Featuring Harvey Friedman, Produced by Jeremy Neff.
Harvey Friedman gives you the inside scoop on what disability retirement is all about. It is based on his over 30 years of experience representing federal employees seeking disability retirement from OPM. The Do's, The Don'ts, The Why's, Wherefore's, the What Not To's and the How To's.
Podcast #3: A Good Doctor is the REAL Key To Winning: What makes someone eligible for Disability Retirement, and how do they prove it? Find out why getting a supportive doctor is the most important step in pursuing Disability Retirement. Transcript.
Podcast #2: Don't Worry So Much About The Fee - You're Gonna Make Out Like A Bandit: Hear how to find a good lawyer - other than Harvey (he's retired!). Harvey covers how you can make out like a bandit with disability retirement and whether a lawyer's fee is worth it. Transcript.
Podcast #1: Harvey's First Disability Retirement Client (1985!): Our first attempt at a podcast. It is about Harvey's first client in the Disability Retirement field, who taught him what Disability Retirement even was! And it is a strange story indeed. Hope you enjoy.
Summary: OPM Disability Retirement requires an applicant to submit a “checklist” form. This checklist form is entirely redundant, but poses a challenge because OPM requires someone at the applicant’s federal agency to fill it out. …
OPM’S DISABILITY RETIREMENT DIVISION RARELY RESPECTS AN APPLICANTS LEGAL RIGHT TO BE REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL THEY REFUSE, EVEN THOUGH IT IS OPM’S POLICY TO RESPECT THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL.
Every client of mine signs a “Designation of Representati…
ANSWER: Get yourself a lawyer with solid experience in disability retirement cases. If you lost the first round going it alone, you are even more likely to lose this second and final round. It is inherently more difficult to win a legal matter on appeal (reconsideration is an appeal) than it is to win it the first time around. Asking OPM for reconsideration is the same as accusing it of having made a serious mistake and asking it to correct that mistake. I don't know too many people who take kindly to such requests, let alone people insulated by a huge bureaucracy.
Winning on reconsideration requires first that someone really considers your argument and second that your argument meets that person's standards. You will not meet OPM's standards if you merely point out all of the errors they made. Instead, you will have to demonstrate how those errors prejudiced OPM's decision against you, since errors per se are not grounds for reversal. That's tough to do, especially when OPM bureaucrats often see their mission as trying to find reasons to deny disability retirement rather than to grant it. You need a good deal of experience to be successful against this mind-set.
ANSWER: Yes. Attorney's fees related to petitioning for disability retirement are usually tax deductible. However, the particular rules under which the deduction may be taken depend on the circumstances so that the tax savings will vary. Thus, you should check with a tax professional.
I have focused on 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.