Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing

The Lawyers for Federal Employees

Federal employees have unique rights unlike other employees, and many of those rights are governed by specific laws that are unique to federal employees. At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of experienced federal employment lawyers is dedicated to helping federal employees understand and protect their rights.

Just like other employees, federal employees can face an array of challenges. When these challenges require you to file a lawsuit, an administrative complaint, or a claim for benefits, it is important that you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side.

The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing has experience with all types of legal issues affecting federal employees, including disability claims, discrimination and harassment, whistleblower claims, retaliation, wrongful termination, and other adverse employment actions.

If you are a federal employee, the process for protecting your rights is different than for most employees in the private sector. It is important that you have an attorney with specific experience in federal employee law, not just general employment law.

Our practice is directly focused specifically on federal employee law.

Enforcing your rights as a federal employee frequently involves navigating various layers of bureaucracy.

Additionally, it can often be challenging to determine which agency is responsible for your specific type of claim and what process that agency requires you to comply with.

The Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing has experience working with numerous agencies across the federal government regarding federal employee issues. These issues can include complaints or claims involving:

When dealing with claims before these agencies, even small mistakes, such as missing filing deadlines, failing to gather adequate supporting documents, or filing a claim with the wrong agency can be costly.

Having an experienced federal employee lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing, our team of federal employment attorneys is passionate about helping federal employees with any legal issues they may face. If you need help pursuing benefits you are entitled to or protecting your rights against wrongful conduct, contact us today.

How We Can Serve You

Meet Aaron Wersing

Federal Employee Attorney

Aaron Wersing is the founder of the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D Wersing PLLC. His practice focuses solely on assisting federal employees in a broad array of litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Wersing’s practice includes the evaluation and resolution of a diverse variety of federal employment matters.

Meet Ellen Sprovach

Managing Attorney

Ellen Sprovach, Esq. is a board-certified managing attorney here at FEDLAW.

Meet Jacquelyn Trevino

Senior Attorney

Jacquelyn Trevino, Esq. is a senior attorney here at FEDLAW.

Meet Leah Badri-Moradi

Attorney

Leah Badri-Moradi, Esq. is a federal employment attorney here at FEDLAW.

Meet Patrick J. Paradise

Attorney

Patrick J. Paradise is a federal employment attorney here at FEDLAW.

Client Testimonials

  • I can’t say enough good things about Mr. Wersing. He was dedicated to my case and because of his dedication he won my case. I was lost without him. I went to many attorney’s and all of them told me they were unable to help me because the government was to hard to fight against, but not Mr. Wersing. He knew his stuff . If your looking for an attorney who treats you like a person and just not like another number, Mr. Wersing is that attorney. He knows his stuff and will fight for your rights. I can never thank him enough.

    - Sandy | EEOC
  • Aaron Wersing is at the very top of every attorney I have met or dealt with. He is a patient, pleasant and professional attorney who is mission oriented and dedicated to get the job done. He helped me through a very arduous disability process allowing me to keep my self dignity and respect. I cannot imagine working with any attorney other than Aaron Wersing when applying for Fers Disability or any other employment & labor, employee benefits or workers compensation issues.

    - Howard M. | FERS Disability
  • Aaron is not only confident in getting things done, he is very compassionate and caring. He is a true fighter for what he believes is right. My case was a bit complicated but Aaron never backed down. Applying for OPM can be daunting and personal. Aaron has the ability to keep you focused and on track which means he understands how emotional it can be for somebody that has to retire due to medical conditions. Because of Aaron my OPM was approved the first time and we didn't have to do a reconsideration. If you want a good attorney that will fight for you, Aaron is your man. I will be forever thankful.

    - Tammy | FERS Disability

Our Federal Employment Law Library

Empowering Federal Employees To Know and Exercise Their Rights

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OPM Processing Time for Federal Disability Retirement Application

