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Old 06-13-2019, 11:44 PM
 
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I'm a bit confused by language surrounding Schedule A disability. I keep reading that it includes "severe physical disability" but can't find a definition for "severe". The federal SF256 form for Schedule A defines disability as something that "substantially limits" one or more life activities, but doesn't explicitly link it to the requirement for "severe" disability and in fact sounds like a lower bar than "severe physical disability". The term "substantially limits" sounds like it could include things that are significant but moderate disabilities rather than just "severe". So where exactly is the line between Schedule A and non-Schedule A disabilities?



Trying to find clarity has not been fruitful.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:36 AM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'm a bit confused by language surrounding Schedule A disability. I keep reading that it includes "severe physical disability" but can't find a definition for "severe". The federal SF256 form for Schedule A defines disability as something that "substantially limits" one or more life activities, but doesn't explicitly link it to the requirement for "severe" disability and in fact sounds like a lower bar than "severe physical disability". The term "substantially limits" sounds like it could include things that are significant but moderate disabilities rather than just "severe". So where exactly is the line between Schedule A and non-Schedule A disabilities?



Trying to find clarity has not been fruitful.
I assume you've already read these:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-over...oyment/hiring/
https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publicatio...#_Toc425081245
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-over.../#url=Glossary

I'm not an expert obviously, but I haven't heard of a non-Schedule A disability. There are disabilities and there are "targeted" disabilities defined by SF256. The third link above is a glossary that may help define the terms. From what I've read an applicant can apply for consideration in initial hiring using the non-competitive Schedule A process as long as they can meet the documentation/eligibility bar. Whether they are "disabled" or not is a determination made by the agency. Impairments may or may not be "severe". There may be no degree of disability...the applicant either meets the initial non-competitive hiring criteria or they don't. Disability and impairment are not quite the same thing.

Last edited by Parnassia; 06-14-2019 at 03:01 AM..
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:04 AM
 
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And any smart person who's paying attention knows what a loophole this is, right?
They can't ask what the "disability" is, you don't have to say what it is? So do you really have it?

They MAY ask for some records. But at the time of application all you need is a form letter from your doctor saying you have "a severe physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disability." And a letter can say anything, can't it? You'd be surprised how vague what's considered a qualifying condition is. Not that a doctor would risk getting into trouble saying you have if you don't have it. But realistically what repercussion could there be. As long as you have some condition, you just need your doc to sign the letter. So what's the down side to getting a doc tossing the letter, IF s/he will do it.

I've read that the definition of qualifying disabilities was intentionally NOT defined, so as not to rule out some conditions. So, if there's no definition it could be anything, couldn't it?

And I don't know that they even ask for any supporting docs. They say the could, but do they really?
If they don't I guess the applicant is hired, and may have lied to get that special consideration.

Many people believe the federal hiring system is broken. I wonder why.

Last edited by selhars; 06-14-2019 at 04:13 AM..
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
I assume you've already read these:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-over...oyment/hiring/
https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publicatio...#_Toc425081245
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-over.../#url=Glossary

I'm not an expert obviously, but I haven't heard of a non-Schedule A disability. There are disabilities and there are "targeted" disabilities defined by SF256. The third link above is a glossary that may help define the terms. From what I've read an applicant can apply for consideration in initial hiring using the non-competitive Schedule A process as long as they can meet the documentation/eligibility bar. Whether they are "disabled" or not is a determination made by the agency. Impairments may or may not be "severe". There may be no degree of disability...the applicant either meets the initial non-competitive hiring criteria or they don't. Disability and impairment are not quite the same thing.



Yes I have read those and they only add to the confusion. The OPM definition for individual with a disability mentions only substantial impairment and nothing about "severe", while the EEOC page you linked says "severe" and says nothing about "substantial impairment". Maybe these terms are considered to be synonymous in practice but to me they could denote potentially very different levels of impairment.


