If you are a federal employee with mental health conditions, you’re probably thinking about your financial future.
What if your condition worsens? What if you’re not able to continue your work?
In our legal work, we find that many federal employees with mental health conditions are interested in federal disability retirement. Perhaps you are in the same situation.
We’ll discuss the federal laws and regulations surrounding disability retirement and mental health conditions. For more detailed questions, it’s best to contact a qualified federal employment attorney.
Am I Eligible for Federal Disability Retirement with Mental Health Conditions?
It’s possible. There are many mental health conditions that qualify for federal disability retirement. A few examples include:
- Bipolar syndrome,
- Borderline Personality Disorder, and
Many other mental health conditions could also qualify. It all depends on whether you meet the general standards for disability retirement.
The same standards apply to federal disabilities, regardless of whether you have a physical or mental disability.
How Do I Obtain FERS Disability Retirement?
The first step is showing you have a disability. Second, you must prove your disability prevents you from doing your job. For both steps, you will need to furnish medical evidence supporting your claim.
This evidence may include medical records, doctors’ opinions, and other documentation that reveal the severity and extent of your condition.
You will probably have to explain how your disability affects your ability to perform your duties.
It’s important to know that the federal government has specific criteria for what constitutes an eligible disability. These criteria include the following:
- You must have completed at least 18 months of federal service;
- Your disability must be severe enough to prevent you from performing the essential functions of your job;
- Your medical team must expect your disability to last for at least one year;
- Your agency must certify that it cannot provide effective accommodation in your current position; and
- Your agency must also certify that it cannot reassign you to another similar position in your commuting area.
Finally, you must apply for disability retirement within one year of being separated from your job and apply for social security benefits.
Why You Should Contact a Federal Retirement Attorney for Your Disability Retirement Application
As you can see, applying for federal disability retirement is complex. For that reason, you should seek legal assistance from a federal attorney experienced in handling disability retirement cases.
An experienced federal disability retirement attorney can help you with several key tasks.
Reason #1: An Attorney Can Help You Understand the Process
An attorney can help you understand the steps involved in the application process. This includes what forms you need to fill out and what medical evidence you need to provide.
They can also advise you on presenting your case to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
With their knowledge and experience, they can guide you through the process and ensure that your application is completed correctly and efficiently.
Reason #2: An Attorney Can Maximize Your Chances of Approval
Attorneys, especially those who specialize in disability retirement cases, know the common mistakes and pitfalls that can lead to application denials.
Things like missing or incorrect information, typos, and bureaucratic demands from your agency can all lead to denials.
They can identify and address those problems before submitting your application to OPM. This helps maximize your chances of approval and avoid unnecessary delays or appeals.
Reason #3: An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights
OPM sometimes mistakenly rejects a sound disability retirement application. Other times, your agency might torpedo or impede your application.
You might even experience retaliation from your employer. In these situations, a disability retirement attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Furthermore, they can represent you in all kinds of hearings, meditation sessions, and appeals. Due to their legal training, attorneys know how to put the legal system to work for you.
Disability for Mental Illness: A Legitimate Option for Federal Employees
Am I eligible for federal disability retirement with mental health conditions? Asking this question is the beginning of your journey toward a successful federal disability retirement application.
With the right support and legal assistance, you can receive the benefits you are entitled to under federal law.
So if you have a mental health condition and are considering filing for federal disability retirement, get the help you deserve right away.
At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, our team of skilled attorneys understands the complex legal and medical issues involved in disability retirement cases.
We apply that knowledge to provide effective legal representation to our clients. We are passionate about helping federal employees struggling with mental health conditions navigate the system and get the benefits they deserve.
When you contact us for your consultation, we will take the time to listen to your concerns. We’ll answer your questions and explain your legal options.