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Federal Disability Retirement: What does and does not constitute accommodation by the employing Agency?

Federal Disability Retirement: What does and does not constitute accommodation by the employing Agency?

One key element to federal government disability retirement under FERS or CSRS is that the accommodation of the federal employee’s disabling medical condition must be unreasonable.

Many times, an Agency (there are some that do this more than others) will modify the employee’s position or duties in such a way that it is not truly accommodating the employee. This could take the form of Light Duty, Limited Duty, a modified or make-shift position, etc. This is not truly an accommodation. An accommodation, for the purposes of federal disability retirement under FERS or CSRS is defined as “a reasonable adjustment made to a [Federal employee’s] job or work environment that enables the [Federal employee] to perform the duties of [his/her] position.” In other words, an accommodation requires adjustments that allow a Federal Employee to continue to perform his or her official position. Accommodations can include modifications of the worksite, schedule adjustments, job restructuring, and changes in equipment. On the other hand, accommodation does not include modified positions, make-shift positions, ad-hoc duties (such as Lobby duties in the Postal Service).

If the Federal Employee’s position is created purely in an attempt to find or make or provide work within a Federal Employee’s medical restrictions, chances are that it does not constitute an accommodation in the position of record.

No post on this website is legal advice, is meant to be legal advice, and certainly does not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the federal employee, with some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Federal Employees.

The Law Office of Eric Pines represents Federal employees under FERS or CSRS in their applications for federal disability retirement to OPM. If an application for federal disability retirement is denied, the Firm represents Federal employees under both FERS and CSRS in their MSPB appeals of denials of federal disability retirement applications by OPM.

It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and disability retirement appeals to discuss the facts and law of your particular case. If you have questions about federal disability retirement under FERS or CSRS, or OPM’s denial of your applications for federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, contact an MSPB attorney at the Law Office of Eric Pines to schedule a telephone consultation.