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2014

Blog Posts in 2014

  • GAMES APPELLATE REVIEWERS PLAY: HOW TO WIN YOUR RECONSIDERATION!

    Hint: All the games examiners play that we discussed in the last post, also make their decisions erroneous! In this space, we will discuss the requirements of a successful reconsideration motion, and why an attorney is your best bet to obtain it. The most important point to note after the previous post, is that all of the tricks claims examiners play that we mentioned, constitute what is called ...
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  • From The OPM Disability Victory Files!

    We recently assisted a federal firefighter with his FERS disability claim. He suffers from advanced Crohn’s disease , which has resulted in the surgical removal of his entire large intestine. As a direct result of his debilitating symptoms, which include chronic abdominal pain and discomfort and chronic fatigue, he is no longer able to perform the highly physical functions of a firefighter. ...
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  • From The OPM Disability Victory Files!

    We recently assisted a federal social worker with his FERS disability claim. He suffers from severe s ensorineural hearing l oss – a condition that began in early childhood. Although he was able to perform all of the essential functions of his position when he was originally hired in 2010, his hearing impairment steadily worsened over time such that by late 2013, he was experiencing great ...
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  • What is the Bruner Presumption and How Can it Help You Get Federal Disability Retirement

    The Bruner Presumption. In a Federal Circuit court case, Bruner v. OPM , 996 F.2d 290 (Fed. Cir. 1993) the Court held that the bottom line under Bruner is that “the government’s action in separating an employee for disablement produces a presumption of disability that serves to shift to the government the burden of production. The government must come forward with enough evidence that a reasonable ...
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  • V.A. Title 38 Doctors and Nurses Need Special Legal Protection

    Are you a V.A. doctor or nurse who is facing potential or actual discipline? If so, you have very unique and special legal needs. Most V.A. employees, and most federal employees are hired under Title 5 of the United States Code. With that hiring authority Title V federal employees retain many civil service legal benefits. For example, a Title V federal employee who is removed for cause can often ...
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  • What's Special About our Firm's FERS and CSRS OPM Disability Representation

    What sets us apart in terms of OPM Disability Representation is that we treat our clients like we would our own applications. We do not submit piles of random medical documentation and hope for the best. Instead, our firm works together with your doctor to draft a letter to OPM that specifically addresses all of the main elements that OPM is seeking on federal employee OPM Disability applications. ...
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  • From The OPM Disability Victory Files!

    We recently assisted a federal occupational health technician with her FERS disability claim. She is suffering from several debilitating back conditions, including severe lumbar and thoracic sprains and degenerative disc disease . Because these conditions are the direct result of a work-place injury, she is currently receiving OWCP benefits. Realizing that her injuries are of a permanent nature ...
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  • Reasonable Accommodation vs. OPM Disability

    As I have stated before, the disabled federal employee if often caught between a rock and hard place. Frequently a federal employee suffers from some form of disability and requires an accommodation to allow him or her to perform the essential functions of his job. But what happens when the accommodation either does not work, is not granted, or the federal employee’s mental or physical condition ...
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  • FMLA Strategies for Federal Employees - Part IV

    What do you do when you reach the end of your Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 12-week rope? One thought is to request a Reasonable Accommodation on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or ADAAA. That’s correct! In addition to your federally guaranteed 12 weeks of FMLA leave you can request more leave as a reasonable accommodation. In fact, that may be a very smart thing to do. If you do so and the ...
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  • The Federal Employees Guide to Protecting Your Employment While Out of Work for an Extended Illness

    When you, the federal employee, are faced with an illness that will require you to take extended leave, the agency provides you with several options to accommodate your leave request. Of those options, the one you should choose first is to use your sick and annual accrued leave. When that runs out you may want to seek out your agency’s Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (normally called VLTP, but ...
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  • Federal Removal Charges: Excessive Leave vs. Medical Inability to Perform

    What happens when your federal agency decides that an employee has taken too much leave? If the agency wants to follow federal law they have a few choices. The first option the agency can choose is to remove the employee for Medical Inability to Perform the Essential Functions of His or Her Job. Another option available to the agency is to take disciplinary action against the employee for ...
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  • Excessive Leave vs. Medical Inability to Perform

    So you are a federal employee who has taken a lot of sick, annual or FMLA leave. In fact, you maybe have taken LWOP or have been marked AWOL. What happens when your agency says they are not willing to be patient anymore??? Did you know that as a federal employee you have a due process right in your job? What that means is that the federal government cannot just fire you without taking some type of ...
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  • From The OPM Disability Victory Files!

    We recently assisted a federal criminal investigator with her FERS disability claim. This employee was/is suffering from post-concussion syndrome as the result of an automobile accident, which is causing her to experience significant cognitive impairment , frequent migraine headaches , and an impaired ability to balance (while standing, walking, etc.). Because these symptoms directly interfere ...
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  • GAMES APPELLATE REVIEWERS PLAY: RECONSIDERATIONS

    If many injured federal employees find their initial case adjudications complex, the realm of FECA appeals must seem as understandable as our changing weather patterns. However, properly analyzed in context, these appeals are not as arbitrary as they may seem. I will address each level of appeal, and the common pitfalls found at each stage. Reconsiderations must be filed within one year of the ...
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  • From the OPM Disability Victory Files!

    We recently assisted a federal attorney with his FERS disability claim. This gentleman was/is suffering from anxiety , depression , and a cognitive disorder that causes both short-term and long-term memory impairment . Unable to perform several of the complex, cerebral functions of his position, we worked closely with both his agency and physician to assemble a compelling, well-organized ...
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