3 Reasons Not to File Your Own Long Term Disability Appeal

Tucker Law Group
March 20, 2017

Have your Long Term Disability benefits under your employer’s Group Disability Plan been denied?  These plans are covered by a unique federal law called ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) that governs employee benefits.  Listen to the following video as ERISA Disability Attorney John V. Tucker explains three reasons why you should not file your own appeal under a group Long Term Disability plan.

If you need to file an appeal under your long term disability plan, there are three reasons why you should not do it on your own. What most people don’t realize is that their group long term disability falls under the ERISA law. This is a federal law that stands for Employee Retirement and Income Security Act. There are very special rules in regards to ERISA.

The first thing that you should know is that ERISA requires you to have any and all evidence ready when you file your initial claim. This means that you cannot introduce any new evidence after your claim has been made. If you don’t get evidence into your claim file before the final decision on your appeal, you will not be allowed to submit it. This often means you will lose.

The second thing to note is that you shouldn’t just write an appeal letter stating that you appeal. Under ERISA, the same people that denied your claim also gets to make the decision regarding your appeal. You have 180 days to file your appeal, so you need to present them with significant new evidence to help change their decision.

The third reason is that if you go to court, you cannot submit new evidence. You’ll need to know what needs to be in the claim file. While you may be an expert on your medical condition, you probably do not know the best practices for developing evidence for your claim. This is where an ERISA attorney comes in to play. They can help you secure and include tests, expert reports, and witness statements, among other things. Watch the video to learn more.

Be careful to make sure that you:

  1. Have all of the evidence you legally need;
  2. Do more than just write a letter saying you appeal; and
  3. Know that if you go to court, all of the evidence had to be submitted during your appeal….BEFORE you file a lawsuit!

An experienced ERISA attorney can help you secure and include tests, expert reports, vocational information, witness statements, and other types of evidence to help you win your claim. Watch the video to learn more.

If you have questions about appealing a denied claim for long term disability insurance, call ERISA Long Term Disability Insurance Attorney John V. Tucker at (866) 233-5044 toll free anywhere in the USA to discuss your rights.

Video Transcript
Three reasons why you should never file your own appeal under your group long-term disability plan. I'm John Tucker a disability attorney and I represent people like you all across the country.

Most people don't realize when they have group long-term disability coverage through work that it's covered by a federal law call ERISA. That stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. There special rules that apply to ERISA group claims and I want to talk with you about three things that are important for you to know to help you understand why having an experienced ERISA attorney will help you.

First, ERISA requires that you put all of your evidence into the claim file during the initial claim or the appeal. You're not allowed to introduce any evidence if your appeal is denied and you go to court. What that means is if you don't get all of the evidence into that insurance companies claim file before the final decision on your claim appeal you will never be allowed to introduce more proof that you are disabled.

Second, don't just write an appeal letter to the insurance company they're going to tell you you have 180 days to appeal. A lot of people will just turn around and write a letter very briefly one or two sentences that say “I appeal you got it wrong." Remember what I said in my first point if you don't have all of the evidence into that claim file before the appeal is decided, you're going to lose. And if on the appeal you don't send them any new evidence to try to overturn their decision, and I mean more than just medical records, there's going to turn around and say they were right because the appeal goes right back to the same people that decided the case to begin with.

Third when you're denied as I said if you go to court you don't get to introduce new evidence. Well, you probably don't know what types of things need to go in that claim file. As much as you may know about your condition and as many of the problems you may be able to explain for hours and hours on end, there's other types of evidence that's crucial to winning a disability claim. You may need expert reports. You might need certain kinds of testing that can prove the limitations and restrictions that you have. You might need witness statements specifying certain things.

An experienced ERISA attorney, one that has handled hundreds, thousands of claims, can pay off for you. If you need to appeal your ERISA group disability plan denial, call me at the number on your screen. I help people like you everyday. I'm John Tucker. Thanks for watching.