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A federal employee who is disabled must show evidence in their application that they are disabled from performing an essential element of their job for a minimum of 12 months from date the application is filed. This assertion generally comes from the applicant’s doctor, who delineates this claim in the Physician’s Statement.

It is important to stress that the minimum quota of 12 months will begin at the time of the application filing. This means that if you go to your doctor for a statement to support your application for OPM Disability Retirement and he/she obligingly pens in the minimum claim for 12 months from the date of his/her dated letter, by the time the letter is filed with OPM, you may not have fulfilled the 12-month disability duration requirement! This is because often, time elapses between the signing of the doctor’s letter and the application submission, especially if you are still employed by your federal agency and are filing through them.

At Pines Federal , we pay attention to these details, and are proactive about drafting a (fully editable) Physician’s Statement of behalf of your doctor while ensuring that specifics such as the duration of disability is certified at a longer span of time and will still meet the minimum requirement of 12 months, even if there are delays along the way after the letter is signed and dated.

If you require a strong OPM Disability Retirement Application and want to rest assured that a qualified law firm is keeping an eye out for the small details along with the big picture of your ultimate goal, contact Pines Federal at 800-801-0598 or office@pinesfederal.com

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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