The long-term disability (LTD) insurance provided by your employer was one employee benefit that you hoped never to have to use. However, now that you are unable to work you are relieved that you have LTD insurance to help you pay your bills.
Unfortunately, receiving fair LTD insurance benefits is often a complicated process because the insurance company simply doesn’t want to pay your claim. The insurance company makes money by getting you to accept as little as possible for your claim. Thus, the insurance company may try to delay paying your benefits, the insurance company may try to deny your claim, or the insurance company may raise defenses if you appeal its decision.
Since 1994, Keefe Disability Law has been committed to helping people with disabilities. We want to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the LTD insurance benefits that you have earned as part of your employment compensation package.
Federal Law Protects Your Fair Recovery of LTD Insurance Benefits
Most long-term disability insurance policies that are offered by employers are governed by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA establishes specific rules about how your LTD claim must be filed and about how disagreements over benefits are handled.
How the Insurance Company May Try to Prevent Your Fair Recovery of ERISA LTD Benefits
Your benefits are likely protected by both ERISA and state contract law. However, you should be prepared for the insurance company to fight your claim by:
- Claiming that you have insufficient medical proof of your disability.
- Misconstruing your functional capacity evaluation and determining that you can continue to work.
- Identifying jobs that you can do that are not real options.
- Hiring investigators to watch you and to try to catch you doing things that are inconsistent with your claim of disability.
- Misusing the peer review process and relying on the opinion of a doctor that the insurance company hires who has not even met you.
- Taking other actions to delay or deny your claim.
You need to protect yourself from these potential actions, but you do not have to do so alone.
What Our Long-Term Disability ERISA Attorneys Can Do for You
We will make sure that all of your rights are protected and that you get the LTD benefits that you have earned. When you call Keefe Disability Law—for an initial consultation or at any time during your claim—your call will be answered and our legal team will get you the information that you need promptly. You will not be frustrated or left waiting for a return phone call that never comes.
Instead, we will answer your questions and take all of the necessary steps to make sure that your rights are protected. This includes:
- Interpreting the specific language of your policy to determine your benefits. For example, some policies consider you disabled if you can’t work at your “own” occupation and other policies consider you disabled if you can’t work at “any” occupation.
- Making sure that all deadlines are met. ERISA sets strict deadlines that must be met in order for you to get LTD benefits.
- Making sure that the insurance company has all of the information that it needs from you. This includes, but is not limited to: medical records, witness statements, employment information, and medical opinions.
- Reviewing any LTD insurance denials. Before you appeal a denial, you must understand the reason for the denial.
- Filing appropriate appeals. Specific paperwork must be filed and certain deadlines must be met.
- Filing your ERISA LTD case in court, if necessary, and preparing for trial. You may be able to bring a claim in federal or state court, depending on the specific reason for appeal.
- Advising you on whether to accept a lump sum settlement. We will make sure that you only settle for a fair amount.
- Applying for Social Security disability benefits if that is a requirement of your LTD policy or if it would be in your best interest. Some policies require you to file for Social Security disability benefits and our lawyers have decades of experience with the Social Security disability process.
Our goal is to get you a fair and full recovery of the specific benefits that are allowed pursuant to your long-term disability insurance policy. We are here to help you, whether you are filing an initial LTD claim or an appeal after a denial of benefits. Please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your rights and potential benefits.