What to Consider When Hiring a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer

Mar 14, 2016

federal disability retirement lawyer

What to Consider When Hiring a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer

The decision to hire a federal disability retirement lawyer should not be taken lightly. Having legal representation is extremely beneficial when building your case; however, you want to be sure you hire someone who has experience helping federal workers. Research your options thoroughly when choosing who to hire to represent your case. The following is a list of attributes you should consider when hiring a federal disability retirement attorney.

Hire an Attorney Who Has Experience With Federal Disability Retirement Claims

Few attorneys are familiar with the federal system, so it’s important you hire an attorney who has experience in the field. Navigating the claims process with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), or if your claim is denied twice, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), is difficult and tedious. If you are going to hire a legal representative for your claim, you want to be sure it’s someone who knows the system, and is well established when it comes to representing federal workers. This is considerably more important than simply hiring a local attorney because they are local. Too many federal workers make the mistake of hiring a local general practice attorney to represent their case, rather than finding someone who concentrates their practice in federal disability retirement. Just as you wouldn’t want to hire a neurosurgeon for their first surgery, you should seek a federal disability retirement lawyer that has represented many successful cases.

Harris Federal Law Firm has offices in Lexington, KY, Washington D.C., and Austin, TX, but we successfully represent clients from all across the country. In this area of law, experience is especially important. Don’t be afraid to search outside of your local area when trying to find an attorney who has extensive experience with federal disability retirement claims.

What Are The Fees? Do They Offer Union Discounts?

Most people who are hiring a federal disability retirement attorney anticipate having to leave their current job, which may cause financial stress. Don’t be shy when asking your attorney about legal fees. Some attorneys charge a flat fee to take your case, while others may charge by the hour. If the attorney charges an hourly fee, ask them to provide an estimate on how much time they will spend working on your case. Hiring an attorney is an investment, and you should feel confident you’re getting your money’s worth. Some law firms also offer special discounts for union members. If you’re a member of union, you should definitely inquire about any cost reductions.

Are They a Good Communicator?

You want your Federal Disability Retirement lawyer to be someone you can trust, and to establish that level of assurance, you need to have an open dialogue. Your legal representative should be able to restate your goals clearly and concisely, and be responsive to any questions you may have. You need to be confident your attorney is representing your best interest. If the lawyer seems distracted, forgets key aspects of your case, or won’t return your phone calls, you may want to seek legal representation elsewhere.

Do They Have Former Clients Who Are Willing To Describe Their Experience?

Thanks to the Internet, it isn’t difficult to find client reviews and testimonials. Most law firms have Google+ and Facebook pages, which include client reviews. Do your research and see what former clients have said about the firm. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the attorney if they have former clients who will be willing to speak with you over the phone or in person. Most clients who have had a positive experience are excited to share their story with prospective clients.

They Should Be Passionate About Helping Federal Workers

A lawyer who is passionate about what they do, is generally more knowledgeable about the law, aims for success and will be better equipped to handle your disability retirement case.  Legal work can at times be wearing and arduous, you want your attorney to be someone who loves their career, and is committed to the mission of helping federal workers. If the federal disability retirement lawyer doesn’t seem to have a sense of accomplishment for assisting federal workers, they are not the attorney you should hire.

If you think you may qualify for federal disability retirement, and would like to speak with a disability case manager,  fill out an INQUIRY FORM for a free consultation.

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