Harvey has worked in the field of OPM Disability Retirement Law for 30 years of the more than 50 years he has been a lawyer. He was a pioneer in the field and has won the enormous bulk of his cases on either initial application, reconsideration, or appeal. He has also successfully handled hundreds of federal employment cases such as accommodation, removal, etc.
Nowadays, he spends most of his time working on this blog, providing advice to disabled federal employees, and writing his memoir.
Fill out the contact form on the right - we will get in touch!
Harvey had a long career in civil rights (and lots of other things) before working in Disability Retirement. If you want to hear about Harvey's first disability retirement case, you can listen to the podcast below.
1965-JD University of Miami School of Law
1972-JSD Candidate, Columbia University School of Law
District of Columbia Bar
Attorney, Civil Rights Division, US Office of Economic Opportunity
Attorney, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Attorney, National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
Attorney, National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence
Special Counsel, US Senate, Committee on the District of Columbia
Attorney, US Department of Justice
Director, American Bar Association, Special Committee on Crime Prevention and Control
Director, Courts Task Force, National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards
Assistant Professor of Law, (Detroit & Baltimore)
Private Law Practice
1978 to Present, Washington, DC
Harvey Foments Inspector General's Investigation into OPM Injustices
Harvey detailed countless OPM failures, injustices, and unfair practices in a 54 page report to the Inspector General. Harvey's report instigated an investigation by the Inspector General. The IG concluded that many if not all of Harvey's claims were correct. The investigation led to a reform of OPM practices. You can read more about the investigation here.
Private Practice Before Disability Retirement
Moscow Party is a podcast about one of the many security clearance cases Harvey handled. It features KGB Agents, monopoly, lesbian affairs, and much much more! An exciting story completely unrelated to disability retirement, but we hope you enjoy nonetheless. Listen below.
CBS AIDS in the Military Video
Before turning to Disability Retirement Law, Harvey was an attorney for members of the US Military, including some who were diagnosed with AIDS and then faced a legal battle with the US Government. In 1982, Dan Rather's CBS Nightly News reported on a number of cases Harvey won for service members with AIDS.
Harvey briefly discusses the issue at the end of the clip.
Jeremy is the webmaster. He runs the blog, keeps track of who is contacting us, and helps Harvey write his memoir. If you are interested in his work, check out his website at www.jmneff.com.
And here is a little interview that I, Harvey, did with Jeremy back in his school days when he first came to work for me.
OPM DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICANTS ARE ROUTINELY CHEATED OUT OF DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS BY ADJUDICATORS WHO ARE UNTRAINED IN THE RELEVANT LAW AND MEDICINE
I have evidence that OPM denies disability retirement benefits based on a bogus law—…
Everyone who calls me knows they are sick or injured. But the question is, does their sickness or injury qualify them for OPM Disability Retirement?
How the Government Defines Disability for OPM Disability Retirement
How long will it take to prepare my application for submission to OPM, and how long thereafter can I expect to wait until OPM approves my application? Also, how long will it be before I get any money?
ANSWER: That part of the application that you must complete yourself (Applicant's Statement, Form 3112 A) requires several hours' work. However, getting the "Physician's Statement" (Form 3112 C) into just the right shape often takes weeks and sometimes months. Thereafter, the agency's bureaucracy can take an additional six to eight weeks before the application can be transmitted to OPM.
The timing of OPM's approval appears related largely to happenstance and apparently the whim and fancy of those running the show. For instance, OPM has no procedure whatsoever for expediting applications due to financial need. It claims to expedite the applications of the terminally ill on an ad hoc basis, irrespective of financial need, but refuses to expedite the applications of those threatened by financial ruin.
In my experience, case approval time varies from 10 weeks in a tiny minority of potentially news-sensitive cases (e.g. those concerning AIDS), to an average of five or six months. Some applications, however, languish inexplicably for a year or more, and have required complaints to the Inspector General to get the cases processed.
It may take up to several months, after winning, before you receive any money from OPM. By this time, if you've stopped working and are on LWOP, you will be owed a good deal of annuity back-payments. Usually, OPM makes an initial lump sum distribution of part of the back-payments owed. Thereafter, there may be another lump sum distribution of any other back-payments owed, usually together with the first of the regular monthly annuity payments.
What determines the date from which the monthly annuity begins?
ANSWER: Assuming that you are disabled at the time, your annuity will start from either (1) the day after your government pay ceased; or (2) the day after you were separated from government service. If your government pay ceases and then starts up again, the resumption will cut off your right to collect disability retirement for the period during which your pay had ceased. Therefore, make sure that once your pay has ceased for any considerable time, that you do not receive any further pay from your government job before finally being separated.
Example: Peter, a government employee, applied for disability retirement and went on LWOP status for nearly a year, pending approval of his application. At his boss' urging he returned to his government job part-time for two weeks. After he won disability retirement, OPM refused to pay him his annuity for the nearly one year he had been out of work. By going back to work for the government, Peter forfeited his retroactive disability annuity for the nearly one year period. He would have been awarded the annuity for that period if he had not worked those two weeks for the government or if he had worked for a non-government employer instead.
I have represented Federal government employees and Postal workers seeking OPM Disability Retirement for a long time. I also represent them in agency leave problems such as AWOL, FMLA, LWOP, etc. Leave problems often come along with being sick and disabled. I have stuck to this area of the law for more than 30 years of the 50 years I have been a lawyer.