Filing a Disability Claim? Secure Your Benefits With Our Rhode Island Disability Lawyers
The average number of adults with disabilities in Rhode Island is higher than the national figure. Unfortunately, this means that many Rhode Islanders face additional challenges in their everyday lives. Disability can affect one’s mobility, cognition, and ability to provide self-care or run errands. Given these hardships, it is common for disabilities to also prevent people from returning to work. If you belong to the 26.1% of Rhode Islanders in this situation, you may want to file a claim for disability benefits.
At Tucker Law Group, our Rhode Island disability attorneys help people secure their benefits across the state. Our services vary depending on the type of disability insurance claim our clients are applying for.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
Group Disability Insurance
Many Rhode Islanders purchase disability insurance coverage through their employer or union. Group coverage of this sort is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This means that group disability claims will follow specific procedures as required by ERISA. These procedures affect every stage of the claims process, from filing to appealing a denial.
When filing your claim, it is ideal to work with an experienced attorney in order to meet the strict requirements imposed by ERISA. Our Rhode Island disability law firm can help you at any stage in this process.
Individual Disability Insurance
Unlike group disability coverage, individual disability policies are not subject to ERISA. This is because individual policies are not purchased through a third party. Typically, people will purchase individual coverage when they are contract workers, self-employed or need extra coverage.
If you have an individual disability insurance policy, your claim is subject to state laws. Contact our Rhode Island disability attorneys to learn more about how this will affect your claim.
The Disability Insurance Claim Process
People new to the disability claims process often have many questions about what to expect. In general, there are three stages that may apply to your claim. These consist of filing, appealing or litigating your claim. Some Rhode Islanders receive their benefits after filing their initial claim. When a claim gets denied, however, you may need to pursue it through an appeal or lawsuit.
Filing Your Initial Claim
The first step is to file your initial claim for disability benefits. This requires compiling evidence of your disability and how it affects your ability to work. The process of filing this information will depend on the type of coverage purchased. ERISA and Rhode Island state law have different requirements for filing a claim. Once filed, the insurance company will investigate your claim and render a decision.
The Appeal Process
Denied claims are common but not final. Securing benefits through the appeals process is still an option for Rhode Islanders who receive a denial on their initial claims. Like the filing process, the appeals process will depend on whether your policy is subject to ERISA or state law. Our Rhode Island disability attorneys can help you determine how to prepare for your claim. In general, you can expect the appeals process to require:
- Filing the applicable appeals process forms
- Submitting supplementary or missing evidence and documentation to complete your claim
- Meet any applicable deadlines to avoid a permanent denial on your claim
Filing a lawsuit
In many cases, litigation is necessary for securing disability insurance benefits. However, Rhode Islanders with an ERISA-protected insurance policy must first exhaust their appeal options before filing a lawsuit. Once this occurs, the lawsuit will be subject to ERISA as well, and litigated in federal court. Having an ERISA attorney in Rhode Island on your side will help you succeed in court.
People with individual disability insurance policies are not typically required to exhaust their appeal options before filing a lawsuit. However, unlike ERISA lawsuits, individual policy-holders will argue their case in state court before a jury.
VA Disability Insurance Benefits in Rhode Island
Military personnel may secure disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). To be eligible, a service member’s disability condition must be a product of their time in service. This includes conditions that developed or worsened as a result of their involvement in the military.
Rhode Island VA Resources
It is beneficial to take advantage of Rhode Island’s VA resources when building your claim. You can use the resource below to learn more about how to recover your VA disability benefits:
How to Win VA Disability Benefits in Rhode Island
To secure your VA benefits, your application must include evidence which proves you have a valid claim. A valid claim will show that your disabling condition is in some way connected to your time as a service member. Evidence in support of your claim must include various forms of documentation. Examples of this can include your VA or private medical records, supporting statements from associates and your discharge papers. Once gathered, you will need to submit your evidence and forms to the VA.
Appealing a VA Disability Denied Claim
Since denials are common, filing a successful disability claim with the VA is difficult. However, veterans can get a denial overturned through an appeal. We encourage veterans to reach out to our Rhode Island disability attorneys when attempting to appeal a denied claim. This is because the VA appeals process is difficult to navigate. For example, your options for filing an appeal will vary depending on the date of your denial. It may be the case that you have three different options for appealing your claim. Each of these options will have its own benefits and drawbacks which you should carefully consider. Determining the right course of action is best accomplished with an experienced lawyer.
Cities We Serve in Rhode Island
- East Providence
- North Providence
- South Kingstown
Have More Questions? Contact Our Rhode Island Disability Lawyers to Learn More
Navigating your disability insurance policy can be difficult. Technical policy language and complicated laws can leave you with more questions than answers. Veterans face similar challenges when dealing with the VA’s various procedures. If you are struggling to secure your benefits, contact our disability lawyers of Rhode Island for help. To learn more about our services, or to set up a free consultation, give us a call at (866) 233-5044. You can also get in touch by leaving a brief message with us online.