There are many unique benefits to working for the federal government, including retirement options. Yet, some tradeoffs come with these programs, including a sluggish pace that often plagues bureaucracies. Federal disability retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is among those unique benefits federal employees can get, but delays complicate the process. The average OPM processing time for all retirement applications is only one to two months. Yet, OPM federal disability retirement applications frequently take six months to a year. If you need help applying for federal disability retirement or dealing with OPM retirement processing delays, contact the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing PLLC. Our firm focuses on federal employment, so we know how to cut through the layers of federal bureaucracy. How Do You Apply for Federal Disability Retirement? If you believe you qualify for federal disability retirement, you can apply two ways. First, you can apply through your agency if you are still employed there. If you are no longer employed at the agency, you apply directly with OPM. You must apply within one year of separating from federal employment to receive benefits. Qualifying for Federal Disability Retirement To qualify for federal disability retirement, you must: Your agency must also certify that it cannot accommodate your disability. Although you need not reach a specific age before applying for FERS disability benefits, your age may affect your benefits. Until age 60, your benefits may end if: Additionally, OPM may require you to attend periodic medical exams to confirm you are still disabled. Applying for Federal Disability Retirement When you apply for FERS disability benefits, you must also apply for social security disability benefits. In addition, your federal disability retirement application must include Forms SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement, and SF 3112, Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement. Form SF 3112 includes several parts to be filled out by different people, including:  Coordinating the pieces of SF 3112 can be challenging, especially if you no longer work for the agency. If you are running up on the one-year application deadline, you can submit Forms SF 3107 and 3112A and provide contact information for the individuals to complete the other portions of Form 3112.  How Can You Make the Process More Efficient? The most effective way to ensure your OPM disability retirement application is processed as quickly as possible is to follow the application instructions carefully. Once your application is out of your hands, you have little control over processing delays.  To the extent possible, review the information and documentation provided by others on Form SF 3112. Sometimes, you can identify mistakes or errors and have them corrected before the application reaches OPM.  Because getting OPM federal disability retirement depends on the effect of your disability, it is particularly essential to ensure your physician provides detailed information. Many agencies will instruct you on which doctor or doctors to see, and you may be unable to go to your primary care physician. It can be complicated to trust employer-recommended physicians in the same way as your primary care doctor, but ensuring the information the signing doctor provides supports your claim is crucial. Get Help Filing Your Disability Retirement Application  Requesting disability retirement on your own can lead to missteps that drag out the process. With the help of the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing PLLC, you can submit an application that is as complete as possible. We can guide you through what to include and how specific to be. We can also help you verify that the others involved in SF 3112 are providing the support you need for your application. Contact us today to learn more.

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Can You Lose Federal Retirement Benefits for Disciplinary Actions?

Federal employees enjoy many competitive benefits with the government, including a generous retirement package. However, if you are a federal government employee facing possible disciplinary actions, then you may be understandably concerned about your federal retirement benefits. How do disciplinary actions affect your retirement benefits? The good news is that most disciplinary actions do not affect your federal retirement. However, there are a few exceptions. The ultimate answer depends on your specific situation and whether you have committed one or more specific federal crimes. That said, if you or a loved one are facing disciplinary actions, then there are other things at stake besides your retirement benefits. Take action immediately. Consult one of our dedicated federal employment attorneys at the Federal Employment Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC. Understanding the Basics of Federal Retirement Benefits Virtually all federal employees are eligible to receive retirement benefits under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). The FERS retirement package consists of three components. The first part is the Thrift Savings Plan, which is essentially a 401k program that the government administers. You can choose to contribute a portion of each paycheck to your TSP account, and your agency will make a matching contribution. Once you reach a certain age, you can draw on your TSP funds. The second retirement component is the FERS Basic Benefits Plan, a defined benefits plan that takes a part of your pay to guarantee you a monthly retirement pension. Social Security benefits make up the third and final portion of the plan. Your final retirement benefits depend on several factors, including your average pay, years of service, and whether you have a disability.  Can My Retirement Benefits Be Interrupted for Disciplinary Action? If you are terminated from a federal job, you are eligible to receive a lump-sum payment for your unused annual leave. Additionally, you may qualify for unemployment benefits in your home state. It’s important to note that most federal employees also have the right to appeal their termination. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is a federal agency that allows employees to appeal disciplinary actions that they have received from their employer. The Board also occasionally resolves key questions regarding federal employment law, including issues revolving around federal retirement benefits and disciplinary actions. In Morrison v. Department of the Navy, the Board made clear that federal retirement benefits are “available upon separation from federal service, even when the separation is agency initiated.” Consequently, if you are facing removal from federal service for alleged misconduct, you do not need to resign to “save” your retirement benefits.  How Can Federal Employees Lose Their Retirement Benefits? It is very difficult for federal employees to lose their retirement benefits. 5 U.S.C. § 8312 states that you need to be convicted of committing one or more specific crimes for this to happen. Specifically, there are only about 20 crimes that can cause you to lose your federal retirement benefits, including: As you can see, all of these crimes are very serious and rarely occur. So as long as you do not receive a conviction for any of these crimes, your retirement benefits will be safe.  What About Federal Employees Outside the Federal Employee Retirement System? FERS covers all employees who began work with the Federal government after 1987. However, Federal employees who began their service before 1987 receive retirement benefits under a different plan, the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Although CSRS offers different retirement benefits to eligible federal employees, you cannot lose those benefits because of disciplinary action except for the reasons stated above. Want to Learn More About How to Protect Your Federal Career? It’s reassuring to know that your federal retirement benefits are safe when you are facing disciplinary action. However, disciplinary actions are still very serious. They can leave a black mark on your career and reputation, lower your income, and jeopardize your job prospects. That said, if your employee is proposing disciplinary action against you, you need to consult a federal employment attorney right away.  Here at the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, we take pride in protecting federal employees. We care deeply about the outstanding men and women who serve the government every day. That means we’re committed to helping them defend their livelihoods and careers. If you are facing disciplinary action, we can work with you to build your case and protect your rights. We can also aggressively negotiate with your employer and take action against them for retaliating or discriminating against you.  Even if you’re not sure you have a case, come see us right away. Don’t wait. Call 833-833-3529. You can also send us a message online. 

