Our Vermont Disability Lawyers Can Help With Claims
Illnesses and injuries can lead to a mental or physical disability. In fact, millions of Americans are currently living with a disability caused by an illness or injury. There are possible options to recover benefits if you suffer a disability and need to cover basic expenses. You may have a long-term disability policy through a private employer, or you may have purchased your own individual long-term disability policy. If you are a disabled veteran, then you or your family members may also have options to recover disability benefits. However, our Vermont disability lawyers know it can be difficult to recover benefits from an insurance provider or the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may need to file an appeal or take legal action.
Tucker Law Group has extensive experience helping disability claimants recover benefits. Our Vermont disability attorneys can help with certain claims and appeals.
How We Help
Disability Insurance Claims
ERISA and Vermont Long-Term Disability Claims
Vermont does not require private employers to offer long-term disability insurance. However, if you are working for a private employer, there is a chance you have a long-term disability policy. These policies fall under the umbrella of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a federal law. This law governs many types of benefits policies offered by private employers, including long-term disability policies.
Your employer has certain obligations under this law. For instance, they must inform you of any changes to your policy and must provide information on how to file a claim. If you file an appeal for denied benefits, then ERISA and your policy’s language determine your options for recovering possible compensation.
Individual Long-Term Disability Insurance in Vermont
Some workers, especially self-employed workers, purchase individual disability policies. Unlike policies offered by private employers, individual policies fall under Vermont state law. While you would still follow instructions outlined in your policy to file an appeal, state law would help determine your potential options for recovering benefits.
You may have more options to recover benefits under state law. Depending on the outcome of your case, you could recover your lost benefits in addition to compensatory damages. Vermont state law allows consumers to file lawsuits against insurers to recover these types of damages.
Filing a Disability Insurance Claim in Vermont
Your policy should determine how to file a claim for benefits. However, you could also ask your employer to provide this information. Filing a claim means you need to obtain evidence of a disability. You must be able to demonstrate, through various forms of evidence, that you currently suffer from a disability that keeps you from working.
Evidence in a long-term disability claim can come from many sources. Common examples of evidence could include:
- Medical records. Medical records are among the most common types of evidence you include with a claim. Doctor’s appointments, hospital visits or lab work could factor into your claim.
- Physician statements. Your insurer might ask you to undergo a physical exam. If this occurs, then your physician can provide a statement detailing your disability.
- Financial records. You could show that your disability is inflicting financial hardship by providing financial records.
These are a few examples of evidence that may factor into a claim, and not an exhaustive list of what you may need to provide. You should consider speaking with an attorney before filing a claim, especially for a policy that falls under ERISA’s umbrella.
Insurance providers have to investigate your claim and make a determination as to whether you qualify for benefits. This process can sometimes take weeks. If you receive a denial, then you may opt to begin the appeals process.
Your options for filing an appeal vary depending on the type of policy you possess. If you have an ERISA policy, then you must exhaust your options under the appeals process before you can file a lawsuit for damages. You have 180 days to file your appeal. An administrative judge would determine whether you qualify for benefits.
However, you may be able to file a lawsuit the moment your insurer breaks the law if you have an individual policy. Since this is a civil matter that falls under state law, your case could escalate to a jury trial.
Obtaining Veterans Administration Benefits in Vermont
You may be able to recover benefits if you are a disabled veteran. Eligibility for benefits depends on the circumstances, and certain family members may also be able to recover these benefits. However, it is difficult to file a successful claim. For this reason, we encourage you to take advantage of state or federal agencies that help with the filing process.
Agencies for Disabled Veterans in Vermont
You should consider using the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs if you need help filing a claim. The Office of Veterans Affairs can help you uncover helpful resources throughout the state.
The VA’s regional office in White River Junction can also provide helpful information on filing a claim.
Filing a VA Claim in Vermont
You can begin the claims process online. However, you should know more about the process for filing a claim before you begin your application. The state agency listed above can help in this regard.
You need to show the VA that you suffer from an active disability caused by your service in the military. Much like you would for a claim involving a private insurance policy, you must provide evidence with your initial claim. Types of evidence that factor into your claim could include:
- Service records
- Medical records
- Service treatment records
- Physician statements
- Financial records
VA claims can be complicated, and this is not an exhaustive list of evidence that could become important for recovering benefits. Unfortunately, many veterans and their family members receive denials. It can take years to recover benefits from the VA.
There are different types of disability benefits for eligible veterans. We encourage you to continue exploring our website to learn more about VA benefits. If your claim is denied, then we suggest speaking with one of our attorneys to uncover potential options for filing an appeal. Your options vary depending on the circumstances.
Cities We Serve
- Rutland City
Contact Our Vermont Disability Attorneys for More Information
Tucker Law Group can help during any stage of the claims process for ERISA policies. We also provide counsel on cases involving individual disability claims. You can also reach out to us for help with the appeals process for a VA claim. Contact us for a consultation by dialing (866) 233-5044 or by using the contact form on our site.