Many times during the free initial consultation, I am often asked about whether or not, or how helpful, legal representation would be in an OPM Disability Retirement case. To ask an attorney such a question is often unhelpful, for there is always the question as to how much “self-interest” a disability attorney has in answering such a question.
What I can state, however, is the following: Remember that everyone believes that his or her case is a “sure thing” — this is natural, because the very individual who is filing for disability retirement is the one who is suffering from the chronic medical condition, and so it is a very “personal” matter, and a sense of objectivity is difficult to maintain in these matters.
Second, remember that when you hire an attorney, you are not just hiring someone who “knows something” about FERS Disability Retirement; instead, you should be hiring that lawyer for his or her reputation, his knowledge of the administrative & legal process with the Office of Personnel Management and the Merit Systems Protection Board, and how well he is “thought of” by OPM (i.e., how long has he been practicing in the field of Federal Disability Retirement law, does he know the people at OPM, and more importantly, does OPM know him/her?).
Finally, always keep in mind that, while attorney fees can be expensive, you must always do a cost-benefits analysis, and look at the benefit you will be receiving (or not receiving) if you do or do not hire a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer. OPM Disability Retirement benefits are essentially a means of securing one’s financial future, and as such, the benefit to be secured is important enough to consider hiring an attorney.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire