Federal employees are prone to injuries too. Such can trigger disabilities to them and will render them no longer capable of executing their jobs in the usual way. When this happens, they may decide to stop being employed. They may also request for disability retirement benefits, an obligation that the federal government must comply. Legislation has made sure that federal employees receive these in appreciation for their public service.
Disability retirement is often called as OPM retirement. This is because the Office of Personnel Management determines such cases. The OPM is the federal government agency that accepts the applications for retirements. After being receiving the applications, the said office scrutinizes the applicants in order to see if they qualify for disability status. Once it approves an application, it also ensures that the benefits are released according to schedule to the former government employee.
It is important for an employee to learn about the prerequisites for getting OPM retirement benefits. Otherwise, he may not know what steps to take once he is retired for disability. Obviously, the most necessary among these is a medical certificate proving that he is already incapable of performing his tasks. However, it is not necessary for the disability to be caused by and accident related to the function of his work.
Processing an OPM retirement can sometimes take a long time and be complicated. The bureaucracy, despite the technology it uses, can sometimes mess it up. Because of this, delays happen or, worse, applications are refused for without any just reason. As a result, many former employees have to file cases just to get their benefits. It may cost them but they have to hire lawyers just to squeeze out their monetary claims from government coffers.
Disability retirement lawyers are not hired for litigation purposes. Oftentimes, disabled employees already seek their support even before they could file for retirement. This is because many of them, despite being in the service long enough, do not really know much about their privileges and obligations when they leave. Besides, the lawyers also suggest that they be allowed to operate at the initial phase. This lessens the possibility of prolonged wait for application approval.
A former employee must immediately process his OPM retirement within one year after his separation from the job. If he is not able to do so during this timeframe, his benefits will be forfeited. If he does and it is approved, he will receive regularly receive retirement benefits regardless of whether he has other sources of income or not. He is allowed to work and earn money other than the amount he will receive from the OPM.