Federal Disability Attorney: Serving Federal Employees Nationwide

Are you a federal employee with a disability that is impacting your ability to work? Are you facing discrimination due to your disability? Do you need to file for early retirement? The federal disability attorneys at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer can help.

Need Legal Help? Contact Us. Call (202) 964-4878

Our attorneys have helped thousands of federal employees secure disability benefits.

As a federal employee with a disability, disabilities, or health setbacks can make every workday feel like an uphill battle. It’s difficult enough to cope with the challenges of a disability, let alone complete the duties of your job, perhaps facing harassment or discrimination in the workplace due to your condition. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important to seek the help of a federal disability lawyer.

federal disability attorney

at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer, We have been helping federal employees with legal matters since 2013 and serve clients throughout the United States. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by federal employees dealing with disabilities and have a proven track record of success in handling these types of cases. We encourage you to read the testimonials of our previous clients to learn more about the quality of our services.

If you are a federal employee with a disability and need legal representation, contact us today or call 202-964-4878 to schedule a consultation.

How a Federal Disability Attorney Can Help You Get Your Benefits

A federal disability attorney is essential in securing your benefits, thoroughly assessing how your disability impacts your work, and clearly explaining your legal rights and options. We handle all the paperwork for your claim, advocate for you during appeals and hearings, and continue to offer support and guidance, even after claim approval.

This is especially relevant for federal employees who might seek out a federal disability attorney for various reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Reasonable Accommodation: You are disabled and not receiving the necessary support or accommodations at your federal workplace to continue your employment effectively. Reasonable accommodation is your right as a federal employee.
  • EEOC Claims: You are experiencing discrimination at work due to your disability, affecting your work environment and personal well-being. You may need to file a federal EEOC claim.
  • FERS/CSRS: You are unable to continue working due to your disability, and there are no reasonable accommodations that can be made, necessitating a move to secure your federal retirement benefits under FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) or CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System).

We recognize that navigating the legal system can be particularly daunting for those who may not be familiar with the intricacies of federal disability laws. That is why we are committed to being not just your federal disability lawyer but also your advocate and guide. Whether it’s pursuing a reasonable accommodation, filing EEOC claims for discrimination, or securing your rightful benefits under FERS/CSRS, our team is equipped with the knowledge, experience, and compassion to support you every step of the way.

Disability Accommodation Requests for Federal Employees

The first step a federal employee may take when dealing with a disability at work is to request reasonable accommodations. What is reasonable accommodation?

Reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to the work environment, job duties, or application process that allows an individual with a disability to perform essential job functions. It’s important to note that reasonable accommodations must be provided unless it would cause undue hardship to the employer.

As a federal employee in America, you have the right to reasonable accommodation for a disability. Whether your disability affects your senses, dexterity, mobility, or even a mental health condition, if it can be overcome and job duties completed with the help of reasonable accommodation, then your agency is required to provide it, barring very limited exceptions.

Unfortunately, not all supervisors and agency authorities are understanding or cooperative. If you find yourself denied reasonable accommodation, or if discussions about possible accommodations are outright refused, your rights are being infringed upon. This is where legal action comes into play, and the Law Office of Justin Schnitzer stands ready to defend your right to a welcoming and accommodating federal workplace.

Examples of Reasonable Accommodation for Federal Employees

Reasonable accommodations can range widely, including, but not limited to, providing interpreters, modifying job functions, altering workspaces, offering flexible working hours or telecommuting options, and utilizing technology and tools tailored to individual needs.

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For assistance, reach out at (202) 964-4878.

Accommodation Claim Guidance from a Federal Disability Attorney

Despite what your federal employer might believe, they do not have the final say on your accommodation. It must be effective and not cause “undue hardship” to the agency. A federal employment attorney can help prepare requests, appeal denials, propose alternate accommodations, and file complaints with the EEOC to hold employers accountable for refusing to accommodate.

Not only that, but every step of the process should be clearly documented by your Agency so that it can be reviewed and appealed. However, as an employee, you can make a request in any format, whether verbally or in writing. A federal employment lawyer can help you prepare a request, appeal a denial, and research and propose alternate accommodations outside the denied solution. They can then help you file a complaint with the EEOC to ensure your employer is held legally accountable for refusing to accommodate your disability.

The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer is staffed with skilled attorneys who provide dedicated legal services for federal employees nationwide. Contact us today or call 202-964-4878 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve your legal goals.

