A long-term disability is life-altering for you and your loved ones and obtaining any available benefits to provide support is essential. While Social Security disability might provide limited benefits, many people in this situation turn to their private disability insurance to seek benefits. You might have an individual policy or an employer-sponsored policy, and most employer-sponsored disability policies are governed by a federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Long-term disability claims are complicated, and the denial rate is high. ERISA can complicate matters even further, as there are stringent deadlines and rules for appealing a denial. If you need assistance with a claim or appeal, contact a long-term disability lawyer in Oakland right away.
Each insurance company offers different terms for its long-term disability policies. Each policy will define a qualified disability and when you might be eligible for benefits. Benefits might be available if you can no longer work at your current occupation or some insurers require you not to be able to work in any occupation. Some policies start with your own occupation and then change to any occupation after two years or another set time frame. As you can see, policy terms can be confusing.
After getting diagnosed with a disability and realizing you cannot work, you are likely anxious about your finances and ready to start receiving benefits as soon as you can. To make the process easier, quicker, and with a higher rate of approval, start by consulting with a long-term disability attorney.
The process begins by filing a claim with your disability insurer. Your attorney will know how to prepare the most persuasive claim possible, as well as help you gather sufficient evidence needed to prove the severity of your disability and resulting limitations. Often, insurers will continue to request additional evidence or have you undergo an independent examination, which can delay the process.
If your initial application for long-term disability benefits is denied, it is not the end of the road. You can begin the appeal process to request a review of the decision related to your eligibility for disability benefits. Once you exhaust your administrative options with the insurance company, you might need to file a claim in court against the insurer to demand the benefits you deserve. Because ERISA is a federal law, all claims involving ERISA long-term disability policies must be filed in federal court.
Appeals can be highly complicated and can take some time to process, especially if you need to pursue litigation. Having an attorney by your side with experience can best support the success of your appeal.
Disability benefits are important, and you want the right legal help to ensure you receive the benefits you need. Reach out to Roberts Disability Law to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today.
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