Unlike Social Security disability claims which must be made through the government, long-term disability claims are made through private insurance companies. Health insurance, including long-term disability insurance, is often a part of the benefits package that many employers offer their employees, and when an employee becomes injured for an extended period of time, they may be eligible for coverage from their long-term disability insurance provider. However, insurance companies have been known to deny claims for long-term disability, and it can often be a battle to secure coverage for your claim. The Phoenix long-term disability attorneys at the Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC can simplify the process for you, and will help you avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls that most applicants for long-term disability routinely fall into.
The federal government does not require that all employers provide long term disability insurance to their employees, but it does set minimum standards for employee pension plans if they are to be offered. ERISA, which stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, is the federal law that regulates the minimum standards which employee benefit plans must meet, and therefore the majority of claims for long-term disability are governed by ERISA. Unfortunately for workers, ERISA has become more employer friendly over the last decade. Court decisions have given insurance companies more leeway to deny claims for long-term disability insurance, or to initially grant a claim but discontinue payment after two years. All of this makes it even more important that you have an experienced and qualified long-term disability lawyer on your side so that insurance companies do not take advantage of you.
Many applicants are denied long-term disability benefits simply because they do not understand their rights under the law. The Phoenix long-term disability lawyers in our office have years of experience helping injured workers secure coverage for their disabilities, and can help you through the long-term disability claims process, from initial claims, to administrative rehearings, and even including litigation in federal court.
The truth of the matter is that insurance companies who offer long-term disability insurance are there to make money. If they pay out too many claims, they will have a hard time turning a profit. Therefore, the reality is that a majority of claims for long-term disability will be denied. If a disability claim is initially denied however, you still have options. The attorneys at the Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck have experience going up against the insurance companies and can help you successfully appeal your denial of benefits.
If your long-term disability claim is denied, it is critical that you file an appeal quickly. Start by getting a copy of the policy plan documents, then review the denial letter for information on appeals, finally consult an attorney who has experience obtaining information needed to win your case.
Not all long-term disability policies are identical in their terms. Therefore, the exact process for an appeal depends on the particular terms and policies laid out in your long-term disability plan. In some cases, an appeal might consist of simply filing a letter with the insurance company stating your arguments in favor of your claim. Other policies might contain mandatory arbitration clauses, which require that any appeal be brought before an arbitrator as specified in the plan. In still other cases, the appeal might have to actually be brought in court. Regardless of the process however, in each appeal, careful arguments must be made addressing the medical, legal and work-related issues in your case. Our Arizona lawyers will pursue your claim all the way to federal court if we believe it will help you secure coverage for you long-term disability claim.
It is never too early to hire a disability attorney to assist you with your claim for long-term benefits. One common mistake that applicants make is to wait to hire an attorney until after their claim has been denied. In some instances however, it is already too late, because the applicant has made serious errors in their application that cannot be overcome. If an attorney has the opportunity to review the application before it is filed, the attorney can help you avoid potential problems with the application and help you preserve the opportunity for an appeal if one becomes necessary.
If you are in need of long term disability in Arizona, contact a disability lawyer at the Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC today to find out if your injury is covered by your existing long-term disability insurance coverage.
Call our office at 602-648-2035 for your free initial consultation today.