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should I have a non-lawyer help me file for a disability retirement?

We hear horror stories from employees who had non-lawyers help them file applications for disability retirement. But, filling out and filing the disability-retirement application forms, is the easy part of this process.

The hard part, in the application process, is determining your options – all of them – and then designing a strategy that maximizes your favorable options. Non-lawyers are not qualified to make such determinations.

There are many decisions that must be made even before filing the disability-retirement application papers. For example:

• Who should file the application – employer or employee? • When should the filing be made?

• What preliminary steps are required in order to properly setup the application?

• Should a supplemental disability retirement application be filed?

• California State Civil Service employees must consider enforcement proceedings before the State Personnel Board (SPB) or Superior Court when they have been wrongfully medically suspended or terminated and the employer has refused to file a disability retirement application? (SPB deadlines are extremely tight and can be as little as thirty days.)

Often an employee's disability-retirement rights are their largest asset, valued in the range of two hundred thousand to over several million dollars. Nearly all injured employees hire attorneys to handle their workers’ compensation cases which are typically less in value. So, why would you trust a non-lawyer to make your decisions about filing for your more valuable disability-retirement benefits?

It just doesn’t make sense.