Getting Long Term Disability Benefits After A Serious Illness or Injury.
If you're like most executives working in DC you've worked really hard for your entire career to make a difference and provide for your family.
You had absolutely nothing given to to you. You paid your own way. You earned it.
But what happens when a medical condition or serious injury keeps you from working and you suddenly need long term disability benefits?
First, you have to realize that, even though you may have paid premiums for a long term disability policy for many years, the policy gives your disability insurance company a lot of discretion in how to decide your claim for benefits - it's obviously written to favor the insurance company.
So you don't want to take any chances. Don't give the insurance company the opportunity to deny or terminate your long term disability benefits because you don't know any better.
You don't want to get taken advantage of. You don't want to lose everything you've worked hard for.
How Do I Appeal a Denied Long Term Disability Claim?
If your claim for long term disability was denied, you need to formulate evidence and write your appeal as if a federal judge was deciding your case based on the appeal and the evidence you submit.
Once your benefits are denied under a long term disability plan covered by ERISA (the vast majority of long term disability policies are governed by ERISA) you only have 180 days to file your appeal with the insurance company. This is not just some form you complete - it's an opportunity to add evidence in support of your claim, so you need to work with medical experts, specialists, vocational experts, medical researchers and others to make sure you have the medical evidence (testing, physician reports, expert opinions, medical literature, etc.), vocational and occupational evidence you need.
This is critical because if your appeal is denied by your insurance company (that's who the appeal goes to), the next step is to file your case in federal court (in D.C., the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) where a federal judge will decide your case without witnesses or discovery - the decision in your case will be based on the administrative record, including your appeal and everything submitted with it.
In our complex medical malpractice cases, we always say the best way to get a good settlement is to prepare for trial, so we do an incredible amount of work before the case is ever filed in court. The same concept applies here - everything you do should be done to persuade a federal judge and to build your case at the appeal stage.
If a lawyer tells you to wait until you file the case in court, so the other side doesn't know what is coming, or to wait and take the depositions of your doctors, or that you have an aooprtunity to develop your case during discovery - then that lawyer doesn't know ERISA disability cases.
It's Best To Get a Long Term Disability Attorney Working For You Early in the Process
The best way to win a long term disability appeal is to identify all of the additional evidence that supports your disability, analyze the policy, work with your physicians and other specialists and experts to develop additional support that you are disabled under the policy, draft personal statements from you, co-workers and others who have witnessed the effects of your medical condition, analyze the legal weaknesses in the insurance company's decision to deny your benefits, and draft an appeal that incorporates all of the facts, law and medicine.
No matter how successful you are, once you have a serious injury or medical condition, this is an almost impossible task.
Let Our Experienced Long Term Disability Attorney Take This On For You
We start by analyzing the insurance company's position in denying or terminating your long term disability benefits and give you the next steps that can help. And we work with you, your family, your doctors as well as other experts and specialists to put your appeal in the best position to get you the long term disability benefits you deserve.
Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started.