FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer

I'm Attorney Justin Schnitzer. Our commitment is to represent federal employees in cases of employment violations just as we would want to be represented, all with the aim of achieving decisive victories.

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If you are leaving your federal career behind due to injury or illness and need help securing FERS disability benefits, FERS disability attorney Justin Schnitzer is here to help. Call our team at 202-964-4878 today for your free consultation. We serve federal employees nationwide.

The FERS disability retirement lawyers at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer can help you secure your FERS disability benefits. Call us today at 202-964-4878 for free, no-commitment consultation.

fers disability retirement lawyer
FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer, Justin Schnitzer

Leaving your federal career behind due to injury or illness can be heartbreaking. 

One day, you’re a dedicated civil servant carrying out your duties; the next, you cannot perform useful and efficient service in your current role. 

If you’re such an employee, you may be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). 

However, applying for these benefits and dealing with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) can be intimidating and confusing. Furthermore, Federal Disability Laws can be complex, making this process emotionally straining and uncertain. 

Our dedicated FERS disability retirement lawyer is here to be your advocate and guide, helping you secure the benefits you deserve. We’re more than your legal representation. Contact us today; we’re about compassion, support, and peace of mind. 

How Can a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer Help Me Secure My Disability Benefits?

Applying for FERS disability benefits can be incredibly complex and frustrating, especially when alone. Having an experienced federal employment lawyer assist you at every step can significantly improve your approval chances. 

Here are some of the critical ways a FERS disability lawyer can help:

  • Interpret the laws, policies, procedures, and criteria for federal disability retirement. This includes staying current on changes and legal precedents impacting your case.
  • Review your case specifics, pinpoint, and take the necessary steps to address any potential weaknesses in your claim or eligibility issues.
  • Handle all communications and information requests from the OPM on your behalf, preventing delays.
  • Ensure you meet all the technical eligibility requirements, such as length of service, accommodation attempts, and applying for Social Security Insurance.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical documentation from your doctors, including clinical records, test results, narrative reports, and opinions on your disability, restrictions, and prognosis.
  • Prepare effective legal briefs highlighting the facts and evidence that prove your disability prevents valuable service in your position.
  • Identify potential grounds for reconsideration or appeal if OPM denies your FERS claim.
  • Represent you in appeal hearings and aggressively argue your case before an Administrative Law Judge.
  • Negotiate with OPM at any process stage as needed to get favorable outcomes.
  • Represent you in filing appeals, including hearings before an Administrative Law Judge.

Having an expert FERS disability retirement lawyer greatly reduces the burden on you as the applicant. Contact us and let us handle the intricacies of the process while you focus on your health and recovery.

We Serve Federal Employees Nationwide

If you are a federal employee and your rights are being violated, we want to help you.

Schedule a Consultation

or, give us a ring at (202) 964-4878.

Attorney Justin Schnitzer

Who is Eligible for FERS Disability Retirement?

The following eligibility criteria apply for you to qualify for FERS disability retirement benefits:

You must: 

  • Be enrolled in FERS and have at least 18 months of creditable civilian service with the federal government.
  • Have a disease or injury that has caused deficiencies in your service for your current position. This includes performance, conduct, or attendance problems resulting from your medical condition.
  • Your medical disability must be expected to last at least one year.
  • Show that your department cannot reasonably accommodate your disability or reassign you to an existing open position you are qualified for within your commuting area and at the same grade/pay.
  • Apply for disability retirement before separating from federal service or within one year after separating.
  • Apply for Social Security disability insurance.

Meeting the FERS eligibility requirements and having the medical evidence to prove your disability are essential to getting approved. Contact a knowledgeable FERS disability lawyer who thoroughly understands these criteria to ensure you have the documentation OPM needs.

What is the Process for Applying for FERS Disability Retirement?

The application process for FERS disability retirement includes the following steps:

  1. Complete the required forms – SF 3107 (Application for Immediate Retirement) and SF 3112 (Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement Application).
  2. Obtain medical documentation from your physicians describing your condition, diagnosis, treatments, and prognosis and supporting how your disability prevents you from doing your federal job.
  3. Ensure your federal agency fills out the required Sections B, D, and E of SF 3112 explaining your accommodations, availability for reassignment, and position requirements.
  4. Submit the completed disability retirement application and all supporting documentation to OPM directly or through your agency.
  5. OPM will review your claim and decide to approve or deny your FERS disability retirement. They’ll send you a decision letter after the review process is over.
  6. You can request reconsideration within 30 days and submit additional evidence if denied. You can also appeal a denial to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

This multi-step application process must be complete, compliant, and positioned for approval. Contact our experienced FERS lawyers to help you navigate these complex forms and procedures to ensure you don’t miss any step.

Recommended Read for You: How to Apply for Federal Disability Retirement

Common Reasons for FERS Disability Claim Denials

Given the stringent criteria and evidentiary requirements, it’s not uncommon for FERS disability claims to get denied initially. 

