If you’ve suffered an injury that prevents you from working for at least six months, you may be relying on long-term disability insurance payments to cover your living expenses. However, the law surrounding insurance claims is complicated whether you’re filing a claim for short-term or long-term disability insurance. Nobody wants to struggle with their insurance claim only to receive a denial later.
Consulting with a law office before you file a long-term disability claim can save you the headache of filing an appeal for a denied claim. Explore the top six reasons to hire a long-term disability lawyer and learn why Nessler & Associates might be the right firm for you.
They Know if and How Your Plan is Governed
If you have long-term disability insurance through your job, there’s a chance that your insurance plan is subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under ERISA, there are restrictions on how long you have to submit a claim and how long your insurance has to review your claim.
Your attorney can also review your long-term disability plan and ensure you meet the requirements to file a claim. For example, certain insurance plans may require you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in addition to long-term disability benefits. Your attorney can ensure that you’ve applied for SSDI before submitting a claim to your insurance company, avoiding an unnecessary rejection.
They Can Prepare Your Evidence Ahead of Time
In many legal claims against an insurance company, it’s possible to submit new evidence to the court in addition to the documents from your insurance claim. However, this doesn’t apply to long-term disability plans governed by ERISA. Instead, your case is decided based on the documents in your claim with the insurance company; submitting new evidence is only possible in rare circumstances.
You may have plenty of proof that you’re eligible for long-term disability, but if your insurance company only has a handful of papers to give to the court, you may lose your case regardless.
A long-term disability attorney can help you gather and submit all useful documentation to your insurance company. Even if insurance continues to deny your claims and appeals, having these documents on record will give you a better chance of winning in court.
They Can Help You Avoid Critical Mistakes
Certain actions on your end can significantly reduce your disability insurance benefits or even prevent you from obtaining them, no matter your intentions. A lawyer can advise you against these actions so that you don’t jeopardize your benefits.
For example, when consulting with your attorney, you might mention that you’re considering demotion to maintain a position within the company. Your attorney will be able to advise you against this since a long-term disability claim is only valid if you’re unable to work.
They Can Stay On Top of Paperwork and Filing Deadlines
Keeping track of deadlines and paperwork related to your disability claim can be challenging, especially while adapting to an injury or new disability. Luckily, law firms are adept at handling paperwork and are familiar with the deadlines for filing long-term disability claims.
They can handle the paperwork that you need for your claim and ensure it’s submitted on time. If you need to appeal a denied claim or your case progresses to court, your lawyer can handle the paperwork and meet the filing deadlines.
They Can Help You Appeal a Denied Claim
While your insurance company must disclose the reason for a denied claim, they often don’t tell you how to successfully appeal the denial. Your appeals may be denied without appropriate guidance like your initial claim was. There are limits on how many times you can appeal a denial, and if your appeals are repeatedly denied, you may be unable to obtain your benefits.
The Department of Labor should inform you of your right to seek legal advice if your appeal is denied. An experienced disability insurance attorney can examine why your claim was denied, help you gather the evidence you need to appeal your claim successfully and represent you when you appeal the claim.
They Can Fight Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
While some long-term disability insurance claims are denied due to mistakes on your behalf, some insurance companies use bad-faith tactics to deny your claim. If your insurance company acts in bad faith, a long-term disability insurance lawyer can fight to ensure your claim is successful.
For example, the company may deny your claim and not give you a reason, which is forbidden under ERISA. Similarly, they may delay reviewing your claim or appeal, wait for a submission deadline to pass, and then deny your claim.
ERISA requires that your claim be reviewed within 45 days of its submission, and your insurance company must notify you if it needs an extension. An attorney can help you fight both of these situations.
Talk to an Illinois Long-Term Disability Lawyer at Nessler & Associates
Your insurance company shouldn’t be able to deny your claim just because they don’t want to pay. Nor should you have an otherwise-valid claim denied simply because you didn’t understand a small part of your policy.
If you’re struggling to file or appeal a claim with long-term disability insurance in Illinois, Nessler & Associates can provide you with the assistance and representation you need.
Our attorneys have helped many people file long-term disability claims, appeal a denial, and battle uncooperative insurance companies in Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Colorado. We know finances are tight for most people filing a claim, so we have a no-fee guarantee: unless we settle or win your case, we won’t ask you for any payment. Call us at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.