Helping Clients Seek Disability Retirement And Other Retirement Benefits
Federal employment retirement benefits are designed to provide individuals with a financial safeguard once they reach retirement age. However, unexpected circumstances may force you to consider dipping into your retirement plan early.
If you are a federal employee with a medical condition threatening your ability to perform your job, turn to Gilbert Employment Law, P.C.. Since 2005, we have served as strong advocates for federal workers throughout the country. Our Washington, D.C., attorneys have the extensive experience necessary to help you navigate through the challenges of applying for an early disability retirement.
Applying For Fers Disability Retirement With The Opm
Our federal employment attorneys have helped thousands of employees from coast-to-coast with the complex and sometimes technically overwhelming process of filing disability retirement benefits. We encourage any Federal employee going through the process to consult with our lawyers in order to:
Federal Disability Retirement Laws: Us Code And Case Law Examples
|This section summarizes a number of current US laws and statues that the Office of Personnel Management uses to approve or deny your application for federal disability retirement benefits.
The US laws and regulations that apply to the federal disability retirement process were enacted by Congress adopted by OPM or are based on past judge-made laws or decisions .
|US Codes Applicable to Disability Retirement for Federal Employees:|
OPM Regulations Applicable to Federal Disability Retirement:
National/Global Representation of U.S. Federal & Postal Employees
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Opm Disability Retirement Faqs
The following are some Frequently Asked Questions. Most of these questions are answered in greater detail in my articles, which you may read in the section entitled Articles. However, below are some questions and answers for your convenience.
What is Federal or OPM Disability Retirement?
Who Approves my Federal Disability Retirement?
The Federal Agency which approves a Federal Disability Retirement application is the U.S. Office of Personnel Management at least, at the Initial Stage of the Process, and the Second Stage, or what is termed the Reconsideration Stage. If the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a Federal Disability Retirement application at either the First Stage of the Process, and at the Second Stage of the process, then it can be appealed to the Third Stage of the Process to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. Each of the Stages involved require a level of meticulous preparation and technical precision, and obtaining the advice, guidance and counsel of a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer is crucial in maximizing the greatest statistical probability for success. The entire bureaucratic process involves a complicated maze of statutes and regulations which have been put in place by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, with little to no explanation as to their meaning or import, and it is important to understand and comprehend the relevance and significance of each element in the process.
Third Stage An Appeal To The Us Merit Systems Protection Board
This is the Stage where you will have an opportunity to take it out of the hands of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and have it reviewed by an Administrative Judge. This is accomplished either by placing evidence in written form before the Judge, or by having a Telephone Hearing. I prefer the latter as testimony by a treating doctor, the Applicant and other witnesses proves to be a critical and effective method of providing compelling and persuasive evidence. This is effectively the last stage of the process in order to win your Federal Disability Retirement case. While there is a Fourth Stage a Petition for Review before the Full Board at the MSPB because the 3-Judge Panel has not been filled and there is therefore no quorum to allow for a review, it has become an irrelevant stage and one which cannot be relied upon.
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Which Federal Employees Can Appeal Adverse Actions To The Mspb
The Merit Systems Protection Board hears appeals in the case of a removal, a suspension for more than 14 days, a reduction in grade, a reduction in pay, or a furlough of 30 days or less for cause that will promote the efficiency of the service. Federal employees with a right to be heard include:
- Employees in the competitive service who are not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment, or have completed one year of current continuous service under other than a temporary appointment limited to one year or less
- preference employees eligible in the excepted service who have completed one year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions in an executive agency, or in the U.S. Postal Service or Postal Rate Commission and
- individuals in the excepted service who are not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service, or who have completed two years of current continuous service in the same or similar positions in an executive agency under other than a temporary appointment limited to two years or less.
Yes, a bit confusing. Our whistleblower attorneys can help determine whether it applies to you.
Understanding The Standards Of Legal Eligibility For Federal Disability Retirement Benefits
In order to prove eligibility for federal disability retirement benefits, you will need to meet the below seven qualifications:
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Obtaining Federal Disability Retirement Benefits In Albuquerque Nm
Imagine this: You are a federal employee in a secure and high-ranking position within a federal government agency based in Albuquerque, NM. You have 22 years of federal service and rarely ever miss a day of work. There are nothing but outstanding performance reviews on your record. Then suddenly, you suffer a traumatic injury. The secure life that you have been enjoying is brought to a screeching halt.
You try to continue working, but are unable to concentrate. You have great difficulty with comprehension and memory to the point that you cannot satisfactorily perform your job duties anymore, and the agency has to have a co-worker pick up the slack. Constant fatigue and headaches cause you to miss work and your attendance becomes unacceptable as well. This devastates you, but financially you cannot afford to stop working. Your family depends on your income.
All you can think is What am I going to do and how am I going to financially survive?
Applying For Fers In Albuquerque Nm
Are you a federal worker covered under FERS who has become unable to work due to a medical condition? The federal disability lawyers at Andalman & Flynn serve clients like you throughout Albuquerque, NM and can draw on our extensive experiences and knowledge of the FDR system to help you resolve your claim.