Some common reasons for denial include:

  • Insufficient objective medical evidence – more detailed records, doctor narratives, test results, and medical opinions are needed to establish your condition’s severity and impact on your ability to work.
  • Not meeting one or more eligibility criteria – insufficient length of service, not exploring all accommodations fully, or failure to apply for Social Security disability insurance.
  • Incomplete or erroneous forms/paperwork – missing agency certifications necessary details or incorrectly filled out forms.
  • Administrative processing mistakes – errors in calculating service time, reviewing medical evidence, or applying criteria.
  • Treatment non-compliance – evidence showing that you’re failing to follow your doctor’s treatment plans and instructions. 

Our well-versed FERS disability retirement lawyer understands these requirements.  Get in touch to avoid these pitfalls from the outset to sharpen your application or use the appeals process to correct any issues.

What Expenses Should I Expect When Working With a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer, and How Are They Typically Paid For?

Most FERS disability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. You have no upfront or out-of-pocket costs, as the lawyer only collects a fee if your FERS claim gets approved. The law limits this fee to 25% of your first check, which can’t be more than $7,200.

Some additional typical expenses can include:

  • Costs of obtaining medical records and doctor narratives.
  • Fees for appeals if your claim gets denied initially. This may involve additional legal briefs.
  • Expenses related to attending any requested medical exams or appeal hearings.

The contingency fee covers the lawyer’s services and other costs. Our lawyers ensure you have expert help without financial barriers.

Common FAQs About FERS Disability Benefits

At The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer, we’ve made quick answers for common questions about FERS disability benefits. Since every FERS disability case has its unique aspects, the most reliable way to fully understand your rights as a federal employee and how to protect them is to speak with an experienced federal employment attorney.

Got a Question We Didn’t Cover?

Contact our experienced FERS disability attorneys today.

Let the attorneys at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer review your case and guide you through the best steps to take care of your career and your work-life balance. Contact us for your initial case evaluation.

What types of medical conditions or disabilities qualify for FERS Disability benefits?

A diverse array of physical and mental health conditions may potentially render you eligible for FERS disability retirement benefits. These conditions encompass:

  • Orthopedic problems, including back injuries, joint/muscle disorders, spinal conditions, and trauma from accidents
  • Cardiovascular diseases, including heart conditions, stroke, and hypertension
  • Neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and chronic headaches
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue
  • Cancer as it impacts the ability to work during treatment
  • Diabetes complications, such as issues managing insulin, neuropathy, vision loss
  • Pulmonary illnesses, including COPD, asthma, and cystic fibrosis
  • Kidney disease and complications, including dialysis treatments, chronic infections, and pain
  • Liver disease and complications, including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and fatty liver disease
  • Digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease
  • Surgeries with long recovery periods, including transplants and joint replacements
  • Various mental health conditions, including severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.

It’s essential to have a doctor confirm your medical condition causes deficiencies in your ability to perform your federal job duties, lasting at least one year. Contact us for an experienced FERS disability lawyer to determine if your disability meets the requirements.

How Long Does the Process Typically Take to Receive FERS Disability Benefits?

The duration of the FERS disability retirement application process varies depending on the circumstances of your claim:

  • Once your disability attorney has your case materials, completing the application takes 1-4 months.
  • OPM processing times range from 3 months to over one year, but average 6-9 months for a decision.
  • If denied, filing a request for reconsideration adds 30 days or more.
  • Appealing a denial to the MSPB can take six months to a year before a hearing.
  • If approved, it may take 2-3 months after approval to receive your first payment.

So, realistically, it can take over a year after first applying to get your FERS disability retirement benefits. Fill out a short contact form to ensure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Are There Any Specific Deadlines or Time Limits I Need to Be Aware of When Applying for FERS Disability Benefits?

Critical deadlines you must adhere to when seeking FERS disability retirement include:

  • Apply either before separating from federal service or within one year of separating. OPM must receive your application within one year of separation.
  • You have only 30 days from the denial letter date to request reconsideration from OPM.
  • You have 30 days to submit new evidence or a request for a 30-day extension for the reconsideration request. 
  • You must file an MSPB appeal within 30 days of an OPM reconsideration denial.
  • There are strict deadlines for filing hearing requests and continuances once your MSPB appeal is docketed.
  • There are limits on how long you can submit new evidence and filings at each stage.

Missing a critical deadline can ruin your FERS disability claim. Reach out to our lawyers, who will track all deadlines and make timely filings to keep your case on track. Don’t let a deadline technicality derail your benefits.

Do You Need to Hire a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer “Near Me”?

Unlike many other types of legal cases, you don’t need to hire a federal disability retirement lawyer “near me” to represent you in in a FERS disability retirement claim. During this challenging period, you have the opportunity to search for the most qualified federal disability retirement attorney, regardless of their location. This can greatly benefit you and ensure that you receive the best possible representation.

Your Peace of Mind, Our Priority – Call a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer Today

A disability cutting your federal career short is undoubtedly painful, and the uncertainty can feel devastating. We strongly believe that securing your FERS disability benefits is not just a legal matter; it’s a pursuit of peace of mind and financial security. 

The federal employment lawyers at The Law Office of Justin Schnitzer are dedicated to providing personalized, high-quality legal representation to 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.