I have a psychiatric disability. Is there any downside to applying for federal employment under Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u)?

Asked over 1 year ago - Washington, DC

I can document, through my doctor, that I have a psychiatric disability. For federal employment under "Schedule A hiring authority," 5 CFR 213.3102(u) says -- I think -- that I should send in a letter with my application saying I have a psychiatric illness, because apparently this helps my federal employment chances. Is this true -- or am I hurting my federal employment chances if I reveal that I have a psychiatric disability (bipolar, DSM 296.4)? What kind of lawyer would know this?

Thank you.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many employers, including federal employers, discriminate against people with disabilities. Usually, but not always, there is no benefit to disclosing your disability unless you seek reasonable accommodation or if others may mis-interpret behavior caused by your bi-polar disability.

    5 C.F.R. 213.3102 is a special procedure used in a very limited way. A better bet would probably be to apply for federal (or any) employment and do what you can to obtain a job on your merits.

    If you do obtain federal employment, you may want to know the process for complaining about disability discrimination. The process for filing a discrimination complaint against the federal government is complicated and counter-intuitive. Because of its special characteristics, I have written a guide to help federal employees navigate the system. Please see my Avvo guide to the EEO complaint process for federal government employees: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/summary-of....

    twitter.com/MikaSpencer *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more
  2. Elizabeth E de Bagara

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Each agency will set up its own criteria for increased hiring of those with disabilities, but usually these focus on people with limited physical capabilities. A documented psychiatric illness, while debilitating, is usually less likely to be included in agency criteria used to boost hiring in certain categories.

    An administrative lawyer who is familiar with the Office of Personnel Management guidelines and the federal employer that you are applying to would be able to tell you more. I've linked the questions that employers can ask about any disability below.

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