Putting All the Pieces Together
Are you feeling overwhelmed about filing your application for FERS Disability Retirement (FDR)?
I know at first glance it can seem incredibly complex, so let’s start by breaking your application down into its two major components: the non-disability forms and the disability forms.
“Non-disability” refers to those forms that don’t require information that is specific to your disabilities and/or medical conditions. These are generic forms that are required for retirement, regardless of the retirement category (e.g., FDR, MRA + 10, MRA + 30, etc.). These forms include the following:
- SF 3107: Application for Immediate Retirement
- SF 3107-1: Certified Summary of Federal Service
- SF 3107-2: Spouse’s Consent to Survivor Election
- SF 3107-Schedule D: Agency Checklist of Immediate Retirement Procedures
You are required to complete SF 3107 (and possibly SF 3107-2, depending on your choice of survivor annuity). The remaining forms will be completed by your agency.
Because these forms are non-disability specific, it is unlikely that errors or inaccuracies will adversely affect your claim. However, errors contained on these forms could cause you some major administrative headaches in the near or long term.
For example, the wrong computation of your creditable service could reduce your annuity when you reach age 62. If your last day of pay (LDOP) is incorrect, it could significantly diminish any back pay that is owed to you. Erroneous bank information could delay your monthly payments. And the list goes on.
Of course, many of these errors can be corrected after the fact. But as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And if you’ve ever tried to resolve an administrative issue with your agency and/or OPM, you know firsthand that it can feel more like a thousand pounds of cure.
So, do yourself a favor and make sure that these forms are in order before you submit your final FDR application to OPM.
The disability forms, which are listed below, require you, your agency, and your medical practitioner to provide detailed information about your disabilities and medical conditions:
- SF 3112A: Applicant’s Statement of Disability
- SF 3112B: Supervisor’s Statement
- SF 3112C: Physician’s Statement
- SF 3112D: Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts
- SF 3112E: Disability Retirement Application Checklist
OPM will use the information contained in these forms to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for FDR. Because these forms are so important, I will be devoting separate, future articles to each.
You can find all the above documents on OPM’s website. All non-disability forms can be found in the SF 3107: Application for Immediate Retirement (note that SF 3107, SF 3107-1, SF 3107-2, and SF 3107-Schedule D are all contained in a single, fillable PDF document). All disability forms can be found in SF 3112: Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement Application.
You may want to be proactive and review these documents now to get a good idea of what will be expected of you, your physician, and your agency during the FDR application process.