Our South Dakota Disability Lawyers Offer Assistance With Claims
Having a disability can make it difficult to work and provide income for yourself or your family. If you currently suffer from a long term disability in South Dakota, then you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 23.4 percent of adults in South Dakota suffer from some type of disability. For many of these individuals, they developed a disability due to an injury or illness. Long term disability insurance can help cover some of your expenses if you have an active disability. Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help disabled veterans and sometimes their family members. However, our South Dakota disability lawyers know it can be difficult to access benefits.
Tucker Law Group can help with ERISA claims during any step of the claims process. We offer counsel for claims involving individual disability insurance policies and can also help with appeals for VA claims.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
Employee Long Term Disability Insurance and ERISA
You may have a long term disability policy through a private employer. If this is the case, then your policy falls under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This federal law regulates many types of benefits policies offered by private employers, including long term disability insurance. If you have this type of policy, then ERISA kicks in if you need to file an appeal for a denied claim. ERISA governs your options during and after the appeals process.
Individual Long Term Disability Insurance in South Dakota
You can also purchase your own disability insurance policy, much like you would a policy for car or health insurance. However, there is an important distinction between individual disability insurance and a policy provided by a private employer. The former is governed by South Dakota state law while the latter falls under ERISA. What this means is that your options during the appeals process fall under state law if you have an individual policy.
Filing a Disability Insurance Claim in South Dakota
Your insurance policy likely determines the initial steps you will need to take to file a claim. If you have a policy through a private employer, they may also have information that can help with this process.
You must show your insurance provider that you suffer from an active disability, which means evidence is going to be central to the success of your claim. Some insurance providers may require you to undergo a physical examination conducted by a physician. However, there are additional types of evidence that could factor into your claim. Types of evidence may include:
- Medical records. Records from recent doctor or hospital visits can help bolster the merits of your claim. Medical records may show that you currently suffer from a disability.
- Financial records. Are you suffering from financial hardship due to your disability? If so, then bank statements and other types of financial records could help your claim.
- Witness statements. Your physician or immediate family members may provide statements that help strengthen the merits of your claim.
Not all claims receive approval on the first try. In fact, it is far more likely that the insurance provider will deny your claim. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money, and some do not provide benefits even when they must do so under state law.
Your options for filing an appeal depend on your policy and state or federal law. If you have a policy that falls under ERISA’s umbrella, then you must exhaust the appeals process before you can file a lawsuit against the provider. Should your lawsuit succeed before an administrative judge, then you can recover your lost benefits.
Your options are different if you have an individual policy. In this case, you could potentially file a lawsuit against the provider if they are in violation of South Dakota state law. You could also recover damages in addition to your lost benefits should your claim succeed.
Our South Dakota disability lawyers can help you determine which options are available for your situation. However, we can only provide counsel on claims involving individual long term disability insurance policies in South Dakota. We can help at any point during the claims process if ERISA governs your policy.
Veterans Disability Benefits in South Dakota
Many veterans suffer from disabilities caused by illnesses or injuries during their service. If you meet this criteria, then you may be eligible to recover benefits through the VA. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recover VA disability compensation. We strongly suggest using a state or federal agency that helps veterans with claims.
Agencies in South Dakota That May Assist With VA Disability Claims
The second organization can help you with your claim. Veteran services officers (VSOs) are located throughout the state.
Filing a VA Claim for Disability Compensation in South Dakota
Much like you would for a private insurance claim, you need to provide evidence of an active disability. However, in this case, you must show the disability is directly tied to your military service. Evidence in your claim could include:
- Medical records
- Financial statements
- Service records
- Witness statements from family members or physicians
Your claim is not guaranteed to be successful on the first try. In fact, the VA denies many claims for various reasons. You may be able to file an appeal for benefits, and your options could vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
There are also situations where family members of veterans can qualify for benefits. If you are attempting to appeal a claim for yourself or a family member, then we strongly encourage you to reach out to our South Dakota disability lawyers. We can help you determine which options are available for your situation.
Cities We Serve in South Dakota
- Sioux Falls
- Rapid City
Contact Our South Dakota Disability Lawyers for Help
You can reach out to our South Dakota disability lawyers for help with a policy covered by ERISA. We can help during any part of the claims process. Additionally, we can also offer counsel during any part of the claims process for an individual policy. Our attorneys also help veterans or their family members file appeals for VA disability compensation.