medical condition.  This distinction is important to understand, because once you grasp the conceptual importance of the “symptoms” manifested by the underlying medical condition, then it becomes clearer to the applicant that the focus in proving one’s eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must be in bridging the gap between two basic issues:  (A) one’s medical condition, and (B) the essential elements of one’s job.   That being said, Federal Disability Retirement benefits can be applied for based upon many different medical conditions, including (but certainly not limited to, as the following is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but merely an example of some of the medical conditions):

Arthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
Cervical & Lumbar disc disease
Degenerative Disc Disease
Multi-level disc degeneration
Plantar Fasciitis
Lyme Disease
Crohn’s Disease
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Torn Rotator Cuff
Radiating pain & numbness
Chronic knee problems
Meniere’s Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Diffuse & chronic pain
Failed Back Syndrome
Cardiac problems
Profound Fatigue
Migraine headaches
Sleep Apnea
Chemical Sensitivity Issues
Multiple Sclerosis
Shoulder Impingement
Effects from a stroke
Hiatal hernia
Seizures and epilepsy 


     Additionally, one should not make the distinction between “physical” medical conditions and “psychiatric” medical conditions in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  Both are equally “valid” in filing for FERS or CSRS Disability Retirement benefits, and the law does not distinguish one from the other in determining the viability of a medical condition and its impact upon one’s inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job.  Thus, the following is a non-exhaustive list of the type of psychiatric conditions for which one may apply for Federal Disability Retirement benefits:

Major Depression
Panic Attacks
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Asperger Syndrome
Delusional disorders 
Bipolar Disorder
Suicidal or homicidal ideations
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Personality/Adjustment disorders


     Finally, if one is taking prescription medications, the effects of the medications themselves may qualify one for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  Again, this is because the focus of a Federal Disability Retirement application is based upon the importance between the symptoms one has, and the impact of those symptoms upon one’s ability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.  Thus, if there is an underlying medical condition, and one is prescribed medications as a necessary part of the treatment modality of that particular medical condition, then the symptoms or side-effects which the medication regimen may produce, can adversely impact one’s ability to perform the essential functions of one’s job.  As a result, one may qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS because of the side-effects of a prescribed medication regimen.



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Issues That Will Be Covered on This Blog

* What are the requirements to qualify?

* What agency administers and approves FERS/CSRS Disability Retirement?

* Do I have to be completely incapacitated or permanently disabled?

* How long must my disability last in order to qualify?

* What benefits are covered under this Federal Employment program?

* Will I keep my current health/life insurance?

* Will I automatically qualify for the FERS Disability Retirement program if I’m on OWCP?

* Will they send me to secop (second opinion) or referee doctors?

* What if OWCP denies benefits -- do I still have a chance to qualify for medical retirement?

* Does my disability have to be job-related?