The Standard Disability Insurance Claims Lawyers
It is all about getting you and your family to a better place financially and emotionally. To get you peace of mind and enough money to pay your bills. Abell & Capitan are a national disability insurance claims law firm, and one major company we deal with regularly is The Standard, which used to be known as Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company. They are the fourth largest group disability insurance company in the country. They offer short term disability insurance, long term disability insurance and individual disability insurance. Abell & Capitan is a disability insurance claims law firm that works on a contingency basis to get your claim paid by The Standard. That means that, if we take your case, you will not have to pay us a retainer or any other fees. We get paid when we win for you and you get your disability claim paid.
Why would I need a lawyer if I have a disability claim?
Actually, you need a lawyer before you make a claim, particularly if you are contemplating purchasing individual disability insurance. It is invaluable to have an expert who knows how to read an individual disability insurance policy and tell you all the provisions that may prevent you from getting your claims paid. But even if your disability insurance is provided by your employer, it is a good idea to speak with Abell & Capitan before you file a short term disability claim (most disability policies require that you use the short term disability structure first, usually for an entire year, before you can file a long term disability claim). We will help you file a claim that is more likely to get you paid benefits than if you did it yourself, because disability claim insurance claims are our entire practice. It is a complex area of law, so getting a good lawyer is invaluable for you to get the money you deserve. It goes even further than just filing a claim. If your claim is denied, you will have to undertake an appeals process that is complex and rule driven, and you will definitely need a good disability insurance claims lawyer to help you sort it out.
Let’s take you through the disability claims appeals process to show you how it works. You file a claim because there was an event, either an accident or an illness or something else, that made you not be able to work for a period of time. You need some money to pay your bills while you are out of work, and your employer provides you with disability insurance just for this type of scenario. You file a short term disability claim by filling out a form that describes the nature of the disability, how it prevents you from being able to work, and other things like earnings information and information from your doctor that support your claim that you cannot perform your job functions at this time. You file the claim and the company pays it. Or maybe they don’t pay it and deny your claim outright. Sometimes they request more documentation and medical information, or sometimes they just delay making a decision about whether you are eligible to receive short term disability benefits for your illness or injury. Using delaying tactics is actually fairly common.
But if you have a good disability claims lawyer, there are ways to make the insurance company make a timely decision and pay your claim.
First of all, The Standard is required by law to act in good faith toward all their claimants. As a practical matter, that means they have to respond to claims in a timely manner and cannot deny claims that they should have paid, thereby forcing the claimant to appeal the claim even though the insurance company knows the claim is valid under the terms of the insurance policy. Such behavior can give rise to lawsuits against The Standard for acting in bad faith, which can mean several things. The company denied a claim without justification. The Standard failed to reasonably investigate a claim and subsequently denied it. The company can also fail to provide an explanation for a denial in a reasonably timely period, or failed to pay an allowed claim in a timely manner. The Standard is also acting in bad faith when they fail to pass on relevant information to the claimant and/or their representative.
Other unfair treatment or bad faith treatment of policyholders can include improperly terminating disability coverage, ignoring treating physician’s statements regarding a claimants restrictions or limitations and results of medical testing in reviews of a claim.
The Standard and all other employee benefits insurance companies are bound by the federal Employee Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a sweeping regulatory act that governs health benefits, pension plans and labor laws. This law is complex, but things like reporting requirement and appeals processes for disability insurance carriers and key interpretations of the rights of both disability insurance companies and policy holders are contained within ERISA.
Why hire us?
We know ERISA. Abell & Capitan has worked with this law for the entirety of our disability insurance claims legal practice. We know how it is written and, more importantly, how it has been interpreted by insurance companies and courts around the United States. Eventually, any appeal you file against The Standard disability insurance company will be conducted and regulated by ERISA provisions, and you need to have an attorney who is deeply familiar with ERISA to be successful. We will draft an appeal for based upon our knowledge and experience of what is likely to be successful. Then we will make your case in any appeals hearing, using our knowledge of what documents are considered relevant and what evidence will help your appeal. The appeal becomes a forum for negotiating a settlement with The Standard that is fair and reasonable. These negotiations are formalized and rule-bound, but we have conducted hundreds over the years with many, many disability insurance providers like The Standard.
In our experience, the one thing that makes The Standard and every other disability insurance company negotiate in good faith is the knowledge that if they do not, we will file a lawsuit in civil court. We have a well-deserved reputation for aggressively and successfully defending our clients’ interests in court. No disability insurance company wants to end up in court. It is difficult to determine in advance what the outcome will be, and there is always a chance there will be publicity about the lawsuit, publicity with a disabled plaintiff that does not make the insurance company look good. What’s more, Abell & Capitan knows how to win. It is our experience that The Standard will do a quick cost/benefit analysis and decide to settle for a fair and reasonable amount.
An accident or illness that leaves you disabled is a horrible and destabilizing thing, enormously disruptive to your entire household. Most people want to work because it makes them feel needed and useful. But suddenly, a disability makes you broke, often hurting and scared about the future. The Standard, and all other disability insurance companies, are willing to take advantage of your vulnerability and use it to get you to agree to a lower claim award. But Abell & Capitan will fight for you. We will make sure you get a fair and reasonable amount of money so you can live your life. Call 1-866-258-3024 to set up a consultation. We will listen closely to you, and then we will start fighting for your interests.