BRYANT LEGAL GROUP
Applying for Long-Term Disability Benefits
Understand Your Legal Options With Help From a Chicago Long-Term Disability Insurance Attorney
If you’re unable to work due to a severe injury, illness, or medical condition, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits from your private disability insurer — whether that coverage was purchased independently or provided through an employer-sponsored plan.
Applying for long-term disability (LTD) benefits can be an overwhelming and confusing process for many first-time claimants, and for good reason. Disabled persons must not only navigate the challenges of their physical and mental recovery, but they must also submit an application for benefits that is likely to secure the benefits that they deserve.
Insurers are incentivized to make this application process difficult, and in fact, that is fundamental to their overall strategy of profits over insureds. The more difficult it is for legitimate claimants to secure benefits, the more profitable it will be for the insurance carrier. As such, insurers frequently straddle the line of legality.
If you have had your legitimate disability benefits claim wrongfully denied or otherwise mishandled by the insurer, then you may have a legal claim against the insurer for damages (that includes the benefits at issue).
Here at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., we have extensive experience handling long-term disability benefits claims and disputes against disability insurance carriers. If you’d like to learn more about how to secure your rightful benefits, we encourage you to contact a skilled Chicago long-term disability insurance attorney at our firm today.
An Excellent Attorney: She made me feel at ease throughout the whole process. Communication whether in person, phone, or email was always prompt and courteous. The office staff was always pleasant too. Jennifer Danish is not only up to date on changing laws but is an efficient organizer. She was able to quickly sort through a complex amount of information at a time when I was overwhelmed. She is a true professional who I feel is passionate about fighting for her clients. I never felt like another file on a shelf. Jennifer and her team will go the distance to resolve your legal matter.
Building a Comprehensive LTD Application Takes Skill
When submitting your application for long-term disability benefits, you’ll want to gather a comprehensive record of your disability, its symptoms, and how they affect your ability to work in your occupation. Depending on the particulars of your disability policy, this may involve:
- Employee statements about your ability to work
- Expert opinions from your treating physicians and others
- All of your relevant medical records
You may also include other evidence in support of your disability benefits claim.
If you provide incomplete records and evidence, the insurance adjuster is probably going to deny your long-term disability claim. Insurers have no incentive to award disability benefits in “close” cases where it is likely that the claimant has a disability, but the record is not sufficient to objectively support such qualification — they will deny reasonable claims without adequate documentary evidence.
Given the importance of your application for benefits, it’s worth consulting with a qualified attorney early on in the process, before the insurer denies your claim. With the assistance of an attorney, you will be able to gather necessary evidence and create a comprehensive record of your disability, giving you the best opportunity possible to get your claim paid at the outset. If the insurer has no basis on which to reasonably deny your claim, you may file a lawsuit after you have exhausted your administrative remedies.
- Related Article: 5 Essential Questions You Should Ask a Disability Insurance Lawyer
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Employers Cannot Retaliate When You Exercise Your ERISA Rights
If your disability insurance policy is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), then it will be subject to various protections and limitations that are somewhat different than those that apply to a policy for individual disability benefits. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for exercising their ERISA-related rights, such as bringing an action for wrongful denial against the insurer or attempting to apply for disability benefits under an employer-sponsored benefits plan.
What is considered retaliation depends on the circumstances, but as a general rule, retaliation involves any adverse and material act taken against the employee because that employee is exercising their rights under ERISA.
For example, if you apply for disability benefits with your employer-sponsored disability policy (which is governed by ERISA), then your employer cannot terminate you or refuse to give you a raise because you are exercising your rights.
If your employer retaliates against you, then you may have a claim against them for damages. The difficulty in such cases is in proving that the employer acted in a manner that was truly meant to be “retaliatory.” If the employer terminates you for poor performance, for example, then that would almost certainly shield them from liability for retaliation, as the intention behind the termination would be legal.
- Related Article: When Should I Speak With a Disability Insurance Lawyer?
Our Settlements and Verdicts
After our client’s disability insurance benefits were improperly terminated, we negotiated a $1.6 million settlement for him.
Our medical practice team recovered $500,000 for a physician group when an insurer failed to properly reimburse them for their services.
We collected $440,000 in unpaid disability insurance benefits for our client and got her LTD benefits reinstated by proving she was disabled from any occupation.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Experienced LTD Attorneys in Chicago
Here at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., we have decades of experience advocating on behalf of long-term disability claimants and are well-positioned to assist at every stage of the disability benefits process, from submitting a comprehensive application for benefits to filing benefit-related appeals and lawsuits.
Our attorneys understand the pressure that you and your family are under when it comes to severe and disabling conditions, and how emotionally frustrating it can be to begin the long road to recovery while attempting to secure benefits from a hostile, difficult insurance carrier. We are committed to client-oriented representation and strive to keep clients informed and engaged throughout the application and dispute process. This ensures that we can do our best work, and helps clients avoid feeling lost in the hustle and bustle of a dispute. Over the years, we have obtained significant case results that speak to the efficacy of this client-oriented strategy.
We look forward to assisting you.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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Get the answers and insight you deserve. Our experienced disability insurance lawyers can evaluate your claim and help you understand all your legal options.