Monthly Archives: October 2011

Federal Disability Retirement Myths: Pt. 2

“I have to stop working to apply for federal disability retirement.”

This is not true. As a matter of fact a very large percentage of federal employees will continue to work until the day that their disability retirement claim is officially approved.

Remember that the Office of Personnel Management is determining whether or not you are capable of continuing to perform your job, not capable of any activity. It is the claimant’s burden to prove that they cannot do their own job and the employing agency must then show ability to accommodate.

Federal disability retirement benefits can be the right solution for so many injured federal employees. Consult with a professional about whether it makes sense for you.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Federal Disability Retirement Facts: Part 1

This series will counter our other ongoing series, Federal Disability Retirement Myths. I will examine little known facts regarding how the benefits and the Office of Personnel Management work.

The first fact in our series has to do with the FERS disability retirement only. If a FERS applicant retires on disability benefits before they turn 62 years old, the annuitant will continue to accrue credible years of federal service while on the disability benefits until their 62nd birthday.

I know that sounds like a mouthful, but here is an example:

The FERS employee has 24 years of service with the federal government and is 50 years old when their disease of injury renders them incapable of continuing in their current job. Their agency is not able to offer any reasonable accommodations. Once they are approved for the federal disability retirement, they begin to draw their annuity. However, their annuity payments are made based on a disability calculation.

While they draw the disability annuity, they are separated from federal service and become retirees. During that period between their retirement and the day they turn 62, they FERS clock keeps ticking. In our example, the claimant has 12 years before they turn 62. Therefore, on their 62nd birthday, their retirement gets recalculated as if they had continued to work in their position until that day. They would receive benefits based on a 36 year employment history and even include the cost of living adjustments.

Learn more about federal disability retirement at our free informational website.

If you have questions about how your benefits work and want to have a free case evaluation with a federal disability retirement attorney, visit Harris Federal.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Success Story: USPS Clerk in California

N.B., a 46 year-old woman from California, had worked for the U.S. Postal Service beginning in 1984. During her years of service, she worked as a Letter Sorting Machine operator and then as a Nixie clerk. She had a long history of little tolerance for repetitive manual work activities. Her symptoms dated back to the late 1980s.

She had undergone several long periods of disability, had her work hours restricted, and had been treated extensively with both simple and surgical measures. Her conditions included bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, disc degeneration, radiculopathy, and a disc bulge with sciatic nerve root compression.

She applied for medical disability retirement on her own, but was denied. She hired Harris Federal Law Firm to file her appeal. N.B. was awarded medical disability retirement from the Office of Personnel Management as a result of Harris Federal’s reconsideration submissions.

Congratulations N.B.!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Federal Disability Retirement Myths: Pt 1

Unfortunately, because so little is known about the Office of Personnel Management by most of the general public, a lot of misinformation is available on the internet.

Many federal employees who are considering federal disability retirement turn to websites or friends who are trying to help when their local attorneys are unaware of the rules and regulations. It is heartbreaking to hear a federal employee tell their story and learn that avoidable mistakes were made because of misinformation.

This series of blog posts is designed to try to debunk some of the common myths and bad information that is commonly found on the internet.

The first myth that we are going to cover is:

If I am drawing OWCP payments and then I am approved for OPM disability, OWCP will stop paying for my medical bills pertaining to my on the job injury.

This couldn’t be any more incorrect. The Office of Workers Compensation Programs must pay for any and all medical bills stemming from an accepted work related condition. They must continue to pay for those medical expenses for the life of the injury. If you are left with permanent problems, then the OWCP is required to pay those benefits for the rest of your life.

If you develop a medical condition as a consequence of an already accepted OWCP condition, even if you have already switched to OPM federal disability benefits, you can have that new consequential injury added to your OWCP claim and the OWCP is now responsible for the care of that condition as well.

You can receive OPM monthly benefits, continue your health and life insurance and earn an income on while OWCP continues to pay for your medical care regarding your accepted medical conditions.

Stay tuned to this series to learn more about the common misconceptions related to the federal disability retirement benefits. Visit Harris Federal to speak with a professional in a free consultation. More free information is available here, a free info site.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,