Our Delaware Disability Attorneys Can Help With ERISA Claims and VA Claim Appeals
Disabilities affect an estimated 25 percent of the U.S. population. In Delaware, an estimated 30 percent of the population has some type of disability. Accidents, illnesses and wartime injuries affect tens of thousands in our state. Holding a job is simply not an option for some people with disabilities. However, some private employers offer group disability insurance policies that can help cover basic living expenses. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers similar disability compensation for disabled combat veterans. However, our Delaware disability attorneys know from experience that long term and VA disability benefits are not always easy to access.
Tucker Law Group can help with ERISA disability insurance claims, VA disability appeals and can provide some assistance on individual disability claims in Delaware.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
ERISA Claims and Delaware Group Long Term Disability Insurance
Private employers may offer group disability insurance policies. If you have one of these policies, then it is likely governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This federal law is responsible for governing multiple types of benefits offered by private employers, including group disability insurance policies.
Employers have certain obligations under ERISA. For instance, they must warn you any time there is a change in your policy. Additionally, they may also need to provide instructions for filing a disability insurance claim. Your policy should outline how to file and appeal claims.
Individual Disability Policies in Delaware
You may also be able to purchase an individual long term disability insurance policy. However, unlike group long term disability insurance policies, Delaware state law governs these policies. In Delaware, you may use an individual policy to replace some of your income if you become sick or injured. Additionally, you may also use this type of policy if you are not eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Some states require employers to provide disability insurance benefits. Delaware does not have this requirement. If you have a qualifying disability, then you can file a claim with your insurance provider.
Filing a Disability Insurance Claim in Delaware
Your policy should outline how to file a claim for disability insurance benefits. However, you must demonstrate that you suffer from a qualifying disability. You may need to submit multiple types of evidence, including medical records, physician statements and work documents that may be relevant to your case. There are also cases where an insurance provider may require you to undergo an examination performed by a physician.
Once you submit your claim, the necessary forms, and accompanying evidence, your insurance provider will launch an investigation. What happens over the next several months depends on the circumstances. Your claim could be approved or denied. If the latter occurs, then you need to go through an appeals process outlined in your insurance policy.
There are different rules for appealing a claim depending on whether you have an individual or group policy. If you have an individual policy, then you would appeal your claim and potentially take additional legal action if necessary. However, the process is different if you are filing an appeal for a group insurance policy governed by ERISA.
If you have a policy covered by ERISA, then you must first exhaust the appeals process before you can take additional steps. You only have 180 days to gather additional evidence and file an appeal. After you exhaust the appeals process, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance provider. Your case would go before an administrative judge, not a jury. This means the judge decides the outcome of your case.
Veterans’ Disability Benefits in Delaware
Many wartime veterans also have disabilities. If you left the military in good standing and have a disability, then you may have options to recover benefits. Unfortunately, you cannot hire an attorney to help you file your initial claim. However, there are state agencies in Delaware that can assist you with filing a claim.
VA Resources in Delaware
Filing a claim can be difficult, especially if you are suffering from a disability. The following state agencies may be able to assist you with filing a claim.
Filing a VA Claim in Delaware
There are multiple requirements for filing a claim with the VA. You must meet the following requirements to obtain benefits:
- A physician must diagnose you with a disabling medical condition;
- Your medical condition must be directly related to your service.
What this means is that you must demonstrate that an injury or illness during your service is responsible for your current disability. Like with an insurance policy claim, you must present evidence while filing your claim. Service records, medical records, discharge statements and physician statements could be included.
If you receive a denial of benefits, then we strongly encourage you to contact an attorney at our firm. A VA disability lawyer can help you with your appeal and further proceedings. Depending on your situation, your options for filing an appeal could vary. There are strict paperwork and procedural requirements involved with the VA’s appeal process.
Cities We Serve
Contact Our Delaware Disability Attorneys
Our Delaware disability attorneys offer nationwide assistance on ERISA claims and VA appeals. If you have questions about filing an appeal, then we encourage you to contact us for a consultation. You can reach our attorneys by dialing (866) 233-5044 or by using the contact form on our website.