How Long Can A Long Term Disability Insurance Company Wait To Decide A Claim?

Tucker Law Group
February 13, 2017

Watch this video as ERISA | Disability Attorney John V. Tucker describes how long Disability Insurance companies have to decide your disability claim.

If you are filing for long term disability, you may be wondering how long the insurance company can take to decide your claim. It is months later, and you’re still waiting. What can you do?

The first question to ask:  How did you get your disability insurance. Is it through an employer’s group disability insurance plan, or through a private disability policy? If your insurance is through a private plan, then it will depend on the laws of your state. Some states allow up to 45 days, while others don’t mandate the time at all.

Most people get their disability insurance through their employer.  If you have an employer’s group disability coverage, it usually will be covered by a federal law called ERISA. ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It is a law that has been around for over 40 years, and it has regulations that specify how long the insurance company can take. ERISA cases allow 45 days, but also allow for two 30 day extensions. With the two 30 day extensions allowed, the disability insurer can take up to 105 days to process your claim. There is also a loophole for the insurance companies. Whenever the ask you to send them information, the clock stops, and it doesn’t restart again until they receive your response to their request.

If your insurance company ask you to send them information, do it as soon as possible to restart the clock. Finally, a last note on ERISA cases is that if the insurance company misses their deadline, filing a lawsuit against them gives you an advantage.

Watch the video to learn more.

If you believe a disability insurance company has taken too long to decide your claim, call us toll free nationwide at (866) 233-5044 to speak to one of our experienced ERISA|Disability Insurance Attorneys.

Video Transcript
How long can your long term disability insurance company take to decide your claim? You filed your claim weeks or months ago and you're waiting and waiting and you're wondering “when are they going to decide my case?” I’m John Tucker, I’m a disability attorney and I represent people all over the country in case is just like yours. Let me tell you how long they can take to decide your case.

The first thing we need to know is how you got your insurance. Did you buy your insurance through work or did you buy a private policy? Which one of these applies decides how long they can take in your case. If you bought a private policy, it depends on your state's law. Some states have laws that say they can take up to 45 days. Some states don't have any law on it whatsoever. So in some cases, they have a time limit but other cases they don't if you bought a private policy.

Most people have their disability insurance through work, through a group employer plan covered by a federal law called ERISA. That stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It's a federal law that that's been around for about 40 years and there are regulations that specify how long the insurance company can take. In an ERISA case, they have 45 days to decide your case but they can get extensions. They can get two 30-day extensions, so they can take up to 105 days to decide your case.

There is a little bit of a twist though if they ask you for information they can stop the clock. So if you get a letter from your insurance company asking you to send them something, you need to respond as soon as you can to get that clock started again because if you wait a few weeks that hundred and five days will stretch out by another 20 or so days. Be sure to send them whatever information they need, whatever you need to prove your claim needs to be in their hands as soon as possible.

Another important point, in an ERISA case, if they take too long, if they blow their deadline filing a lawsuit could actually mean you gain an advantage in court. If your insurance company has taken too long to decide your case, call me at the number on your screen to talk about your rights. I've handled thousands of cases all over the country for people just like you. I'd be happy to talk with you. I'm John Tucker. Thanks for watching.