As for non-Schedule A disabilities I'm no expert either but Schedule A, to my understanding, is strictly federal hiring process. Other organizations may have different definitions for different purposes like health care etc, other social programs, etc.



The Americans with Disabilities Act for example defines disability with "substantial impairment" but makes clear that that definition is not universally used. https://adata.org/faq/what-definitio...lity-under-ada
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:45 AM
 
1,491 posts, read 823,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
And any smart person who's paying attention knows what a loophole this is, right?
They can't ask what the "disability" is, you don't have to say what it is? So do you really have it?

They MAY ask for some records. But at the time of application all you need is a form letter from your doctor saying you have "a severe physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disability." And a letter can say anything, can't it? You'd be surprised how vague what's considered a qualifying condition is. Not that a doctor would risk getting into trouble saying you have if you don't have it. But realistically what repercussion could there be. As long as you have some condition, you just need your doc to sign the letter. So what's the down side to getting a doc tossing the letter, IF s/he will do it.

I've read that the definition of qualifying disabilities was intentionally NOT defined, so as not to rule out some conditions. So, if there's no definition it could be anything, couldn't it?

And I don't know that they even ask for any supporting docs. They say the could, but do they really?
If they don't I guess the applicant is hired, and may have lied to get that special consideration.

Many people believe the federal hiring system is broken. I wonder why.

Its only a loophole if your doctor is willing to lie for you, and I'd guess few would be willing to do so. The condition would have to at the least "substantially limit" a person.



If you know something specific about "how vague what's considered a qualifying condition is", please elaborate. It sounds like you are merely speculating
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:49 AM
 
20,811 posts, read 16,774,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
And any smart person who's paying attention knows what a loophole this is, right?
They can't ask what the "disability" is, you don't have to say what it is? So do you really have it?

They MAY ask for some records. But at the time of application all you need is a form letter from your doctor saying you have "a severe physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disability." And a letter can say anything, can't it? You'd be surprised how vague what's considered a qualifying condition is. Not that a doctor would risk getting into trouble saying you have if you don't have it. But realistically what repercussion could there be. As long as you have some condition, you just need your doc to sign the letter. So what's the down side to getting a doc tossing the letter, IF s/he will do it.

I've read that the definition of qualifying disabilities was intentionally NOT defined, so as not to rule out some conditions. So, if there's no definition it could be anything, couldn't it?

And I don't know that they even ask for any supporting docs. They say the could, but do they really?
If they don't I guess the applicant is hired, and may have lied to get that special consideration.

Many people believe the federal hiring system is broken. I wonder why.
They certainly have a right to ask what limitations you have in performing the job duties. The ADA only requires employers make “reasonable accommodations”. The person hiring you has to know what accommodations you would n

eed in order to perform that job before they can decide whether it’s reasonable or not.

I’m honestly not clear about this thread however whether OP is trying to get hired, or trying to collect disability.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:57 AM
 
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Ok, tracing back the federal code referenced in the SF256 definition I found:

As used herein, an adult with a disability is a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity. [USC03] 29 USC 701: Findings; purpose; policy)

So that would seem to be as close to the final word as I'm going to get. I'm not sure where the word "severe" got introduced to the mix but like I said, perhaps it's intended to mean the same as "substantially limiting" even though to my mind they aren't synonymous.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
perhaps it's intended to mean the same as "substantially limiting" even though to my mind they aren't synonymous.
you're absolutely correct, they "could be" synonymous, but aren't always. And that's all the opening or wiggle room some people need to take advantage.

And the code that was cited in another post is NOT the code used for schedule A hiring.
Different codes can used different criteria for the same "definition" if you will.
What's a disability for Schedule A, may not be a disability for Social Security, for example. Because while the world disability is used (we have to used words after all) -- what's a disability in one situation, may NOT be a disability in another. Although obviously the same word is used.

