Tennessee Long Term Disability Insurance Lawyers
Did you get hurt or sick? Do you have a disability that prevents you from going back to work? If you have long term disability insurance (LTD), you may be entitled to monthly benefits that replace a portion of your income. These benefits, in fact, are likely crucial to your ability to pay for food, rent, and your basic needs during this challenging time. However, too often, simply getting the benefits you’re owed is far from a straightforward process.
If your benefits have been denied, or if you’re not receiving the full benefits you’re owed, the Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyers at Abell and Capitan Law can help. Our sole focus is long term disability law. We understand the laws that dictate long term disability policies, and we can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your claim is valid.
Because our attorneys focus exclusively on long term disability cases, we are uniquely qualified to take on large insurance companies to secure the full and fair benefits you’re counting on. We can help you at any point in the process, whether you’re filing a claim, appealing a denied claim, filing an LTD lawsuit, or negotiating an LTD settlement.
We’ll provide the guidance you need, and we’ll help secure the benefits you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact the LTD attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law today. Call at (267) 419-7888 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your rights.
Long Term Disability and ERISA
Long term disability differs from workers’ compensation benefits in one major way: Long term disability covers employees who suffered an injury or illness that didn’t occur while performing job-related duties. Workers’ comp, on the other hand, covers incidents that happen on the job.
A long term disability policy covers a percentage of an injured or sick worker’s average wages made before the incident that left them disabled. If you’re unable to perform the regular duties of your job, you can file a claim to collect benefits, which comes in the form of monthly payments.
Employer-paid plans fall under ERISA law. ERISA, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, is supposed to protect a disabled worker’s rights. Under ERISA, employers must provide their employees with information about the LTD policy they purchase, including policy disclosures, coverage information, and instructions on how to file a claim for benefits.
The federal law also issues deadlines you have to follow if you want to file a claim or appeal a denial. Along with your application, you need to submit evidence to the insurance company showing the disability you have and how it is preventing you from returning to your job. If you can’t prove you have a disability, the insurance adjuster will deny your claim, and you’ll lose your rights to any benefits.
What to Do if An Injury or Illness Leaves You Disabled
There are crucial steps you need to take if you get hurt or sick and can’t return to work. You should file a claim immediately to start the process and collect relevant evidence you can send to the insurance company.
- Let your employer know about your injury or illness. They will give you an application to fill out and send to the LTD insurance company.
- Go to a qualified physician for a thorough medical evaluation. Medical records are important and should include information about your disability and why it prevents you from working.
- Write an employee statement. You should include your personal information, your employer’s information, and details regarding your injury or illness.
- Obtain evidence of your disability, such as a letter from your doctor, hospital records, imaging and lab reports, and prescription receipts.
- File your claim with all the information you found and keep a record of the date you submitted your request and copies of all the documentation.
The insurance company will investigate your claim and determine if you’re eligible for LTD benefits. If they approve your request, you’ll start receiving monthly payments after an initial waiting period. The waiting period depends on the information in your policy but is usually three to six months.
Benefits will last for a limited amount of time, such as two, five, or ten years, as you’re unable to work. If your disability prevents you from performing any work-related tasks in any place of employment, you can apply for coverage that lasts until you turn 65 years old.
If your doctor releases you from care and can return to your previous job or a new one, you’ll immediately stop receiving LTD benefits.
You Have Options if Your Claim Gets Denied
The biggest mistake injured workers make with their LTD claim is giving up on pursuing benefits upon receiving a denial letter. That’s because they didn’t hire a Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyer and don’t know what their rights are. You’re entitled to an appeal if you don’t agree with the insurance company’s decision.
ERISA requires that you file an administrative appeal within 180 days from the date of your denial letter. You would have to submit the appeal with the insurance company you initially filed your claim with.
The denial letter should include a reason justifying the denial and information for appealing the decision. If you don’t think their reason for the denial is valid, you’ll have to collect additional evidence that proves your disability deserves LTD benefit payments.