Requesting a disability accommodation is supposed to be a team effort between you and your employer. It involves an interactive process where both sides work together to understand the disability and find suitable accommodations that work for everyone.

  1. The employee requests a reasonable accommodation.
  2. The employer requests limited medical information if the need for the accommodation is not readily apparent. 
  3. The employee provides limited relevant medical documentation to prove the need for an accommodation due to disability.
  4. The employee and employer will try to agree on the appropriate reasonable accommodation solution.
  5. The employer will approve or deny the proposed accommodation
    • If approved, the employer will then implement the accommodation
    • If denied, a written denial, including a reason for denial, must be filed.

Common Issues in Disability Accommodation Requests

In an ideal scenario, the interactive process for requesting accommodations goes smoothly. However, this is not always the case. Some common issues that can arise include:

  • Employer Denies Without Valid Reasons
    • Employers may refuse accommodation requests without legitimate hardship reasons, often due to unwillingness to make necessary adjustments.
    • Such denials can be challenged by appealing to the EEOC as a violation of federal employee rights.
  • Unknown Solutions
    • At times, a viable solution exists that neither party is aware of, requiring additional research or the advice of a disability specialist.
    • This scenario suggests the need for openness to exploring new technologies or job adjustment strategies.
  • Unreasonable Counteroffers
    • Negotiations can fail if the employer makes counteroffers that don’t effectively accommodate the employee’s disability, acting as an indirect form of denial.
    • These counteroffers do not provide a genuine solution and may need to be contested.
  • Approval Without Action
    • An employer might agree to an accommodation on paper but delay its implementation, using stalling tactics to avoid making the agreed-upon changes.
    • This situation is difficult to appeal, but documenting the delay can prove a rights violation, necessitating legal action.

What to Do If Your Accommodations Are Denied

When your request for reasonable accommodation as a federal employee is denied, it’s not the end of the road. You have several strategies at your disposal to pursue a fair resolution. Expertise from a federal disability lawyer can help you navigate every step effectively.

  • Appeal the Denial
    • Consider filing a formal appeal against the denial, especially if you need a specific accommodation that was refused on the grounds of undue hardship. Appeal to your supervisor or higher authority as needed.
    • A lawyer can guide you on the right people to approach and strengthen your case, signaling your readiness for legal action if necessary.
  • Research and Propose Alternate Accommodations
    • If a direct appeal does not seem feasible, consider other possible accommodations. This might involve finding other solutions that address your employer’s concerns or exploring recent technological advances.
    • Assistance from a lawyer can be invaluable here. They can help you identify and articulate alternative options that might be more acceptable to your employer.
  • File a Complaint with the EEOC
    • As a last resort, filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be a powerful step. This is particularly relevant if your employer remains unyielding and you believe their refusal constitutes unlawful discrimination.
    • Your lawyer can handle the complaint process, ensuring your case is properly presented, and your rights are vigorously defended.

For personalized, high-quality legal support, call 202-964-4878 to schedule a consultation and explore how we can assist you in securing the reasonable accommodations you are entitled to as a federal employee.

Protecting Your Rights Against Disability Discrimination

If you are facing discrimination in your federal workplace because of your disability, it’s crucial to recognize that you are not alone, and there are specific steps you can take to address this injustice. Whether you have already filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or are considering it, understanding the nature of workplace discrimination and the actions you can take is the first step toward safeguarding your rights.

Recognizing and Addressing Workplace Discrimination Due to Disability

Workplace discrimination against individuals with disabilities can manifest in various forms, including but not limited to:

  • Direct Discrimination: Treating an employee less favorably because of their disability compared to others.
  • Indirect Discrimination: Policies or practices that disproportionately impact employees with disabilities, even if not intended to discriminate.
  • Failure to Accommodate: Not making reasonable workplace or job functions adjustments to accommodate an employee’s disability.
  • Harassment: Creating a hostile work environment for employees with disabilities through unwelcome comments, jokes, or actions.
  • Retaliation: Taking adverse actions against an employee for filing a discrimination complaint, requesting accommodations, or participating in an investigation.

Discrimination can lead to various adverse actions by federal employers, including, but not limited to;

  • Wrongful Termination: Losing your job because of your disability or the request for reasonable accommodation.
  • Inaction: Failing to respond or take necessary steps to accommodate an employee’s disability, affecting their ability to perform work effectively.
  • Unfair Performance Evaluations: Receiving negative performance reviews based on factors directly related to a disability or the lack of accommodation.
  • Misconduct Investigations: Being subjected to investigations for alleged misconduct that is directly or indirectly related to your disability or the request for accommodation.

