Long Term Disability Lawyer
Many people find themselves in a position where they can no longer perform all or some of the duties of their job because of a disabling condition. There are several different benefits that could be available to you, if you are unable to perform your job. These benefits include Workers Compensation, Social Security Disability (SSD), or Long Term Disability.
If your employer provides long term disability insurance, or you have a private long term disability plan, you would expect the insurance coverage to provide vital financial support when illnesses or injuries keep you out of work. But insurance carriers are private corporations, and the policy decisions they make are often based on profit margins – not your best interests. Our Long Term Disability Lawyers are here to help you file a compelling appeal if you were denied long term disability coverage, and get you the compensation you need.
At Fields Law Firm, our long term disability benefits attorneys help disability clients throughout Minnesota, and want to help you get the full value of your long term disability plan. If you have questions, we have answers – no matter where you are in the claim or long term disability appeal process. Just call 1-888-343-5375 or fill out a free case review request form to Get Fields!
Getting Your Long Term Disability Compensation
You should be focusing on your health, not insurance company paperwork. At Fields Law, our long term disability lawyers know how to build strong long term disability appeals, and we’re ready to help you navigate through the process.
Our Minnesota Long Term Disability Lawyers can help you:
- Complete time-sensitive insurance company paperwork.
- Review your policy and help you understand your legal options.
- Help you understand your rights as a long term disability plan member.
- Gather medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence for your claim.
- Fill out your application for long term disability benefits.
- Prepare a strong and compelling appeal for you.
- File a lawsuit if your appeal is denied.
Insurance companies make it difficult for you to get the long term disability benefits you need without an attorney. Our long term disability attorneys are here to answer your questions, without any obligation to hire us. We’ll even monitor your claim and step in to handle your case immediately if your disability claim gets denied.
Do I Need To Hire a Long Term Disability Lawyer?
Long term disability benefits are supposed to provide financial resources for you and your family when an injury or illness keeps you from working. But this coverage isn’t guaranteed, and insurance companies often deny claims because of errors or omissions on the application paperwork.
At Fields Law Firm, we focus on helping our clients build a strong long term disability claim. Whether you need help with an application for long term disability or you’re considering filing an appeal, it’s our job to help you get the long term disability benefits you need.
Insurance claims administrators are hired to protect company profits. At Fields Law, we come to work every day to help people like you with their long term disability benefits. We believe every long term disability case has potential, and we’ll take the time to listen to you and help you understand your options.
If you are being treated unfairly, our experienced attorneys are here so you don’t have to face the insurance company alone. If you don’t need a long term disability lawyer to handle your claim, we’ll tell you that too! Pick up the phone and talk to us about your claim.
Fields Law is Minnesota’s resource for people injured at work or disabled and unable to return to work. Let us answer your questions about long term disability insurance claims. Whether you’re suffering from a serious illness or recovering from an injury, contact our experienced disability benefits attorneys to get the legal help you need.
Long Term Disability Client Testimonial
“I had back surgery in April 2014. Prior to which I had been on 4 pain medications, in extreme pain and desperation. I exhausted the short term disability benefits because I was still recovering and still on nerve pain medication. This nerve pain med had serious side effects and the doctor had to taper that med gradually from my body. I was not ready to go back to work because mentally the drug had countless effects on me.
When I applied for long term disability benefits, the insurance company used an uninformed lazy doctor to go through my medical records for a lengthy 6 weeks to reject my application. I was devastated and swore revenge. I Googled Fields Law and luckily they came to my rescue. Their Fields Law team was really good, kind, reassuring to me. They worked with my primary physician and won the appeal for me. Thanks to Fields Law I got my long term disability check from the greedy insurance company. Thank you Fields Law.”
— H.T., Minneapolis, Minnesota
What Are The Steps to Receive Long Term Disability Benefits?
First, find out if you have long term disability coverage. Did you buy a policy on your own? Or, does your employer sponsor a long term disability policy as part of an employee benefit package? If you aren’t sure, ask your Human Resources department at work.
Next, make sure that you have your doctor’s support. It’s important that you are treating with your doctor, and that they agree that you are unable to work due to your injury or disability. Your most valuable asset in a successful long term disability claim for benefits is the opinion of your treating physician.
Application. Request an application for benefits from the long term disability insurance company. The application will ask for biographical information, as well as information about your disability, condition, or illness. It is important to take the time to read through the application and then fill it out completely and accurately. You may even request an attorneys help at this stage.
After you submit your application, the insurance company will review your application and the other material you submitted with your application. The insurance reviews this material in order to make a decision on whether or not to pay you benefits. The insurance company may have a medical expert review your records and make determinations about your conditions. The insurance company will likely request information about your job duties from your employer. The insurance company may have a vocational expert review the job description and other information about your job.
Waiting for the insurance company to make a decision can be agonizing. Although the insurer typically has 45 days to make a decision, they will likely request either one or two 30-day extensions to make their decision. Unfortunately, it can take up to 105 days to get an answer from the insurance company.
The Denial. Not surprisingly, many people are denied long term disability benefits at the application stage. The insurance company will mail you a written denial letter. The denial letter should include the reason for the decision and reference the parts of the policy in which the decision is based. Additionally, the denial letter should contain information about your right to receive, free of charge, copies of documents and records relevant to your claim. This is often referred to as the “claim file.”
