Call Our Disability Lawyers in Florida to Discuss Your Situation
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 28 percent of adults in Florida live with some kind of disability. This is higher than the national average of 25.6 percent. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, our disability lawyers in Florida help clients throughout the nation get the disability insurance benefits they need and deserve.
Whether you need help getting long term disability insurance benefits or appealing a VA claim denial, contact Tucker Law Group. We are happy to discuss your legal options during a free initial consultation.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
Group or ERISA Disability Insurance in Florida
If you have disability insurance through your employer, then it is likely covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA is a federal law that employers must follow if they offer employee benefits.
Our Florida disability lawyers have extensive experience handling ERISA claims, appeals and lawsuits. We can help you from the very beginning of your claim.
Individual or Private Disability Insurance in Florida
If you have an individual or private insurance plan, then federal law does not apply. Florida’s contract and insurance laws apply instead. The way you file, appeal and litigate an insurance disability claim depends on whether your plan is an individual or ERISA plan.
Understanding the Long Term Disability Insurance Claim Process
Whether you are starting your claim or dealing with a claim denial, our disability lawyers in Florida may be able to help.
Filing Your Initial Claim
We recommend that you discuss your situation with our Florida disability attorneys before you file your disability insurance claim. We can make sure that everything is in order for your claim. We can also help you gather strong evidence to support your claim.
Insurance Company Investigation
After you file your long term disability claim, your insurance company will investigate it. Generally, they will investigate your claim forms, medical records and physician’s forms.
They may also ask you to take a Functional Capacity Evaluation, or FCE. An FCE is an evaluation to get an opinion on your limitations and restrictions.
Based on the insurance company’s investigation, they will either grant or deny your claim. If the insurance company grants your claim, you will start receiving disability insurance benefits.
The Appeals Process
Appealing an ERISA Claim Denial
If you have an ERISA plan, then you generally must file an appeal with your insurance company before you can file a lawsuit. ERISA gives you 180 days to appeal your denied claim.
We cannot reiterate how important It is to have an experienced Florida ERISA attorney on your side during the appeals process. If your case goes to trial, you cannot introduce new evidence. The court will only make a decision based on the evidence filed with your initial claim and your appeal.
Our disability insurance attorneys can help you gather all of the evidence you may need to file a strong appeal. In the event of trial, you will already have a strong case.
Appealing an Individual Disability Insurance Claim Denial
If you have an individual plan, then you may or may not have to file an appeal with your insurance company. Generally, you can file suit. However, if your policy states that you need to file an appeal first, then you must.
Bad Faith in Florida
Did you receive a long term disability claim denial and believe it was an issue of bad faith? Speak with our Florida disability lawyers. We can determine the offense.
You can find Florida’s first-party bad faith laws under Florida Statute 624.155. You must file a Civil Remedy Notice (CRN) explaining the violations with the Florida Department of Financial Services and your insurer. Then, your insurer has 60 days to remedy the situation. If they do not, then you may file suit against them for bad faith.
Filing a Disability Insurance Lawsuit
Under Florida Statute 627.616, you must wait 60 days after submitting written proof of loss as required by your policy before you can file legal action. According to Florida Statute 95.11, the statute of limitations to file an insurance disability lawsuit is five years. However, your plan or policy could state a much shorter deadline. If that is the case, you only have until your policy’s deadline to file a lawsuit.
If you go to trial for an individual disability insurance claim, your case will likely be held in state court with a jury. You may add more evidence to your case and use witness testimony.
Filing an ERISA Lawsuit
Before you can file an ERISA lawsuit, you must go through the appeals process. If you have exhausted this option, then you can file a lawsuit. ERISA lawsuits occur in federal court.
These trials do not include a jury or witness testimony. The court bases its decision on the evidence and materials provided within your initial disability insurance claim and your appeal.
VA Disability in Florida
If you are a veteran and you need disability benefits, there is a system in place for you. Granted, the process to get benefits can take time and many appeals. You should start the process as soon as possible.
Florida VA Resources
You can also see more Florida VA resources on the VA website.
How to Win Veterans Disability Benefits
According to the VA, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for disability benefits:
- You served
- You have a disability rating for a service-connected disability
If the VA does not currently recognize your disability as service-connected, you can still apply for VA disability benefits. Generally, for a successful claim, you must:
- Receive a diagnosis of disability from a medical professional
- Demonstrate that your service brought about or worsened your disability through medical evidence
Filing a VA Disability Claim
You can file a VA claim online or you can file a claim at the St. Petersburg Regional Office. Keep in mind that you cannot hire an attorney for the initial application phase. However, you can use a veterans service organization to help you. We recommend that you contact one during the initial claim process.
Appealing a VA Disability Claim Denial
If the VA denies your benefits, then you can appeal part or all of the decision. Your appeal starts with filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). A NOD tells the VA of your intent to file an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
You must file a NOD within one year of the claim decision. However, we recommend that you file it as soon as possible. This is not your formal appeal, but rather the first step in the appeals process.
Should I Get a VA Disability Lawyer for a Claim Denial?
Our VA disability lawyers in Florida can assist you throughout the entire appeals process. We can review your claim file, give you an opinion about your rights to appeal and help you understand your likelihood of success.
We can help you file your Notice of Disagreement and gather additional evidence to strengthen your claim. Once we file your claim, our veterans benefits lawyers in Florida can monitor your appeal and represent you in further proceedings.
Cities in Florida That We Serve
- Daytona Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Ft. Lauderdale
- Ft. Myers
Call Our Florida Disability Insurance Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you need help obtaining the disability insurance benefits that you deserve, please contact the Florida disability lawyers at Tucker Law Group. We can help you understand your legal options and give you the best chance at obtaining benefits.
Call us at (866) 233-5044 to schedule a free initial consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your situation and determine whether we can help you. You can also contact us online and we will get in touch with you.