Taking Action Against Disability Discrimination

If you believe that you are facing discrimination in your federal workplace due to your disability, it’s essential to take action immediately. Some steps you can consider taking include:

  1. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all interactions, requests for accommodations, and instances of discrimination or adverse actions.
  2. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an attorney specializing in federal employment law and disability discrimination. They can provide guidance on your rights and the best course of action. You can call us at 202-964-4878 to schedule a consultation.
  3. File or Follow Up on Your EEOC Complaint: If you haven’t already, file a complaint with the EEOC. If you have filed a complaint, stay engaged by providing any requested information and following up regularly.
  4. Explore Mediation or Settlement: In some cases, mediation through the EEOC or direct settlement discussions with your employer may offer a resolution without the need for a prolonged legal battle.
  5. Prepare for Litigation: If other avenues do not lead to a satisfactory resolution, litigation may be necessary. Your attorney can help you understand the process, build your case, and represent you in court.

Facing discrimination due to a disability is not only challenging but can also feel isolating. However, laws and regulations are in place to protect you, and by taking informed steps, you can fight back against unfair treatment. If you are a federal employee facing discrimination, we can help. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case and explore your options.

Securing Your Future Through Disability Retirement

If you are a federal employee grappling with a disability that severely limits your ability to perform your job, it may feel like you are facing an insurmountable challenge. The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) offer options for those who find themselves unable to fulfill their job duties due to chronic conditions. Here’s what you need to know about navigating disability retirement through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and ensuring your rights and future are protected.

Understanding OPM Disability Retirement

OPM disability retirement provides a lifeline for federal employees who can no longer perform their job functions. This program not only offers financial support until the standard retirement age but also contributes to the growth of your retirement fund during this period. It’s designed to aid those whose medical conditions are not expected to improve, making continued employment impossible.

Qualifying for OPM Disability Retirement

The first step is to assess the severity of your disability. It’s crucial to have medical professionals who can corroborate your inability to work. If your doctor agrees that your condition precludes you from performing your job duties, you might be a candidate for OPM disability retirement.

However, it’s also important to consider whether a reasonable accommodation could allow you to continue working or if you are capable of performing a different job within the federal government. Remember, you are still eligible to work in another federal position, provided it doesn’t exceed 80% of your current salary.

Responding to OPM Disability Retirement Denials

If your application for OPM disability retirement is denied, you have 30 days to request reconsideration. This is a critical period, and acting swiftly is paramount.

If you are still employed, reapplying is also an option. The reconsideration process is generally quicker and allows for the introduction of new evidence. Should the reconsideration be unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

This avenue is particularly noteworthy because, unlike many other appeals processes within the government, it permits the submission of new evidence.

Immediate Steps: Taking Action Today

  • Speak with an Attorney: Consult with our attorneys who specialize in FERS disability and understand how the OPM evaluates cases can help you determine the best course of action.
  • Assess and Document: Ensure healthcare professionals thoroughly document your medical condition, underscoring the impact on your ability to work.
  • Explore All Options: Before applying for disability retirement, consider all possibilities, including reasonable accommodations or alternative employment within the federal system.
  • Act Quickly If Denied: If your initial application is denied, remember the 30-day window for requesting reconsideration. Consult with a specialist promptly to prepare your appeal.

If you find yourself facing the difficult decision of applying for disability retirement due to a chronic condition, it’s important to remember that options and support systems are in place to assist you through this transition. By taking informed steps and seeking the right assistance, you can navigate this challenging period and secure your financial future.

Top Questions to Ask a Federal Disability Attorney in Your First Consultation

  • Do you specialize in handling federal disability claims for federal employees?
  • Can you explain the process of filing for federal disability benefits and what can I expect?
  • What is the best way to communicate throughout the case?
  • What fees do you charge for your services, and how are they structured?
  • Are there advantages to hiring a federal disability attorney near me versus nationwide?
  • Do you specialize in handling appeals or denials of federal disability claims?
  • Are there any additional benefits for which I may be eligible?

Book Your Consultation with a Federal Disability Lawyer

Regardless of where you find yourself in your fight to receive the support you deserve with your disability, the team at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer is here to help.

We have been helping federal employees with legal matters since 2013, and we serve clients throughout the United States. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by federal employees dealing with disabilities, and have a proven track record of success in handling these types of cases. We encourage you to read the testimonials of our previous clients to learn more about the quality of our services.

You can either contact us online today or call 202-964-4878 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you.