If you have an illness or injury that makes working impossible, you may be eligible for disability benefits from your individual long term disability policy. Even though you have faithfully paid your premiums, you may find that getting approved for benefits is far more difficult than expected. Submitting a brief claim form and simple note from your doctor will not suffice. You will need to support your claim with plenty of evidence that you are “disabled” as defined by your policy. Your Rhode Island long term care insurance claim lawyer can help you with the details on doing this.
Work with a skilled Rhode Island Massachusetts disability insurance claims attorney who understands what evidence insurers find persuasive. In Rhode Island and throughout New England, attorney Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire, offers skilled counsel to people who are filing long-term disability insurance claims under their individual disability insurance policies.
What Is an Individual Long Term Insurance Policy?
Some long term disability policies are provided by employers. These are group policies and, unless the employer is a religious organization or a governmental entity, the policies are subject to a restrictive federal law known as ERISA (short for Employee Retirement Income Security Act). Individual policies, usually purchased by the insured directly from the insurance company, are not regulated by ERISA. If you purchased an individual disability insurance policy, your claim will be governed by state law, which means that if your claim is mistakenly or wrongfully denied, you have more options than would be available under ERISA policy.
Suing Your Insurance Company if Your Claim Is Denied
If your claim is denied and you decide to sue your insurance company, you are entitled to a jury trial, which is not available to ERISA claimants. If you win, you may be able to collect consequential and punitive damages in addition to the disability benefits the insurance company owes you.
Consequential damages are just what they sound like: damages to compensate you for the consequences of having your disability benefits wrongfully denied. For example, these damages would compensate you for the loss of your home if your disability prevented you from working, you couldn’t pay your mortgage, and your home was foreclosed upon. Also included are damages for the emotional distress you may have suffered when your claim was denied and you lost your home. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded to punish the insurance company for especially egregious behavior in denying your claim.
With an employer provided group policy under ERISA, the employee who sues over a denied claim is not entitled to punitive or compensatory damages. The employee can collect only the disability benefits he or she is owed and possibly money to cover attorney’s fees, interests and court related costs. A Rhode Island long term care insurance claim lawyer can also help with this.
Securing Private Long-Term Disability Benefits for Our Clients
Rhode Island Massachusetts disability insurance claims attorney Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can help you get the compensation that you are entitled to under your individual disability insurance policy. He will guide you throughout the process, from the application through the appeal stage, and into litigation, as necessary. In litigation, he will work to help you receive not only disability benefits—either in a lump-sum settlement or monthly payments by your insurance company—but also the additional compensation that can help to make you whole.
If your insurance company mishandles your individual long-term disability claim, or denies it without cause, Rhode Island long term care insurance claim lawyer Mr. Feigenbaum can help you seek damages through a bad faith insurance claim.
Contact Rhode Island Massachusetts Disability Insurance Claims Attorney Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire
To speak with a Rhode Island Massachusetts disability insurance claims attorney about your long-term disability insurance claim, contact Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire. He can be reached by phone at 617-357-9700, toll-free at 866-396-9722, or through our How Can We Help form.