Long Term Disability Insurance Lawyers


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How Erisa Governs Group Disability Claims Denials

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Long Term Disability Claim?

Unlike with an individual disability policy, if you have long-term group disability insurance governed by ERISA, you must file an administrative appeal if:

  • Your valid disability claim was wrongfully denied when you applied for your long-term group disability benefits
  • Your insurance carrier cut off your disability benefits in an arbitrary or capricious manner

Your group disability insurer must inform you of your right to do so, but if they do not, immediately contact us today.

The most important reason to consult an experienced ERISA-specific lawyer before filing an administrative appeal: The evidence you submit during your administrative appeal affects your entire case. An incomplete record in your administrative appeal can result in the court upholding a wrongful denial of your disability benefits.

The record of your administrative appeal should contain all of the available medical evidence, chart notes, tests, pharmacy records, and adverse side effects from medication. Your administrative appeal should include expert witness reports from treating doctors, occupational therapists, vocational experts, and economists. You also must present all of the relevant legal arguments, insurance policy provisions that apply, ERISA statutes, and case law from your federal jurisdiction.

An attorney can review the reasons given for your denial and put together a powerful medical, and vocationally strong persuasive appeal.

This might require:

Transitioning From Work To Disability:

As you transition from work onto disability, you will likely have many questions. For instance, you may not be sure whether you should resign, retire, or simply remain silent about your intentions to return to work. Additionally, you may have questions about the impact of that decision on other benefits, such as your health insurance, life insurance, and pension benefits. You may wonder if your employer can terminate you while you are on a disability leave. You may also wonder whether you should accept a severance offer from your employer, or apply for unemployment benefits. An experienced disability lawyer can counsel you through these and other questions to ensure you maximize your benefits while avoiding later legal troubles.

An Attorney Can Hold The Insurance Company Accountable To The Terms Of Your Policy

There are certain regulations an insurance company must comply with under the terms of your policy or according to state or federal law. For example, there are rules limiting how long an insurance company can take to approve your claim or appeal. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always follow these regulations, and unless a claimant has knowledge of long-term disability law, they likely will not realize that an insurance company is violating such rules.

Long-term disability attorneys know what rules apply to insurance companies and can make sure that they are treating your case fairly and according to regulations. This can prevent unreasonable delays on claims and appeals. We know the ways an insurance company may try to act in their own interests over yours. A lawyer will document the ways your insurance company may not be complying with the terms of your policy. This way, if your case is taken to court, you will have evidence of such violations that the court may use to take action against the insurance company.

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What Our Clients Say

…because you do not just win cases, you do not just get judgments collected, you actually put lives back together and help heal wounds. More importantly, I believe for all the long hours you put, your significant others should see what a difference you make and especially made in our family’s life because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one you.”

I am so grateful that I had you helping me with this most difficult time of my life. You were always there for me no matter what and I deeply appreciate it.”

…to guide me on critical issues. Pillsbury & Coleman’s attorneys proved to be all of the above. They crafted a creative and insightful strategy for my case that convinced me they were the go-to firm for bad faith insurance coverage issues.”

…because you do not just win cases, you do not just get judgments collected, you actually put lives back together and help heal wounds. More importantly, I believe for all the long hours you put, your significant others should see what a difference you make and especially made in our family’s life because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one you.”

I am so grateful that I had you helping me with this most difficult time of my life. You were always there for me no matter what and I deeply appreciate it.”

Frank N Darras Was Selected As One Of The Top 100 Trial Lawyers In California

Our Team

Contrary to what you see on television, most lawyers arent litigators. In fact, even experienced attorneys may not try more than one case a year. Its one thing to know the law. Its another thing to successfully fight a case in court.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 are a group of the nations premier trial attorneyscivil plaintiff attorneys and criminal defense lawyers who focus on litigation. The National Trial Lawyers base invitations to join the Top 100 on peer nominations and independent, third-party research that ensures all of their distinguished members truly deserve the accolade. The organization extends membership offers only to the select few trial lawyers at the top of their fields who demonstrate:

  • Superior leadership in their area of practice
  • Admiration among their peers

Also Check: 10 Principles Of Disability Justice

When Should You Hire A Disability Attorney

It is never too soon in the process to engage the services of an experienced benefits attorney, whether you are just thinking of submitting a disability claim or if your benefits have been denied. Most group disability benefit plans are subject to the federal ERISA statute, a law that combines aspects of contract, trust, and administrative law into a complex regulatory framework. The ERISA statute has some of the strictest deadlines in employment law, and failure to adhere to those deadlines could result in dismissal of a later lawsuit. Thus, as soon as you decide to submit a disability claim, or as soon as your claim is denied, it is prudent to contact an experienced disability benefits lawyer to discuss your claim and your options.

It Takes Dell Disability Lawyers

The fact is, it not only takes all the qualifications described throughout these pages, it also takes passion, dedication and persistence to stand up to large insurance companies and obtain the maximum benefits for claimants like you. Dell Disability Lawyers has what it takes, and we have built our reputation on our willingness to do Whatever It Takes within the bounds of the law to succeed.

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It Takes Attention To Detail

Disability insurance companies are fickle. An approval of benefits today does not mean that benefits won’t be denied tomorrow. Disability carriers continuously bombard claimants with requests for claimant’s statements, attending physician statements, medical records and financial documents such as tax returns. The disability company employees evaluatea claimant’s eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis and they are trained to look for any inconsistencies or lack of information as a basis for claim denial.

Due to the complex language in most disability policies, claimants are often confused about the things they can or cannot do in order to continue receiving benefits. Whether it’s a claim denial, application, or continuance of claim, it is our job to protect our client’s monthly benefits and prevent the insurance company from wrongfully denying or delaying benefits.

