In Boston and throughout New England, disability lawyer Jonathan M. Feigenbaum offers skilled counsel to people filing for disability insurance benefits under their individual insurance policy. 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 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 (Insert after “Important Ways”)
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 617-357-9700, toll-free at 866-396-9722, or through the How Can We Help form.