Attorney Blog

Turning legalese into legal-ease

Federal Disability Retirement Applications for Deceased Claimants

June 20th, 2018

By Peter Casciano, Esq.
(301) 244-4523
pcasciano@a-f.net
Maryland Disability Lawyer, LTD Lawyer, Andalman & Flynn Potential clients sometimes call with questions about whether FERS disability retirement applications can be filed for an employee who is deceased.

The Federal Circuit has squarely declined to require OPM to process a disability retirement application filed by the administratrix of a deceased federal employee’s estate. The court has found that the right to file an application for retirement benefits is personal to the employee alone and that the employee’s death ends the possible filing period. See Oshiver v. OPM, 896 F.2d 540 (Fed.Cir.1990).
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New Attack on Federal Workers’ Rights

June 19th, 2018

By Elliott Andalman, Esq.
301-563-6685
eandalman@a-f.net

On Friday, May 26, 2018, President Trump issued three executive orders placing new limits on the rights of federal workers. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 5 Things to Consider Before Filing for Divorce

June 15th, 2018

By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
301-563-6685
avann@a-f.net

1.  Don’t Be Emotionally Charged When Contemplating Divorce

Going through a divorce in an emotional process, but you shouldn’t make decisions about your divorce when you are emotionally charged. This means that before making a decision regarding your divorce, such as divorce filing, settlement of an issue, division of an asset, custody, or support determinations, these decisions should not be taken lightly and should be given ample time to contemplate and ensure you know what you are doing. Making a decision about your divorce while emotionally charged is never a sound choice. You should always take time to digest what is happening to ensure you aren’t just making a decision because of your emotions. Read the rest of this entry »


Do I Have to Pay My Cheating Spouse Alimony?

June 12th, 2018

By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
301-563-6685
avann@a-f.net

Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons people divorce is due to adultery.  Some couples can work through it, many can’t. While there are a variety of issues that can be contested between divorcing spouses, it is common for the issue of alimony to be a hot topic of contention, especially if the cheating spouse is seeking alimony.
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Can the Parental Rights of a Rapist Be Terminated in Maryland?

June 8th, 2018

In February 2018, the Maryland legislature unanimously passed the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act (“Act”). The Act was signed into law on an emergency basis during the 2018 legislative session and, consequently, took effect upon the Governor’s signing of the Act.

The Act establishes a court process for the termination of the parental rights of a respondent who has been criminally convicted of or been civilly found by clear and convincing evidence to have engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct which results in the conception of a child. A “respondent” is the person against whom an action for termination of parental rights is filed under the Act.
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Supreme Court Case Could Alter States’ Ability to Regulate Long-Term Disability Benefits

June 5th, 2018

By Elliott Andalman, Esq.
301-563-6685
eandalman@a-f.net

Long-term disability benefit denial decisions are appealed to the federal court. Unfortunately for disabled individuals, the law that controls LTD appeals, ERISA (Employee Retirement Security Act) normally requires that courts uphold those denials unless the decision is arbitrary and capricious or is not supported by any substantial evidence in the administrative record. That difficult burden of proof placed on employees seeking to reverse a denial decision in court is the result of the insurance contracts containing clauses that specifically grant the insurance company “discretion” to interpret the contract and determine eligibility for benefits.
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Before Filing an LTD Claim, Call an Experienced Lawyer First

June 1st, 2018

By Elliott Andalman, Esq.
301-563-6685
eandalman@a-f.net

Many employees have LTD (long-term disability) insurance as a benefit of employment. It is a very valuable benefit. However, many employees make the mistake of assuming it will pay benefits just because they are too sick to work.
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OPM Director Proposes Substantial Cuts to Retirement Benefits

May 30th, 2018

By Elliott Andalman, Esq.
301-563-6685
eandalman@a-f.net

On May 4, 2018, the Director of OPM, Jeff Pon, appointed by President Trump, proposed $143.5 billion in cuts to the compensation package of federal employees. As reported in the Washington Post, in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the OPM Director made four proposals to significantly cut retirement benefits “to bring federal benefits more in line with the private sector.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Importance of Pre-Disability Earnings

May 2nd, 2018

By Peter Casciano, Esq.
(301) 244-4523
pcasciano@a-f.net
Maryland Disability Lawyer, LTD Lawyer, Andalman & Flynn When claimants win long-term disability, LTD insurance carriers will  pay a monthly benefit. Typically, the carriers pay a percentage of what that person earned before the disability. The typical percentage range for most disability policies is between 60% and 66.66% of the claimant’s pre-disability income. For example, if the claimant’s pre-disability earnings is $75,000 yearly, and the policy provides for LTD benefits at the 2/3 rate, that claimant will receive $50,000 per year or $4,166.67 monthly.

Once the claimant is approved, especially after an appeal where the claimant has been waiting for months and months to go into pay status, it is easy to overlook this key issue: how did the carrier determine my pre-disability earnings? Read the rest of this entry »


Social Security Administration Adopts New Rules to Make It Easier to Deny Applications for Disability Benefits

April 10th, 2018

By Elliott Andalman, Esq. and Peter Casciano, Esq.
eandalman@a-f.net
pcasciano@a-f.net

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides the major safety net for workers who become disabled by either accident or illness. The Disability Insurance Benefit (DIB) program was adopted in the 1930s as part of the New Deal to protect workers from poverty. The program protects millions of disabled Americans and their families.
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