Submitting an Appeal. The long term disability benefits denial letter should inform you what the next steps are. The denial letter will usually inform you that you have 180 days to appeal the insurance company’s decision. In other words, you have a second chance to convince the insurance company that you should receive long term disability benefits.
Get an attorney. It’s important to hire an attorney as soon as possible once you receive a denial letter. Typically, you only have one chance to build your record to get your long term disability claim approved.
Even if you receive a second denial, it’s still not over. The insurance company’s second denial letter should inform you of your right to bring a civil action for benefits under section 502(a) of ERISA. The rules and regulations that govern these claims are very difficult to understand, which is why it’s important to have an experienced long term disability attorney on your side.
Fortunately, you’ve found Fields Law Firm. We understand the entire process from submitting applications, to writing compelling appeals, negotiating substantial settlements, and filing ERISA lawsuits.
Long Term Disability Client Success Story
A Minnesota woman was employed as a clinical assistant with a major healthcare provider in the twin cities. She loved her work assisting physicians and their patients, but became disabled. The woman had been suffering from fibromyalgia, untreated spina bifida, chronic migraines, and had widespread issues with her spine and bones. She initially applied for long term disability benefits from the insurer, but they denied her claim stating that her medical information didn’t support a finding of functional impairment.
The woman knew she wanted to appeal the decision, but didn’t know how to go about doing it. She learned that Fields Law had a proven record of success at winning benefits. After our initial consultation with the client, our attorneys immediately began writing her appeal. We argued that the medical evidence conclusively established her disability, noting the insurer failed to give our client’s chronic pain due consideration.
However, the long term disability insurance company ignored our arguments and denied the appeal, avoiding having to pay out on our client’s claim. We immediately filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court. We made significant preparations for litigation, and the insurance company eventually began negotiating a settlement. The insurer agreed to pay out a lump sum on our client’s long term benefits claim, and she was able to move forward with her life and focus on taking care of herself.
How Do I Apply For Long Term Disability Benefits?
Individuals may go about applying for Long Term Disability benefits in a variety of ways. This includes applying directly to your Long Term Disability insurance provider or through your own employer. If you know what insurance company administers and provides your Long Term Disability policy, you should contact them directly and indicate that you wish to apply for Long Term Disability benefits.
Some of these insurance companies include MetLife, UNUM, CIGNA, Prudential, The Hartford, The Standard, Madison National Life, Liberty Mutual, Aetna, Sedgewick, and so on. If you are not sure who your Long Term Disability insurance provider is, you should contact your employer. You can often find out this information from your manager, supervisor, or Human Resources department.
Once you know what insurance company provides your Long Term Disability benefits, you should file an application for benefits. Upon applying for benefits, most Long Term Disability policies require you to provide “proof of loss.” This means that you must provide the insurance company with specific reasons and documentation of why you are no longer able to work and should be entitled to Long Term Disability benefits.
When applying, most insurance companies have you complete various types of forms. These forms can include questionnaires about your health and may ask for information regarding your employment, medical treatment and providers, and personal activities. Along with completing forms, insurance companies may also have you complete health and release of information authorizations so they can obtain medical and other information to further investigate your claim.
What Happens After I Submit My Application For Long Term Disability Benefits?
After all of your forms and authorizations have been submitted to the insurance company, your claim will be opened and investigated. Often times, a specific case worker is assigned to your claim and oversees the process. Keep in mind, your case worker works for the insurance company, not you.
This case worker may request outstanding or updated medical information, send your claim to third party physicians for further review, or have your claim forwarded for a vocational review. Insurance companies may also contact your doctors for additional information. Also, it is important to remember that when you file an application for Long Term Disability benefits, you may be placed under surveillance.
Depending upon the type of Long Term Disability plan or policy you have, there may be a deadline in which the insurance company must come to a decision to either grant or deny your benefits. Applications for benefits are often denied for a variety of reasons, which can be very frustrating when you don’t understand the basis for the decision.
Reasons the insurance company will deny your claim typically include:
- Finding that you are not disabled, despite your doctor’s opinions.
- Stating that you do not have limitations or restrictions severe enough to limit your ability in working.
- Claiming your disability was due to a pre-existing condition.
You should contact a Long Term Disability lawyer as soon as you receive the denial letter, so that they can help you get started on your appeal. The denial letter will include the deadline for submitting your appeal, typically 180 days. The actual deadline date may be based on the date your current disability payments will be discontinued or the date of the denial letter.
Although 180 days seems like a generous amount of time, there is a lot of work to be done in that time frame. It takes time to request medical records and employment records to support your claim. You may also need additional time to seek medical treatment or obtain medical testing to support your claim.
Whether you have not yet applied, or have applied and you were denied your long term disability benefits, we can help. We can assist you in the application process by going over all the forms with you and obtaining supportive medical and vocational information for your claim. If you have already been denied, we can help with the long term disability appeal process.
Call us today at 1-888-343-5375 or request a free case review. The call is free, the advice is free, and there’s no obligation to hire us. We are here to answer your questions and help you understand all of your options.