Call Our New York State Disability Attorneys
According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 23 percent of adults in New York live with a disability. At Tucker Law Group, our New York State disability attorneys help clients throughout New York and the rest of the United States 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 us. We are happy to discuss your situation during a free consultation.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
Group or ERISA Disability Insurance in New York
Do you have disability insurance through your employer? If so, it is likely covered by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA provides outlines that private employers must follow if they offer employee benefits.
Our New York disability attorney has extensive experience handling ERISA claims, appeals and lawsuits. Fortunately, you can use our help from the very beginning of a claim. We can help you file your initial claim, appeal a denied claim and litigate for your benefits if needed.
Individual or Private Disability Insurance in New York
If you have individual insurance, then state laws and your policy govern it. Unlike most states, New York requires employers to provide disability benefits to employees for an off-the-job injury or illness.
This can make the claims process more confusing when trying to file a claim. You must make sure to file the correct paperwork. The paperwork you file depends on whether your injury or illness occurred on or off the job.
Bad Faith Insurance in New York
When you buy disability insurance, you expect that it will be there for you when you need it most. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always do the right thing.
When insurance companies do not do the right thing, they are acting in bad faith. A few examples of bad faith may include:
- Failure to investigate your claim
- Unreasonable delays on your claim
- Threat of legal action
In New York, there is a statute of limitations, or time-limit on how long you have to bring a claim against your insurance company for bad faith. In New York, you have six years to file a bad faith claim. This is because New York treats bad faith claims as a breach of contract rather than a civil lawsuit.
The type of bad faith claim you file depends on whether the bad faith was first-party or third-party. If you believe your insurance provider has committed bad faith, we recommend that you speak with our New York disability lawyer. We can determine the offense and help you file the correct claim. Though licensed to practice in Florida, we counsel nationwide.
Understanding the Long Term Disability Insurance Claim Process
Whether you are starting your claim or dealing with a claim denial, Tucker Law Group may be able to help.
Filing Your Initial Claim
In order to file an ERISA claim, you must fill out claimant forms. Your employer and physician will also have to fill out forms for your claim.
We recommend that you speak with our New York State disability attorneys before you file a disability insurance claim. We can help you account for everything when filing your claim. We can also help you gather strong evidence to support your claim. Working with an attorney can improve your chances of receiving a claim approval.
Insurance Company Investigation
After you file your long term disability claim, your insurance company will investigate it. Generally, they will investigate the following:
- Claim forms
- Medical records
- Physician’s forms
They may also ask you to take a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) to get an opinion on your limitations. Based on their investigation, your insurance company will either grant or deny your claim.
Insurance companies deny disability claims for many reasons. Fortunately, you can appeal their decision.
The Appeals Process
The appeals process depends on whether you purchased your disability insurance through a private provider or your employer. It also depends on the specifics of your policy.
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. Under ERISA, you have 180 days to appeal your disability insurance claim denial.
It is very important that you have an experienced ERISA lawyer on your side during the appeals process. If your case goes to trial, the court will only make a decision based on the evidence filed with your initial claim and your appeal. You will not be able to introduce more evidence.
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. You must file an appeal if your policy states it. Your policy may also determine the amount of time you have to file an appeal, and it could be as short as 60 days.
That is not very much time to gather more evidence and file appropriate paperwork. Our New York disability attorney can help you file a strong appeal quickly.
Filing a Lawsuit
Depending on your insurance policy, your disability insurance claim will go to trial in either federal or state court.
Filing an ERISA Lawsuit
Since ERISA is a federal law, ERISA lawsuits occur in federal court. Remember that before you can file a lawsuit, you must go through the appeals process.
ERISA trials do not include a jury or witness testimony. The court bases its decision on the evidence and materials provided within the initial claim and the appeal.
This is an important reason to have an attorney on your side from the beginning of your appeal. You want to make sure your appeal is as strong as possible, especially if it ends up going to trial.
Filing an Individual Disability Insurance Lawsuit
If you have an individual or private disability insurance policy, then you may not have to go through the appeals process after a claim denial. You may be able to go straight to trial.
Cases like these are most often tried in state court with a jury. You may add more evidence to your case and use witness testimony. You may also seek bad faith damages.
VA Disability in New York
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. Below, our New York State disability attorneys discuss the claim process and how you can win VA benefits.
New York VA Resources
How to Win VA Disability Benefits in New York
According to the VA, to be eligible for disability benefits, first you must meet the following criteria:
- You served
- You have a disability rating for a service-connected disability
If the VA does not currently recognize your disability as a service-connected disability, you can still apply for VA disability benefits.
Generally, you must prove the following for a successful VA claim:
- 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 one of New York’s veterans benefits regional offices. Before filing a claim, you should gather as much evidence as you can to strengthen your claim. Evidence may include:
- VA medical records
- Hospital records
- Discharge papers
- Written statement about your condition
- Witness statements from family or fellow servicemembers
Appealing a VA Disability Claim Denial
If the VA denies your benefits, then you can appeal part or all of the decision through a Notice of Disagreement. You must file a Notice of Disagreement within one year of the claim decision. We recommend that you file it as soon as possible. It can take the VA 12 to 18 months to review new appeals.
A VA disability lawyer can assist you throughout the entire appeals process. One of our New York disability lawyers can review your claim file and gather additional evidence to strengthen your claim. If the VA does not currently recognize your disability as a service-connected disability, we can help you establish the connection for your appeal.
At Tucker Law Group, we can help you file your Notice of Disagreement, file and monitor your appeal and represent you in all other proceedings. Call us to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Cities in New York That We Serve
We serve clients throughout New York State, including clients in the following cities:
- New York City
Call Our New York State Disability Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you need help obtaining the disability benefits that you deserve, contact the New York State disability attorneys at Tucker Law Group. We can help you understand your legal options and give you the best chance at obtaining benefits.