Many employers offer long-term disability policies to their employees, and many employees purchase them. The purpose of these policies is financial protection. Specifically, to give employees and their households the safety of knowing that if the employee suffers a disabling injury or illness, at least they won’t be financially devastated as a direct result.
If a disabling injury or illness does happen, the process is supposed to be simple: the employee who can no longer work files a claim, the insurance company processes the claim in a timely manner, and the employee starts receiving benefits (usually a percentage of their income at the time of the injury or illness).
Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Insurance companies often delay processing claims or deny them outright, even when the claim is justified and has been previously approved. This can leave a household in serious financial distress, and many in this situation don’t know where to turn.
If you or a loved one has had a long-term disability claim denied or delayed, call Morgan & Morgan. A consultation is always free, and we don’t charge anything unless we win for you.
The ERISA Complication
Hiring an attorney can be beneficial in many insurance disputes, but can be absolutely crucial in a long-term disability case; this is due to the extra issues that come along with this specific situation.
ERISA (standing for Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a law passed in 1974 that set minimum standards for employer-managed insurance and retirement plans. With those standards also came a set of conditions and procedures that govern the claims process, and any appeals or lawsuits that results from a denied claim.
The practical outcome of all this is that when a long-term disability claim is filed, it’s important to get an attorney involved the instant things get complicated. Because of ERISA, if paperwork isn’t handled exactly the right way, and if strict deadlines aren’t met, the injured employee may lose their right to appeal a claims denial or file a lawsuit.
This can be disastrous if the insurance company denies a justified claim that could have been overturned on appeal or in court. Don’t let that happen to you. At the first sign of trouble with a claim, call Morgan & Morgan right away.
Fighting For You
The whole point of paying for long-term disability insurance is to not have to worry about financial security in the case of injury or illness. To have that security threatened because of often predatory practices on the part of the insurance company is a cruel situation that no one should have to face alone.
With Morgan & Morgan, we’ll be at your side every step of the way. We have the resources to take your fight all the way till the end, and you never have to pay unless we win. Call today, we want to get started on your case as soon as possible.
If my claim was denied, is there a deadline to file a claim?
Yes. After a denial, you often only have 180 days to file an appeal, and it is imperative that the paperwork be filled and filed perfectly. If you’ve been denied, call a lawyer right away.
What if I can still work, but now have to do a different kind of job and/or work fewer hours due to the injury?
The insurance company may use your ability to work at all – even if it’s at reduced capacity and for fewer hours – as grounds to deny your claim. In many cases though you would still have a rightful claim to long-term disability benefits. If you are considering going back to work, call an attorney first to make sure you are doing so in a way that won’t compromise your benefits.
What will an attorney do for me?
Firstly and most importantly, your attorney will make sure that all of your paperwork – including medical records, employment records, application forms, etc. – are complete and in order. Then they’ll work to overturn the reasoning the insurance company used to deny or delay the claim, and make sure that all ERISA guidelines are followed so that your claim is never jeopardized.
Most cases should be resolved without going to trial, but if necessary, your attorney will go to court and fight for you there. All in all, your attorney will use every bit of knowledge and experience they have to make sure that you get the disability benefits you need.
Can I really hire Morgan & Morgan without paying anything up front?
100%. Our attorneys work on the contingency-fee model, which means that they only get paid when you win, and not a dime before then. And the consultation is always 100% as well.