Completing an LTD application may seem straightforward, but it’s easy to make errors that can result in denial of a deserving long term disability claim. More specifically, the application can be complex and the medical information needed to prove that you are disabled may be confusing. However, our experienced disability lawyers can help you at every step of the process. Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire can help you complete an application as well as answer any questions about your rights and responsibilities.
Dos & Don’ts
When Filing Your Long Term Disability Claim
- Do get in contact with disability lawyers
- Do obtain a copy of your long term disability plan
- Do link “restrictions & limitations” to your inability to work
- Do submit a detailed description of your job responsibilities
- Do follow up all insurer communications in writing
- Do get guidance from a pro that will protect your rights & benefits
- Don’t think your doctor’s opinion is enough
- Don’t allow your doctor to communicate directly with the insurance company without guidance
- Don’t think your insurance case manager is your friend
- Don’t be afraid to discuss “good and bad days”
- Don’t have an in person interview in your home
- Don’t post online these could hurt your case
For long term disability insurance claim cases, an experienced disability lawyer can help you through the process. Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can help you in the best possible way regarding your disability case.
Appealing a Long Term Disability Denial
If you have filed an application for long term disability benefits and your claim has been denied, long term disability attorney Jonathan M. Feigenbaum can assist you in successfully appealing the denial. He can help you appeal a long term disability claim filed under ERISA, as well as appeal claims filed under non-ERISA disability insurance laws.
What Do You Need to Successfully Appeal a Long Term Disability Denial?
After your claim is denied but before you file a lawsuit, you are required to appeal in writing to the insurance company. It will not be sufficient to write a one-line note to the insurance company that says you are appealing its denial. Mr. Feigenbaum’s experience in appealing denied disability claims will guide you through the protocol and increase the possibility that your appeal will be granted.
Mr. Feigenbaum will request the entire claim file from your insurance company and spend time evaluating its contents. As an experienced ERISA and Massachusetts long term disability attorney, he will know what to look for in the insurance company’s file.
Documentary Evidence Is Crucial to a Successful Appeal
The insurance company’s claim file contains the evidence a court will consider should your claim be litigated. It is essential, during the appeal process, to submit strong documentary evidence – such as detailed doctor’s reports containing specific descriptions of your disability.
Mr. Feigenbaum can help you successfully appeal your denied disability claim by doing a careful claim evaluation to determine how your claim can be strengthened. He can assist you in obtaining statements from your employer, family members, and can work with your doctor to submit an updated report that details your “restrictions” and “limitations.”
Some Appeals May Go Into Litigation
If your appeal is not granted, or if your insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, Mr. Feigenbaum can help you secure benefits through litigation in the state and federal courts.
Non-ERISA Long Term Disability Claims
If you purchased a long term disability insurance policy, state law governs your claim, and you have more options than those filing for benefits under ERISA.
Generally speaking, there are two types of disability insurance: ERISA and non-ERISA plans. An ERISA plan is supplied by your employer as an employee benefit. However, many people purchase their own individual long term disability insurance policies because:
- Their employers do not provide disability insurance, or
- They want additional coverage.
These personal long term disability insurance policies are non-ERISA plans.
Important Ways That Non-ERISA Long Term Disability Claims Differ From ERISA Claims
In many cases, you have more legal options when filing or appealing a non-ERISA LTD claim. If you file for long term disability benefits under your individual policy, the claim and appeal process will proceed similarly. However, if you file a lawsuit against your insurance company, you may collect compensation otherwise prohibited under ERISA. Individual policies entitle you to a jury trial as well as collecting for consequential and punitive damages. For example, foreclosure of your home due to loss of income from disability would result in compensation.
Filing for long-term disability benefits under ERISA—the federal law that governs all employer-supplied disability insurance—precludes many of the remedies available under state law. ERISA law does not entitle you to a jury trial, or punitive or compensatory damages. In fact, you are only able to collect the disability benefits and possibly money to cover attorney’s fees, interests and court-related costs.
Simply put, you have more tools and flexibility when litigating a non-ERISA claim. A properly selected jury may be more sympathetic than a federal judge or magistrate. And, you can demand full compensation for your damages. However, this flexibility should not result in complacency. Non-ERISA long term disability insurance policies are still complicated and difficult to navigate without experienced legal counsel.
Understanding Your Long Term Disability Insurance Policy
Before you file or appeal a long term disability claim, it is important to understand the terms of your insurance policy. Your eligibility for long term disability benefits may depend on specific language in your policy that sets out:
- The policy’s definition of disability,
- Medical conditions and disabilities that are excluded from coverage,
- Elimination (waiting) periods,
- Claim and appeal procedures, and
- Strict filing deadlines.
If you do not meet the policy’s requirements, you may lose some or all of your LTD benefits.
Unfortunately, long term disability insurance policies are very technical documents—making them difficult for many people to read and interpret. A long term disability lawyer will help you understand your policy’s terms and conditions, assess your eligibility for benefits, and ensure that you provide accurate and persuasive evidence in support of your claim.
Securing Non-ERISA Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits for Our Clients
We can help you get the compensation that you are entitled to under your individual disability insurance policy. In these cases, we will help guide you throughout the process, from the application through the appeal stage, as well as litigation if necessary. In non-ERISA litigation, we will work to help you receive not only disability benefits—either in a lump-sum settlement or through monthly payments by your insurance company—but also the additional compensation that can help to make you whole.
If your insurance company mishandles your non-ERISA long term disability claim, or denies it without cause, we can help you seek damages through a bad faith insurance claim. Your individual disability insurance is supposed to provide benefits if you are disabled. If you need help, Mr. Feigenbaum will work to help you receive the benefits and damages you need and deserve.
Contact Massachusetts Long Term Disability Lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire
We offer free initial consultations. To speak with a long term disability lawyer about your insurance claim, contact Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire, in Boston. Reach us by phone at 617-409-0539, toll-free at 866-876-4856, or through the How Can We Help form.