If you or your loved one is battling with a long-term disability, you have insurance, and have become unable to work, it is recommended to hire an experienced long-term disability lawyer to increase your chances of a successful outcome. Keep in mind that filing a claim regarding long-term disability, particularly when you have employer-offered group coverage, is a complicated process and you need all the legal help you can get. An improperly completed form, a missed deadline, or even an inappropriately uttered word to an insurance adjuster could put your claim in jeopardy.
Why hire an attorney?
Note that employer-provided group long-term disability insurance is always governed by ERISA, a federal law that provides for certain procedures, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the statute of limitations for filing long-term disability claims. An experienced attorney understands the importance of abiding by the ERISA rules and how to do so. Thus, working with an attorney means doing everything in the right way. The lawyer can also help you handle the following;
Preparation and filing for a lawsuit
One of the common provisions that catch most long-term disability claim applicants is that in a case against your insurer, the law prohibits you from bringing in a new piece of evidence. That means a federal judge will decide your case based on what is already in the administrative record – your specific claim file with the insurance service provider.
Thus, a competent ERISA attorney can attempt to ‘stack the administrative record’ with vocational, medical, and other relevant pieces of evidence before exhausting your internal appeals – the appeals with the insurance provider. Besides, the lawyer can work with your physicians to acquire supportive evidence such as opinions regarding your work-related disability. Understanding the right questions rather than solely depending on the biased documents created by your insurer is among the attorney’s most valuable contributions.
Acting as your representative
In addition to getting the right pieces of evidence and making sure that they are filed in your administrative record, your lawyer will also interact with the long-term disability plan administrator on your behalf, make the right initial application and appeals when necessary, and conduct reliable settlement negotiations. When necessary, the attorney can also bring a well-formulated lawsuit in a federal court.
When should you hire a lawyer?
It is never too early for a person living with long-term disability to hire a lawyer to represent them in their disability cases. The moment you realize you are unable to work, it is recommended to contact a good attorney to discuss how you should handle your situation particularly filing a long-term disability claim.
Most people make a mistake of waiting until their claim has been denied and then seek legal help, hiring an attorney to help with the initial application is recommended. This way, you can successfully protect your interests. Remember, lawyers have in-depth knowledge about what happens in courts, how to handle different cases, and these professionals can help you get your claim approved.