We established Roberts Disability Law, P.C. to help clients prove their entitlement to employer-provided benefits. We understand the importance of these benefits to provide compensation our clients need to pay for their basic life needs. We also understand ERISA’s complex rules and regulations. By remaining on the front line of developments in ERISA, we provide our clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with the quality representation they need to get through challenging situations.
ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This law covers claims related to most employer-provided pension, severance, and health and welfare benefit plans. Common health and welfare benefit plans include those providing disability, life, accidental death, and dismemberment benefits. Large employers may “self-fund” these benefit plans, but the plan benefits are usually paid with insurance policy funds. ERISA typically applies to benefit plans established by private sector employers and does not apply to plans offered by a church or government entity.
When ERISA governs your claim for benefits, it preempts all other state laws. In other words, the only rights and remedies that you are entitled to receive are those that the courts have determined are available under ERISA. Although this area of the law is always changing, the rights and remedies available to the average ERISA plan participant are generally limited. Under ERISA, insurance carriers or benefit plan administrators decide whether you meet the requirements for benefits based on the terms set forth in the insurance policy or benefit plan document. If the company denies your claim, you cannot file a lawsuit until you have exhausted your administrative remedies. This means that you have to submit a request for review (or appeal) to the administrator in order to get it to overturn the claim denial. Only when the carrier has issued a “final denial” can you file a lawsuit for benefits. And a court is typically limited to the claims record that exists at the time of the final denial. It is important for you to have the representation of a knowledgeable ERISA attorney at the time the carrier first denies your claim.
We at Roberts Disability Law, P.C. always prioritize our clients’ best interests. We take the time to learn all of your case details to develop the best strategy for getting your benefit claim paid. Because of our experience and knowledge of ERISA, we know how to get disability insurance carriers to pay claims and to build the best record for litigation if it becomes necessary. We stay up to date on all of the latest ERISA trends by reviewing all of the recent decisions issued across the country, as well as speak and frequently write on matters impacting our clients.
We frequently achieve successful results against many ERISA plan administrators. Our client-centered approach has led to many positive results for our clients, as well as victories in both federal district court and in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
I had submitted a disability claim on my own to UNUM that was denied originally. Two of my doctors indicated that based upon their past experience with patients who initiated disability claims that I might need to seek professional legal representation. A local friend who is an attorney (but who does not specialize in disability law) provided me with the name of Michelle Roberts. I originally spoke with Susan Foley and then forwarded all of my medical history to Michelle Roberts. She reviewed my history in depth and reported back that she felt that I had a strong case and…
Michelle Roberts is the consummate professional. She directed my case with such skill, perseverance and empathy. This is an exceptionally talented attorney. I did not have a large case, but she treated her objective of winning it(which she did!) as if it were. It can't be easy going up against an industry giant, but she succeeded in negotiating the best possible outcome for me. Michelle had a sense of urgency throughout and communicated every step of the way. I couldn't be happier or more impressed with Michelle and the entire team. Thank you!
I'm an attorney and needed representation in a difficult disability case. Several attorneys recommended Michelle and it was soon apparent why - she's amazing! Brilliant legal advice combined with her fighting spirit resulted in winning a difficult case against a large insurance company. 100% solid legal representation.
Michelle Roberts knows more about ERISA LTD matters than anyone else. Before my disabling injury, I was a litigator at a large law firm; I know the difference between the real experts and the rest of the attorneys. Disabled plaintiffs need an expert like Michelle because the insurance companies are playing hardball and don't care about doing what is right. It comes down to Michelle knowing the law, especially the most recent changes in the law. Also, she truly cares about people. If you get the chance for Michelle to represent you, you are fortunate.
Michelle not only won our case for me, but was totally professional, confidence inspiring, and reassuring. I felt I was in really good hands each step of the way. After it was all over and I was receiving disability benefits, my spouse and I looked back in retrospect and felt strongly that we could not have made a better choice in disability attorney for my case. Strongly recommended!
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