Quote:
They certainly have a right to ask what limitations you have in performing the job duties. The ADA only requires employers make “reasonable accommodations”. The person hiring you has to know what accommodations you would need in order to perform that job before they can decide whether it’s reasonable or not.
Of course. But suppose the "disability" the person has -- OR allegedly has -- doesn't limit any duties the person has at work. The code above is not the one Schedule A. But let's say it was. That code says "substantially limit at least one major life activity." That "one major life activity" doesn't have to be job related. So the person wouldn't need an accommodation.

Quote:
If you know something specific about "how vague what's considered a qualifying condition is", please elaborate. It sounds like you are merely speculating
It's not speculation.

High blood pressure, diabetes, eczema, gout may not necessarily severe enough to "substantially limit at least one major life activity." But they "could" all qualify a person for Schedule A, IF a doctor will sign the letter for the person. Not all conditions and illnesses are "disabilities" or even LEAD to disability. Yet if you can find a doctor who'll sign a letter saying you qualify for Schedule A.......

The code was left intentionally vague so as not to limit the definition of disability. But, IMO, it was left soooo vague as to be meaningless.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:28 PM
 
1,491 posts, read 823,066 times
Reputation: 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
you're absolutely correct, they "could be" synonymous, but aren't always. And that's all the opening or wiggle room some people need to take advantage.

And the code that was cited in another post is NOT the code used for schedule A hiring.
Then please post or link to the correct code. Simply saying that isn't very informative or helpful. I'm no expert here, I'm trying to understand. If you know something please tell us.

Quote:
Different codes can used different criteria for the same "definition" if you will.
What's a disability for Schedule A, may not be a disability for Social Security, for example. Because while the world disability is used (we have to used words after all) -- what's a disability in one situation, may NOT be a disability in another. Although obviously the same word is used.
This is pretty much what I already said in post #4 above.


Quote:
Of course. But suppose the "disability" the person has -- OR allegedly has -- doesn't limit any duties the person has at work. The code above is not the one Schedule A. But let's say it was. That code says "substantially limit at least one major life activity." That "one major life activity" doesn't have to be job related. So the person wouldn't need an accommodation.
But they do need a job. I'm not aware that the goal is to put people into positions where they can only function with accommodation. As I understand it the goal is to employ persons with disabilities at the same rate as persons without disabilities, and we are still not achieving that in the US. Even with the abuse of the law that you seem to think is occurring, persons with disabilities have much higher unemployment rates.

Last edited by Deserterer; 06-14-2019 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:25 PM
 
20,811 posts, read 16,774,519 times
Reputation: 39033
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
you're absolutely correct, they "could be" synonymous, but aren't always. And that's all the opening or wiggle room some people need to take advantage.

And the code that was cited in another post is NOT the code used for schedule A hiring.
Different codes can used different criteria for the same "definition" if you will.
What's a disability for Schedule A, may not be a disability for Social Security, for example. Because while the world disability is used (we have to used words after all) -- what's a disability in one situation, may NOT be a disability in another. Although obviously the same word is used.



Of course. But suppose the "disability" the person has -- OR allegedly has -- doesn't limit any duties the person has at work. The code above is not the one Schedule A. But let's say it was. That code says "substantially limit at least one major life activity." That "one major life activity" doesn't have to be job related. So the person wouldn't need an accommodation.

It's not speculation.

High blood pressure, diabetes, eczema, gout may not necessarily severe enough to "substantially limit at least one major life activity." But they "could" all qualify a person for Schedule A, IF a doctor will sign the letter for the person. Not all conditions and illnesses are "disabilities" or even LEAD to disability. Yet if you can find a doctor who'll sign a letter saying you qualify for Schedule A.......

The code was left intentionally vague so as not to limit the definition of disability. But, IMO, it was left soooo vague as to be meaningless.
Iím confused. If the person is disability is not severe enough to need an accommodation, then how exactly is he taking advantage of anything? Thatís the part I donít get it
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