We can answer any questions you may have and represent you through all stages of the initial application process and any necessary appeals, including going before the Merit Systems Protection Board . Our attorneys can also represent you on other disputes that may arise out of your health problems such as:
- Proposed removals and other disciplinary actions
- Claims for reasonable accommodations
- Use of leave
- Continuation of health insurance
We understand that applying for FDR in Albuquerque, NM can be a complex process. The application includes numerous forms that can be difficult to properly piece together. At Andalman & Flynn, our federal disability lawyers are knowledgeable in all aspects of the process. We are committed to helping you put together all the necessary pieces as a complete and accurate packet for submission to the Office of Personnel Management . Not only will we work with you to complete all the forms and statements, but we will work with any other necessary offices that could be involved with your claim, including your:
- Legal offices
- Office of Personnel Management
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Federal Employee Disability Retirement Issues
By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq., www.berrylegal.com
Unfortunately, many federal employees develop serious medical conditions during their career that make them unable to perform the duties of their position and make it important for them to consider filing for disability retirement through the Office of Personnel Management . This article discusses these issues.
Tags: disability retirement approval, disability retirement for federal employees, disability retirement lawyer, federal employees, lawyer, Office of Personnel Management , OPM, OPM disability retirement, opm disability retirement lawyer
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Whats The Difference Between Workers Comp And Disability Retirement Benefits
Workers compensation benefits for federal employees are administered by the Office of Workers Compensation Programs . Employees are eligible for benefits only if they have suffered a work-related injury or illness. Workers comp pays for medical bills and time off from work, among other things.
The Office of Personnel Management , on the other hand, is the federal agency that administers disability retirement benefits for employees of the federal government. Employees who are disabled and no longer able to work may apply for early retirement, regardless of whether the disability is work-related.
Although the two systems are separate, an injured worker may be eligible for both. This happens when an employee is injured at work, develops a disability that is not expected to improve, and can no longer return to his or her old job.
Three: Appeal To The Mspb
If your claim is denied by OPM at the reconsideration stage, you have the right to pursue an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board . Our legal team can take timely action to pursue your appeal and continue to advocate for the benefits you need. We know the type of evidence required to support your claim and are skilled at MSPB hearings.
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Filing For Disability Retirement And Workers’ Compensation
While you may file for both disability retirement benefits and workers comp benefits, you cannot collect both at the same time. If youre approved for both, you will have to choose which benefits you want to receive at any given time. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, though. If you choose to receive disability retirement benefits, your medical treatment will still be covered through workers comp. You can also still receive a scheduled award through workers comp for any permanent disability that you have.
If you are eligible, its often a good idea to apply for both types of benefits. Because workers compensation may offer more benefits to start, you may want to collect workers comp benefits while keeping your disability retirement benefits on inactive status. Then, if your workers comp benefits were to terminate, you would have the disability benefits pre-approved as a back-up source of income.
However, the best strategy will depend on the facts in your particular case. To maximize your benefits, you should consult with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Who Pays For A Fers Disability Lawyer
If you choose to retain a federal disability lawyer, you will generally be responsible for the legal fees, although these fees are recoverable from the federal government in certain situations. When meeting with attorneys, its essential to ask the right questions. One of these questions should address the attorneys fee structure.
Each firm sets its own fee schedule, so you should ask for information regarding an attorneys fee schedule up front. Some attorneys bill by the hour while others charge monthly flat fees or charge by the task. If you need assistance with your initial application, the attorney fees may be lower than if you need to proceed with an appeal.
Some attorneys may be able to work out alternate payment arrangements as well, which is another reason its crucial to be honest during your initial consultations.
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Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Difficult Road Ahead
The challenge of the day ahead may not even be known, yet. It is like the parable of the young man who thought that the days challenge was comprised of taking a test that he had barely studied for upon waking, a tornado crumbled his house and he lost all of his belongings his fiancé broke up with him and ran off with his best friend his parents informed him that they were financially ruined and could no longer pay for his tuition and on top of it all, his dog and only remaining friend ran off with his now ex-fiance, preferring her company to his.
But that he could have seen the difficult road ahead as merely the test-taking task reality was much harsher than the imagined problems, and yet his imagination and worry about the test for which he was unprepared caused greater damage by robbing him that morning of a sense of peace.
Now, take the counter-parable: The same young man, but he woke up worrying about potential calamities that might occur: Maybe his fiancé didnt really love him and would run away with his best friend perhaps his parents will encounter financial difficulties and leave him penniless it could turn out that a tornado could hit his town and destroy everything and what if his dog ran off, never to return again?
What Diseases And Injuries Are Considered Disabilities
If you find yourself on this web page right now, you probably already know a bit about the Federal Employees Retirement System .
Under the FERS retirement disability program, workers who find themselves injured or otherwise disabled receive employment security benefits if they are unable to work due to their condition.
Sometimes the benefits are temporary, but sometimes they are permanent. Furthermore, the Americans With Disabilities Act prevents employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of disability.
Some of the most common disability-related questions we get from our clients at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing have to do with what the FERS and ADA consider a disability.
Those questions include things like:
- Is cancer considered a disability under FERS?
- Is cancer a disability under the ADA?
- Where can I find a full list of covered disabilities and injuries?
If you have any of these or other related questions, youre in the right place. We put together this page specifically to help you assess whether your injury qualifies you for disability benefits.
Jump to Topic
- Cancer, and
- Immune system disorders.
This list encompasses a very broad range of different medical conditions and disabilities. At the end of the day, the most important element in qualifying for disability is demonstrating your inability to function at work as you would without the disorder.
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