Federal OPM Disability Retirement Attorneys Serving Clients Nationwide
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) manages the civilian employees of the United States government. They oversee the health insurance, retirement accounts, and recruitment for a massive workforce of over 2 million people. When an organization handles the affairs of so many people, customer service can be a challenge or sometimes fall through the cracks. Simple tasks like filing a request can be both difficult and overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with OPM system requirements. The attorneys at Pines Federal only work with federal employees, so we have many years of experience navigating the unique challenges of working with a large bureaucratic agency like OPM.
If you are in jeopardy of losing your retirement or disability rights, we may be able to help you. Are you trying to qualify for federal retirement or disability benefits, but you’ve left your government job? You may still be entitled to OPM Disability Retirement benefits. For more information and to have your cases reviewed by our team, reach out to our Federal OPM Disability Retirement Lawyers in Houston at (800) 801-0598 to schedule a consultation.
Who is Eligible for OPM Disability Retirement?
All federal employees are eligible for disability benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement Service (CSRS) once they have accumulated 18 months of service for FERS or 5 years under CSRS. All disability retirement applications must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Only those federal employees who were hired before 1987 are under the CSRS, though they may switch to the FERS.
Unlike Social Security Disability, you do not need to be totally disabled from working to receive OPM Disability Retirement. If a physician determines you are disabled from performing at least one essential function of your position of record with the federal government, then you likely qualify. Further, your disability need not have resulted from a job-related injury or disease. Our federal employment attorneys can evaluate the specifics of your case and recommend the best way to proceed.
- Qualifying for OPM Disability Retirement
- Obtaining a Doctor’s Letter for OPM Disability Retirement & Mental Disability
- Can I Still Receive OPM Disability Retirement if I Was Denied Social Security Disability?
- How Long Does OPM Take?
What Does the OPM Consider Proof of a Disability?
Having a disability, whether mental or physical, is a deeply personal matter. With few exceptions, federal government job applicants and employees are not required to disclose their disabilities. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal contractor employers only to invite their job applicants and employees to disclose, voluntarily, their disability status.
If you are living with a disability and feel that your employer has no need to know, then you can rest reasonably assured that you won’t have to disclose your disability. If you wish to have a non-competitive hiring process or require certain kinds of accommodation, you will need to file proof of your disability.
According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the following are acceptable forms of proof for a disability:
- Statements or letters on a physician’s/medical professional’s letterhead stationery.
- Statements, records, or letters from a federal government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.
- Statements, records, or letters from a state vocational rehabilitation agency counselor.
- Certification from a private vocational rehabilitation or other counselor that issues or provides disability benefits.
Can You Continue to Work and Receive Benefits?
Another distinguishing characteristic of OPM Disability Retirement is that you can continue to work even while your application is pending or while receiving benefits. This is true even if you are placed on light duty. At Pines Federal , we make you aware of these details and more as you consult with us and we guide you through your claim.
Certain special circumstances require the benefit of our more than 60 years of collective experience, including:
- Drafting reports on mental, medical, or other disabling conditions that may prevent you from performing an essential part of your job.
- Knowing how to deal with or address preexisting conditions.
- Keeping you eligible for performing work tasks unrelated to your current position of record.
- Moving you toward a federal disability retirement annuity that can pay you a portion of your salary for the remaining years of your working life up to age 62.
- Preparing doctor’s letters correctly and submitting according to federal employment law.
- Providing you with the best possible chance of having your application approved, thus avoiding delays in compensation.
We work closely with you to draft the various components of your disability application, making sure you meet all application requirements. In addition, we know how to draft your request to your employer and address any objections if they claim that it would cause an undue hardship on the employer.
Handling OPM Disability Cases 50+ Years
Our Houston attorneys have decades of experience dealing with OPM Disability Retirement cases. Our goal is to help you obtain approval of your claim at the initial application stage so you can avoid the stress of filing time-consuming appeals.
Rest assured, however, that if you are denied at the initial stage for any reason, we are well equipped to assist you with the reconsideration appeal (with the OPM) and/or the appeals with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Fill out the application form below, or call us today for a case evaluation of your OPM Disability Retirement case.
Contact us at (800) 801-0598 to begin consulting with our skilled federal employment attorneys today. We serve clients both in Houston and nationwide.