Why You Need an Attorney For Your Short and Long-term Disability Claim
At Martin Law, we have handled thousands of filings and appeals of short and long-term disability claims. Almost every day, our firm encounters the same issues that hurt deserving applicants and their families. The insurance companies sometimes deceive people by telling them half or none of the story. Read on below for the no-nonsense facts about why you should hire Martin Law to help you with your case.
INITIAL APPLICATIONS AND CLAIM PROCESS
If you have ever dealt with an insurance company before, you know that it can be a stressful process and sometimes it seems like they are working against you. Maybe you think that it won’t be the case with your short or long term disability policy, unfortunately that is not always the way it works.
Think of this scenario, your doctor has just deemed you unable to return to work for the next few weeks or maybe indefinitely depending on the severity of your condition You try to figure out how you will get by without an income to help you pay bills, groceries, housing, etc. All of the sudden, you are extremely grateful for that insurance policy you have been paying into for years. You receive the initial application and submit all of the evidence that is required. And then, you receive a letter from your insurance company saying that your claim is denied and the panic sets in again.
At Martin Law, we are here to make sure that doesn’t happen. We walk you through the entire process and make sure that all the i’s are dotted, and the t’s are crossed, so that the insurance company cannot deny you on a technicality.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone handle all the correspondence and calls with the insurance company? Insurance companies design their paperwork to prompt specific responses that they can then use to deny your claim. We understand the tactics of the insurance companies and know how to work around these traps. Our team reviews every document and medical record before it is submitted to the insurance company to ensure that all information is submitted accurately to support your claim. Wouldn’t it be nice to know your interests are being protected from the start?
We submit specifically tailored questionnaires to your doctors to ensure your work-related restrictions and limitations are addressed. Otherwise, your doctors are left to complete the insurance companies stock forms which most of the time don’t even allow your doctor the option to select the correct restrictions and limitations that are appropriate for you, which can make your limitations not seem as severe as the truly are.
The companies will ask you to sign release forms for information that they will sometimes use against you later in the process. We ensure that you are not tricked and that only the necessary release forms are submitted. We will hold the insurance companies to the legal deadlines for decisions, as written in your policy, which will help to expediate your claim. Being represented by a qualified attorney also takes away their power to say they never received required documentation from you or your doctors.
Ultimately, less games on the side of the insurance company equals more money, more quickly for you and your family. Isn’t that why you bought this policy in the first place? Plain and simple.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CLAIM IS DENIED?
Most of the time, the insurance company will tell you to use their appeal form or that you don’t have to submit anything formal and that you can just fax or mail a letter saying, “I disagree”. This could not be further from the truth.
Any piece of written documentation submitted to the insurance company after a denial will count as your appeal. This includes the handwritten note that states, “I disagree with your denial of my claim because I am still disabled.” In thousands of claims, this has never worked in overturning an insurance company claim denial. Even when claimants write more detailed letters addressing why they disagree with the denial, it tends to focus on the factual issues in their appeal letters. Denials are almost always overturned on legal issues; the factual issues help, but it is the legal arguments that win the case.
Ultimately, your appeal will have to withstand scrutiny in court by a federal judge. The law that governs group short and long term disability policies is a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This means that when a legal dispute arises it is handled by a federal court. The insurance company is already represented and most likely by one of the biggest law firms in the country.
Some law firms will claim to help you with your ERISA matter. However, if their attorneys are not admitted to federal court, they can only help you with the written appeal and cannot appear in court on your behalf to handle the federal litigation. For you, this means additional delay because you will then need to find a firm like Martin Law, with attorneys admitted to federal practice to handle the litigation. But wouldn’t it make sense to hire just one attorney to handle everything? At Martin Law, we handle don’t “dabble” in disability claims. We handle the process from start to finish and ensure that your rights are protected from the very beginning.. We are always here to support you should you ever have a concern, question or need guidance during the course of your claim. We never stop working on your case and will handle every review. Insurance companies can make it seem like these cases are no big deal. Fortunately, we understand that it is your recovery and financial independence on the line and that you deserve better.
Read more about our disability attorney, Mary LeMieux-Fillery, and a sampling of the clients she has helped in the past.