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OPM Federal Disability Retirement vs. Social Security Disability

Whether it came on suddenly or built up over time, having a disability brings many changes, especially if it means you can no longer make a living. Current and former federal employees may qualify for disability benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Social Security. As a result, this leaves many disabled federal employees wondering which disability coverage to apply for. Depending on how severe your disability is and your work history, you may qualify for one, the other, both, or neither.  Navigating the federal bureaucracy to determine what to apply for is challenging for even the savviest federal employees. The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing PLLC is here to help if you have questions about federal employees and social security benefits. We focus exclusively on federal employment issues and can guide you through applying for the benefits you need.  What Is Federal Disability Retirement? Federal employees covered by FERS may qualify for federal disability retirement. You apply for federal disability benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  To qualify, you must have worked at least 18 months in a covered federal job, have become disabled, and apply while still employed by a federal agency or within one year of separation.  To be disabled for FERS purposes, you must be unable to: Applying for federal disability retirement requires the assistance of several other people. In particular, you will need your supervisor, the agency, and a doctor to assist you. If you are not employed with the agency, particularly if you have been separated for more than one month, you may need to submit your application directly to OPM. You should include contact information for the individuals who need to corroborate the information. What Is Social Security Disability? The Social Security Administration (SSA) operates two programs allowing disabled individuals to collect regular monthly payments. These programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. SSI and SSDI have some differences, but both rely on the same definition of disability.  Qualifying for SSI or SSDI requires you to prove you meet the SSA’s definition of disability. If you are blind, you typically qualify. Otherwise, you are disabled if:  Activities must involve significant physical or mental tasks to be substantial. Gainful activities may include work: In addition, to qualify for SSI disability, you must have limited income and resources. For SSDI, you must have worked enough years in a covered job. You can qualify for both SSI and SSDI at the same time.  Can You Get FERS Disability and Social Security? If you are a current or former federal employee with a disability, you may qualify for both OPM FERS disability retirement and Social Security disability. You are required to apply for Social Security disability when you apply for FERS disability. Because the SSA uses a stricter definition, you may qualify for FERS disability without qualifying for SSI or SSDI. Your benefits may be offset if you qualify for more than one program. Generally, the government offsets part of the disability benefits you receive based on the years you worked in employment not covered by FERS. The exact offset depends on many factors and can change yearly. Comparing OPM Federal Disability and Social Security Disability If you are a current or former federal employee who is disabled, you may qualify for OPM federal disability, Social Security disability, or both. Under Social Security, your disability must impact your ability to work. Additionally, the programs are run by different federal agencies.   Whether you qualify for either program, both, or neither depends on the unique circumstances surrounding your work history and disability. The Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing can help you understand the unique relationship between federal employees and social security benefits. We can identify which program or programs work best for you and guide you through the application process. Contact us today to discuss the situation with our experienced, knowledgeable staff and attorneys. 

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