The relevant proof you can submit includes:
- Witness affidavits concerning the effect the disability had on your life
- Expert opinions
- Letters from your physicians
- Additional medical testing
- Evidence of your job description and how your disability prevents you from performing required tasks
- Vocational expert reports
- Medical records not included in the original claim
After you file your appeal, the insurance company will have 45 days to review everything and make a decision. If they decide to approve your appeal, you’ll start receiving LTD benefits. However, if they deny your appeal, you can file a lawsuit. A judge will look through every document the insurance company has and determine if their basis for denial is valid or if you deserve access to the benefits.
Why Did the Insurance Company Deny My Claim?
To avoid a denial in the first place, it would be helpful to know why insurance companies deny LTD claims. Some of the reasons are justified, while others are the adjuster’s attempt to save money. Some of the most common reasons for denial include:
- Your condition doesn’t fall under your LTD policy’s definition of a disability.
- You didn’t attend an IME (independent medical examination) appointment required by the insurer.
- The insurance company acted in bad faith by performing an inadequate investigation or denying your claim for an invalid reason.
- You have a preexisting medical condition prohibiting you from collecting benefits, as stated in the exclusions section of your LTD policy.
- The forms you submitted are incomplete or contain discrepancies.
- You have a partial disability as opposed to a total disability.
- The insurance carrier’s physician doesn’t agree with your doctor’s diagnosis and its impact on your ability to work.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Help You
One of the Tennessee long term disability lawyers from Abell and Capitan Law can file a claim on your behalf and handle each step of the process for you. If you never applied for LTD benefits before, you won’t know what you need to do. There are strict deadlines to follow, confusing policy disclosures to review, and evidence to collect. It’s a complicated situation to handle alone.
When you hire us, we will ensure all the documentation we find is sufficient to prove that you have a disability and that you deserve to collect benefits from your employer’s LTD plan. We’ll keep track of all the deadlines and help you find the right doctors to treat your injury, so there’s a record of medical care.
When it comes to filing the claim, we’ll keep in contact with the insurance adjuster for updates and make sure they don’t delay the process unnecessarily. If they send you a denial letter, we’ll use our resources to determine if their reasoning makes sense or if we need to file an appeal.
Our Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyers never back down from a fight. If we need to take your case to court, we have the experience and skills to do so. We’ll fight for your rights and prove to the judge that your disability justifies LTD insurance. You can depend on us to support you and work hard on your case no matter what.
Do I Need to Pay for a Consultation?
No. We offer all prospective clients a no-risk initial consultation. You can meet with one of our Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyers to discuss your situation and receive legal advice.
There’s no obligation to hire us if you decide you’re not ready to pursue an LTD claim or if you want to speak with another law firm. We know you’re already struggling financially and don’t want to add to that burden by charging you to talk to us about your options.
What Sets Us Apart
Abell and Capitan Law has years of experience working on disability claims, appeals, and lawsuits. Our Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyers don’t take on cases from different practice areas. Our focus on one particular area allows us to handle your LTD claim effectively and efficiently. We have a range of resources at our disposal to ensure you receive the top-notch representation you deserve.
We care about the clients we work with and will provide you with one-on-one attention. You’ll be a priority to us from the beginning of your case until the end. We’ll fight hard for your rights and get you the benefits you need while you’re unable to earn a living. You won’t be just another number to us. You’ll have 24/7 access to our dedicated legal team, so you never have to wait long for a status update or answers to your questions.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Tennessee long term disability insurance lawyers from Abell and Capitan Law are ready to take your call and schedule your free consultation. We’ll provide a straightforward assessment of your case, and we’ll review the steps we’ll take to reach a favorable outcome.
You can trust us to keep your best interests in mind while we’re working on your case. We’ll be sure to work towards your individual goal and meet all your expectations. Call us at (267) 419-7888 and find out how we can help you recover LTD benefits for the injury or illness you suffered.