OPM Disability Retirement Lawyers

OPM Disability Retirement claim
Federal disability retirement application

OPM disability retirement, also known as FERS disability retirement, is a benefit granted to all Federal employees who can’t just continue working efficiently due to a medical condition.  An OPM disability retirement lawyer should be able to help you to get your Federal disability retirement claim approved.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the Federal agency which handles all FERS medical retirement claims under both the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

OPM disability benefits

  • Monthly income (about 40% of your highest salary)
  • Lifelong benefit (it converts to OPM retirement at age of 62)
  • Health and life insurance government contributions (typically more than $1,200/month paid in your behalf to insurance companies)
  • Work outside Federal employment with limited legal restrictions (The 80% rule)

FERS disability qualifications (basic)

  • 18 months of Federal service
  • A health condition or injury which prevents efficient service to your Agency
  • Such injury or medical condition is expected to last 12 months or more

Federal employee’s typical concerns

  • How difficult is it to get FERS disability retirement benefits?
  • What if I am not really “totally” disabled?
  • What conditions automatically qualify for OPM medical retirement?
  • How much money will I get every year?
  • How long will OPM take to process my claim?
  • Do I really need to hire a FERS disability retirement attorney?
  • Primary physician support
  • Agency or the Postal Service support

Important issues that should be of concern

  • Statute of Limitations
  • Time limits to file for appeals if claim is denied
  • Legal requirements in the “real world” (case laws)
  • Medical treatments and medication regimens
  • Doctor familiarity with Federal employee disability law
  • Lawyer experience and specialization
  • Backpay issues

Issues that should be of little or no concern

  • I must be “totally” disabled
  • If my medical condition or injury is job related (e.g. it occurred while working)
  • If my medical condition or injury pre-date Federal employment
  • If I cannot find an OPM disability retirement lawyer near me
  • Getting an application example (each case is different)
  • Supervisor’s statements (an standard form)
  • Hiring an attorney who guarantees to return his legal fees back to you if he or she can’t get you qualified.  (You primary focus should be on securing a future income).
  • Knowing the “magic words” (from a rumor that circulated in public forums years ago)

Long-term preparation and strategies

  • Accommodation and light duty assignments
  • Medication and medical treatment
  • Doctor treatment and support
  • Workplace politics and personal notes
  • Getting familiar with the relevant law (including case laws)
  • Financial planning including an emergency contingency plan in case your condition gets even worse
  • Doing some research at your own pace to find out who are the best attorneys in this area of law

Best strategies for immediate filing

  • Be aware of the Statute of Limitations
  • Talk with your primary physician
  • Hire a qualified FERS disability retirement attorney
  • Be aware of legal codes and case-law (real) requirements before form filing
  • Gather and examine your latest medical records

Pitfalls to get your OPM disability retirement claim approved

  • Statute of Limitations (important)
  • Accommodation
  • Situational Disability
  • Doctor’s familiarity with OPM
  • Lawyer specialization or experience with OPM disability laws

OPM disability retirement lawyer considerations

  • Finding a FERS medical retirement attorney near me
  • Not finding a local specialized attorney
  • How much FERS disability retirement lawyers charge
  • If you cannot afford to hire a specialized Federal disability retirement attorney
  • How an OPM disability retirement lawyer will help you

If you can’t afford to hire an attorney

  • Get familiar with time limits to file for your appeals
  • Study relevant U.S. code and case laws
  • Do your homework (specialized lawyer research) anyway
  • Have a Federal disability attorney “stand by” so if your application is denied, you’ll know where to get help

Other OPM disability claim considerations

  • OPM disability calculation
  • OPM processing time
  • Getting OPM claim approved
  • FERS & SSDI Offset
  • FERS & VA benefits
  • Backpay issues
  • The 80% rule
  • Medical conditions symptoms and diagnosis
  • The 1-Year rule: Medical Conditions
  • The 1-Year rule: After separation


We will be addressing all these issues in more detail in the near future.