Attorney helping Federal and Postal Employees from all across the U.S.  
  obtain Disability Retirement Benefits under FERS & CSRS

Latest Blogs:
  OPM Disability Retirement Wait Processing Time
09/15/2014 by Federal Lawyer
What is the time it takes to process an OPM Disability Retirement application? Most of it depends upon the delays naturally encountered throughout the process itself: the length of time doctors take in compiling the medical information requested; preparation and formulation of one's Federal Disability Retirement forms, including the Statement of Disability; how long the agency Human Resource Office takes (is it through a local H.R. Office, or through a centralized district human resource office; for Postal employees, everything it submitted through the H.R. Shared Services office in Greesnboro, North Carolina); [...]
  Federal Medical Retirement: Pros and Cons
09/13/2014 by Federal Lawyer
Federal employees and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the seriousness of the medical condition begins to impact the ability and capacity to perform one or more of the essential elements of one's job, must take a pragmatic, blunt assessment of one's future -- taking into account all of the factors necessary in order to make a proper decision. For, in the end, the choices are starkly limited: Stay at one's job (often not even a real choice, given that the med condition and its impact upon one's ability to perform the essential elements of one's job has forced the question itself to be asked); [...]
  Physical and Mental Conditions in Federal OPM Disability Retirement Claims: Ahead of the Proverbial Curve
09/12/2014 by Federal Lawyer
Trends are often characterized by the actions of a few. Whether in cultural expectancies via movie moguls, fashion designers, technology innovators and convention-busters, the known so-called leaders who stay ahead of the proverbial "curve" which maintains the continuum of linear stability in a given society, often dictate the direction of an otherwise directionless future. The ivory tower of academia is another such bastion of proclivities where, if observed [...]
  Federal Disability Retirement Representation: Substance and Process
09/11/2014 by Federal Lawyer
In any bureaucratic, lengthy administrative process, one can become embroiled in the procedural aspects of an endeavor, and overlook the substantive elements which form the foundation of any case. Conversely, one can make the mistake of approaching a case and declare to one's self, "This is so obviously a good case," and take shortcuts in the process of putting together an effective and persuasive case. Either approach is one fraught with grave errors, and for Federal employees and Postal [...]
  Beginning the Federal Disability Retirement Process
09/10/2014 by Federal Lawyer
The Chinese proverb, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", is meant to remind us that looking at a process in its entirety can result in self-defeat even before starting, and every daunting journey must begin with the small, almost insignificant, effort of initiation. Facing a bureaucracy and an administrative process can feel like that metaphorical journey of a thousand miles. The multiple and complex standard forms to complete [...]
  Federal Disability Benefits: Agency Input
09/09/2014 by Federal Lawyer
Whether, and to what extent, Federal agencies will support a Federal Medical Retirement, goes to the ultimate issues of sufficiency, necessity and relevancy. Sufficiency is satisfied by the minimal act of completing the two primary standard forms which the agency is responsible for: SF 3112B (the Supervisor's Statement) and SF 3112D (Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts). [...]
  OPM Medical Retirement: Holding on
09/08/2014 by Federal Lawyer
The sense of belonging -- of the attraction of the communal hearth -- is a powerful draw, and prevents many from traveling too far from the proverbial oak tree. The inherent contradiction, for Americans, is the paradigm of the rugged individual, and the concomitant idea that this country was and is different precisely because of the type of individuals and individualism which formed the basis of this community we call country. [...]

 

read all blogs »

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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"?
Federal disability retirement is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal Employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). For CSRS employees, you must have a minimum of five (5) years of service. For FERS employees, you must have a minimum of 18 months of service.
[top]

    Who approves my disability retirement?
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), a Federal Agency, approves or disapproves all disability retirement applications.
[top]

    What is the difference between Social Security Disability and
    Disability Retirement?
The main difference is that the criteria to obtain Social Security Disability is much higher -- that of "total disability". To obtain disability retirement under CSRS or FERS, you must merely be disabled from performing one or more of the essential elements of your particular kind of job.
[top]

    Must I file for Social Security if I apply for disability retirement?
CSRS employees need not file for Social Security. If you are under FERS, you must file for Social Security disability during the application process. In recent months, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has indicated that Social Security may be filed after a person's disability retirement application has been approved, and the individual has been separated from service.
[top]

    Must I be totally disabled in order to file for disability retirement?
No. You only need to be disabled from performing one or more of the essential elements of your particular kind of job.
[top]

    Must my disability be caused by my job?
No. Unlike Workers Compensation cases, where the issue often involves whether or not your job caused your injury or disease, or whether it occurred on the job, disability retirement has no requirement of being "job-related".
[top]

    Can I work even if I am approved for disability retirement?
An individual is allowed to collect disability retirement, and work at a different job and earn up to 80% of what his or her former position pays currently. Thus, by way of example, an individual who was making $50,000.00 per year, could go out and get a job making $40,000.00 per year, as well as continue to collect his or her disability annuity.
[top]

    When should I file for Disability Retirement?
Because the disability retirement application process takes a considerable amount of time (average length, about 6 - 8 months), an employee should file as soon as he or she knows that the disability will last for at least 1 year. If you have been terminated or separated from Federal Service, you have only up to 1 year to file for disability retirement. If you fail to file within that 1 year, you lose your right to disability retirement forever. So, to recap: You have 1 year to file from the time you are separated from service, and your disability must last for at least 1 year.
[top]

    Can I continue to work while waiting for OPM to approve my case?
Yes. Most people, because of financial considerations, must continue to work. If the Agency has light duty, or if the individual can do some, but not all, of the essential elements of the job, then continuation in the job is a viable option.
[top]

 

 

 


Copyright © 2014. Robert R. McGill, Esquire. All rights reserved.
Toll Free 1-800-990-7932 - OPM Disability Attorney