Our Long Term Disability Lawyers Will Fight for Your Benefits
Falling ill or suffering an injury is bad enough, but these misfortunes may also affect your ability to work. When diseases or injuries keep someone from doing their job, workers often file a claim for disability insurance. Long term disability insurance provides extended income replacement for disabled workers.
Our long term disability lawyers help individuals file disability claims. We also provide counsel to disabled workers nationwide when their claims are denied and appeals or lawsuits need to be filed.
What Is Long Term Disability?
Long term disability insurance provides disabled workers with extended income replacement. Long term disability policies will define this period of time differently. Some Long Term Disability benefits will start in as short as 30 days, while other policies may have a longer waiting period.
Once benefits start, many policies will pay Long Term Disability for some period based on a person not being able to perform the material duties of their own job, and later based on their ability to do any job.
As a general rule, these types of disability policies cover workers who cannot perform the occupational duties of their job for 24 months, though some pay for shorter or longer periods of time.
Types of Long Term Disability Insurance
Determining how to file your claim will depend on what kind of long term disability insurance you have. The following consists of common types of disability insurance.
Employer Disability Insurance
Workers with this kind of insurance receive their coverage through their employer or a union. Employer disability insurance policies will all differ. However, nearly all employer disability insurance plans are subject to ERISA (it does not apply to you if you work for a governmental entity or a religious entity). ERISA is a federal law that provides some added protection for workers with some tradeoffs from traditional insurance law that can give insurance plans some benefits as well. ERISA will affect the way you will want to file for long term disability benefits.
Individual Disability Insurance
This kind of disability insurance is private. Instead of coverage provided by an employer, individuals buy their own coverage. This is often the case for workers who are self-employed, whose employers do not offer disability insurance, or those who want to supplement their employer’s disability plan. These policies are not covered by ERISA, but instead are regulated by state law.
Non-Employer Group Disability Insurance
Workers who opt for group disability insurance do so through some third-party organization. This means that your coverage is not purchased through an employer, but some other group, like a professional or trade organization, an automobile club, a civic organization, etc.. Group disability insurance is treated like individual disability insurance, and ERISA does not apply.
How to Claim Long Term Disability Insurance
The odds of succeeding after filing for long term disability coverage will vary. The filing process is difficult and insurers often work against you. If you are unfamiliar with this process, then filing a claim on your own and succeeding will be tough. The best way to ensure that you receive your benefits is by working with an experienced long term disability lawyer.
Insurance companies train their employees to find flaws in long term disability claims. The following tactics are often employed to deny claims:
- Declaring your medical evidence insufficient;
- Claiming that your medical evidence is not timely or does not cover the right time-period;
- Declaring that you are still able to perform your job as it is generally done in the national economy rather than at your employer;
- Claiming your condition does not fit the definition of disability under the policy;
- Crediting your disability as due to substance abuse or a preexisting condition;
- Claiming that your disability fits within some other plan or policy exclusion;
- Using short video clips of you obtained from video surveillance to dispute your disability claim;
- Claiming you did not meet the filing or appeal deadlines; and
- Cherry-picking snippets from your medical records and ignoring key facts to claim your are not disabled.
To secure your benefits, your documentation must be comprehensive and detailed. Ideally, you will want to prepare for each of these scenarios. You will also want your doctor and your employer to support you, if possible. An experienced long term disability attorney can help you satisfy all the minute requirements in your disability claim.
What Do I Do After a Long Term Disability Denial?
It is important to remember that denial for long term disability benefits is not final. You may have the option to appeal this decision. However, you must adhere to the strict deadlines of the appeals process in order for your appeal to be effective. Sometimes, that means you must file an appeal within 60 days, and if you miss the appeal deadline, your case will be over forever.
The best way to address a denial is by seeking out lawyers that help with disability claims. We have nearly 50 years of combined experience handling ERISA and individual disability insurance cases, and can answer your questions about appealing a denied long term disability claim.
Have Questions? Our Long Term Disability Attorneys Can Help
At Tucker Law Group, our experienced long term disability lawyers can handle any case. We have experience dealing with various types of disability insurance policies. This includes employer, group, and individual disability policies. Our team is trained and ready to handle claims from the initial filing, appealing denied claims, and through to filing and litigating lawsuits.