When you get injured or sick and it causes you to be unable to work, everyone seems to want to tell you to apply for long-term disability.
This usually means applying for disability through your insurance from your work.
What no one tells you though is that up to 75% of claims are denied or that in most cases long-term disability through your job is governed by ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974). So what does that mean for you when your long-term disability is denied?
You need good disability lawyers on your side to fight back!
ERISA Explained: Timelines
In ERISA governed long-term disability benefits policies, there are very strict timelines and comparatively (to other types of disability) a small window to appeal a denial.
Note: Both group and individual LTD policies give you 180 days from the time you are denied until your appeal window closes. In this window, a great disability lawyer will be able to determine if you have enough medical evidence to support for your claim. They will also be able to help determine if you need another medical exam to show how your disability affects your ability to work.
You can read more about timelines in ERISA covered policies at the link below:
ERISA Disability Lawyers Handling Your Appeal: Stacking the Administrative Record
It is important to hire Long-term disability lawyers before there is a hearing on your benefits. The reason, by the time of your hearing, your administrative record will be “closed.” You will not be able to add any additional files or information!
Obtaining supportive opinions from your physician about your work-related limitations are important to have in your claim file. Your lawyer will ensure this is done before any hearing is held. Your lawyer will also know the correct questions to ask your physician instead of relying on the paperwork your insurance company provided.
LTD attorneys will work with you to collect as much “evidence” as possible. Your attorney will collect and make sense of medical records, witness statements, vocational expert statements, prescription medication records, physical and rehabilitation therapy records, police reports and statements from doctors, nurses, and surgeons that have treated you. This will show how your injury or illness significantly effects your ability to work and your daily life.
Disability Lawyers Reduce Stress in Your ERISA Claim
When you hire long-term disability lawyers, they will help make the process less stressful on you.
They will take charge of the appeal and speak to the insurance company on your behalf while keeping you part of the process. Insurance companies can word things in a way that either confuse you or can cause you to say something that might hurt your case. Your lawyer will be able to help you fill out paperwork, respond to questions, and check to make sure everything is worded correctly so you do not, accidentally, nullify your claim.
Disability Lawyers Focus on Accuracy
Your Long-Term Disability Lawyers will be able to request information from your insurance company regarding your claim. This action will let them determine if the insurance company made any mistakes or missed anything while evaluating your claim. Your lawyer will then be able to determine if your insurance company advertises certain conditions in their plans that they are denying you for. This is in addition to them generally misrepresenting your claim for benefits.
Finding The Best Disability Lawyers
These are just a couple ways in which a Disability Lawyer will help your long-term disability claim if you are denied. To help you with your next step, finding a good disability lawyer, here is a great article on how to find an excellent advocate.