Hiring a lawyer to help you with your Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) claim gains you an expert, ally, and advocate. Which is a flowery way of saying that a Cleveland, OH, PERS attorney can do the following things for you:


  • Interpret pension, disability and spousal eligibility rules
  • Collect and present evidence to support your claims for benefits
  • Represent you during hearings
  • Steer you to other sources of financial support and health care
  • Always be on your side through a difficult process that is likely to last far longer than should be necessary


The first and last services may provide the greatest value. OPERS is not alone among pension plans in using complex formulas and doing little to help participants understand what benefits they can and should receive. The program does excel at both, however. Confusion often leads to frustration, which can mount until a person who should be receiving payments and support decides giving up on a claim makes more sense than continuing to fight denials.


The Ohio retirement lawyers with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman have decades of combined experience in cutting through the legalese contained in OPERS letters and coverage statements. They can also analyze years’ worth of paperwork to uncover inconsistencies, payment errors, and unjustified benefit reductions.


When these efforts reveal grounds for appealing a pension or disability claim denial, the legal team will do all they can to build a successful case for securing benefits. This work can include requesting employment records, going through many years of bank and OPERS statements, interviewing former employers, and tracking down original birth certificates, marriage licenses, adoption contracts, and divorce decrees. Financial and family records can both prove essential in retirement cases.


Importantly, the legal team will know where to expect obstacles and how to overcome them. Bureaucracies follow procedures seemingly designed to place roadblocks in the way of individuals who seek help and require information. The key to clearing those impediments to progress lies in spotting the barriers early. People like the attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman who regularly conduct OPERS appeals have learned to keep cases on track by filing the proper forms with the correct offices by the necessary dates. They also maintain professional working relationships with the retirement plan staff that make resolving unforeseen problems easier.


Avoiding stall-outs and derailments will not always make an OPERS appeal reach a quick resolution. Cases involving pension and disability claims can take years and involve multiple levels of administrative hearings and civil court proceedings. The plaintiff will need income, medical care, and other kinds of support during this time. His or her retirement attorney will be able to offer advice on where to find those alternate resources.


Which brings us back to being on the retiree’s and family’s side throughout the long and trying process of securing OPERS benefits. The lawyer will listen and care, act only in your interest, and stand up for your rights when it feels like no one else will.


Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman offers free consultations to all people with questions about problems with OPERS benefits. Call us at (800) 678-3318 or contact us online to let us know how we can be of service.