As I have discussed before, the only way to prove your Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement claim is to submit medical evidence that demonstrates your physical or mental disability. Unfortunately, the standard types of medical evidence (clinical records, diagnostic tests, scans, etc.) are not always sufficient to prove your disability. In these situations, we often rely on independent evaluations that are designed to highlight the severity of your impairment and how it impacts your ability to perform your federal job.
Common types of these independent evaluations are:
- Functional capacity evaluations
- Neuropsychological evaluations
- Vocational evaluations
Below is a brief overview of each type of evaluation.
Functional Capacity Evaluation
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a comprehensive set of physical tasks and tests that are designed to determine a person’s ability to do a specific physical activity. FCEs are commonly used to test a person’s ability to:
These tasks are often requirements for the successful performance of a person’s job. FCEs are performed by physical therapists and can provide critical objective evidence of a person’s physical inability to accomplish their job responsibilities.
A neuropsychological evaluation is a battery of tests and observations that are intended to determine a person’s cognitive functioning. A neuropsychological evaluation objectively measures a wide range of functional areas including:
- Language and reading ability, and
- Information processing
Neuropsychological evaluations are performed by neuropsychologists and are useful for detailing how a person’s cognitive functioning specifically impacts their ability to do their job.
A vocational evaluation is a special examination in which a vocational expert analyzes:
- A person’s age,
- Work experience, and
- Medical history
This analysis is used to determine whether a person is capable of performing their job. Vocational experts are specially trained to understand each occupation, as well as the tasks and responsibilities required of each position. The vocational expert provides a detailed report and opinion as to your ability to do your specific job based on your medical disability.
Contact the Disability Lawyers at Andalman & Flynn in Maryland
Our advocacy for all of our FDR clients includes guiding you through the complex process of creating a winning application for disability benefits. Let us use our extensive experience with these independent evaluations to your benefit.
Working with an experienced attorney means that your application will receive the priority it deserves. A long and complicated process can seem much more manageable when someone else has done it before. The disability team at Andalman and Flynn has the experience, the knowledge, and the patience to handle the filing deadlines and requirements and navigate a claim for Federal Disability Retirement. For assistance with your Federal Disability Retirement application and much more, contact Andalman & Flynn for a free consultation today.
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