Long-Term Disability Insurance Cases
You've paid your premiums. We'll help you get the coverage you need.
If you've been seriously hurt in an accident or suffered a debilitating illness or injury at work, you may be disabled for a long time, or permanently. Fortunately, many people have long-term disability policies, either provided by employers or purchased with their own money. You've paid for that policy, either out of pocket or through deductions from your paycheck, and if you're now disabled, you should begin to receive benefits.
Unfortunately, the reality is much more complex. Insurance companies frequently deny disability coverage, leaving you unable to care for your family, buy groceries or pay your bills. The laws are, in most cases, very favorable to the insurance companies, and they routinely deny claims in order to save money - and because they think they can get away with it. If you have been injured and your insurance company denied your claim, a disability lawyer can help you get what you need to become whole again.
If you need help getting disability benefits, contact NLE Law today. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling disability denial and other insurance denial cases. We'll stand up to the insurance company on your behalf. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you won't have to pay us until the insurance company pays you.
Note that NLE Law does not handle Social Security Disability cases; we help people who have been denied benefits by private disability insurance companies. If you need help applying for Social Security Disability, we can refer you to a SSD attorney.
What is ERISA?
ERISA, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, is a federal law that governs most employer-provided disability insurance plans. If you paid for your disability insurance yourself, then ERISA does not apply to your case - it's governed by state law. However, if you received disability insurance through your employer, your case is likely governed by ERISA. The only exceptions are plans provided by government or religious employers.
Unfortunately, the way ERISA is interpreted judicially is highly skewed toward the insurance companies. Here's what you need to know if you have an ERISA disability case:
- You have 180 days to appeal the denial of your claim. This is a very strict deadline.
- If your disability appeal is denied, your only recourse is to file suit in federal court, and the federal judge will only look at the claim file maintained by the insurance company.
- You are not entitled to a jury trial. This means your only opportunity to prove your claim is during the appeal process.
- There are no penalties under ERISA if the insurance company unreasonably or improperly denies your claim. The federal judge only has the power to make the insurance company pay the benefits that they should have paid from the beginning.
Because the laws surrounding ERISA are so complex, and one misstep can deny your right to benefits, it's incredibly important to consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with these claims. Our attorneys have extensive experience and have thoroughly studied ERISA and disability law. We'll do everything we can to level the playing field and represent your case with honor and integrity.
Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to disability claims, especially when ERISA is involved. Don't hesitate. Call NLE Law at (206) 623-7520 for your free consultation.