California Long Term Disability Lawyers

Is It Hard To Get Approved For Long Term Disability Insurance?

Fields Disability is a national firm committed to helping people who have been denied long-term disability benefits. Contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the legal help you need.

Minnetonka, MN

At Fields Disability, we understand that the insurance company is out to protect its profits, not your best interests. Long-term disability benefits applications are often denied, and many people give up because of the strict guidelines applicants must follow.


Coral Gables, FL

Dabdoub Law Firm is a highly specialized disability insurance law firm representing clients across the country. The firm has a track record of winning disability insurance cases, including big victories in federal district courts and courts of appeals.

DarrasLaw assists with long term disability litigation, long term disability appeals, insurance bad faith matters, long term care insurance and individual disability litigation. Call or visit our website for a free policy analysis or free claim help.

Ontario, CA

DarrasLaw, America’s top disability firm, handles individual and group long term disability insurance matters of all sizes for clients of all backgrounds and professions.Led by attorney Frank N. Darras, we have set the standard for compassionate and effective representation.

Encino, CA

San Francisco, CA

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Social Security Disability Insurance:

Social Security disability insurance is a governmental disability benefit available to people who have paid sufficient premiums in the form of FICA taxes. The criteria for qualifying for Social Security disability insurance is usually more stringent than the other types of insurance discussed above.

Contact A Disability Attorney In Chicago

If you are thinking of applying for disability benefits, or if your claim has been denied and you wish to appeal or litigate, the experienced attorneys at DeBofsky Law can assist. With over sixty years of combined legal experience, and nearly 100 published appellate decisions to our name, we pride ourselves on taking cases to judgment and nudging the case law in favor of claimants whenever possible. As our founding partner, Mark DeBofsky, likes to say, We dont just follow the law. We make the law. We encourage you to contact us today regarding your disability insurance claim.

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Securing Disability Benefits Takes Experience

Hawks Quindel has the experience to represent you throughout the disability benefits appeal process. We have helped hundreds of clients in Milwaukee, Madison, and throughout Wisconsin secure their short term disability benefits and long term disability benefits. This is because our disability attorneys do not dabble in this type of work, they specialize in it. Disability insurance companies know we will aggressively pursue your disability benefits claim and will take them to court if necessary.

Great Organizations Have Recognized Darraslaw With Numerous Awards And Us News And World Report Recognizes Us As One Of The Best Law Firms In The United States

Cody Allison

How do you measure excellence? Client lists, peer ratings, win percentages, high-profile cases, profits? Many law firms think these measures of success indicate their quality as lawyers. At DarrasLaw, we know that excellence encompasses so much more. It means you earn success because of your hard work, skill, professionalism, and compassion for your clients. It means youre respected among your peers, in the courts, and by the people you serve. It means that no case is too small if youre fulfilling your mission to protect Americas disabled from billion dollar insurance companies.

Frank N. Darras is famous for representing disability policyholders around the country when theyre unable to hire expensive hourly counsel to fight big business insurance companies. While he also helps Americas most successful entrepreneurs and sports figures, hes passionate about fighting for Americas heart, the blue-collar worker when they are wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits. He knows what disability insurers try to get away with when you cant afford disability counsel.

Insurance companies know that time is their friend, Darras says. They also understand that if the claim process is difficult, confusing, and hard, many of the ill, injured, and disabled will give up, quit, or succumb to the process. That is reprehensible.

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Social Security Disability Insurance

Although DarrasLaw does not file Social Security Disability Insurance cases, we receive many questions about it. Therefore we wanted to provide helpful information about SSDI, particularly its application and appeal process, for people who may need those benefits.

SSDI is a federal benefit, funded through payroll taxes, that provides monthly benefits to some disabled American workers. Applying for SSDI is a complicated and fact-intensive process. Workers who attempt it on their own often make fatal claim mistakes that lead to a wrongful denial of their claim applicationsand many attorneys dont even know how to successfully apply.

The better choice is to consult a skilled Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer to help apply for benefits. An experienced SSDI attorney can also help workers who have received wrongful denials of valid claims appeal those decisions in the hope of reversing them.

Daily Journal Recognizes Frank N Darras As Top Healthcare Lawyer For 3rd Consecutive Year

The Daily Journal honored DarrasLaw founder Frank N. Darras as one of the Top 35 Healthcare Lawyers in California. This is the third consecutive year Mr. Darras has received this recognition. Mr. Darras was highlighted for his work on behalf of insureds in their battle against billion and trillion dollar insurance companies. He was also praised for his work on behalf of professional and collegiate athletes in their efforts to get adequate insurance for disability issues.

Read Also: How To Get Social Security Disability Approved

The Definition Of Disability

The definition of disability is an indispensable element within your policy. You must prove to your insurer that your condition meets this definition by submitting evidence. Many claimants rely on their medical records as their primary source of evidence, but some claims may require supplemental proof.

Nonetheless, there are two common definitions of disability: own occupation and any occupation. Own occupation definitions ask whether a person can perform the duties of their specific job. Typically, insurance companies will define a persons job by how others perform at that job in the national economy. Some policies may refer to this definition as partially disabled.

Any occupation definitions ask whether a person can perform the duties of any job at all. In other words, you may not be able to perform the duties of a pediatrician, but can you perform the duties of some sedentary job in an office? Some policies may refer to this definition as totally disabled as the person must be unable to work in any job whatsoever regardless of its relation to pediatrics.

Th Consecutive Year Frank N Darras Recognized As Top 500 Plaintiff Attorneys

Michigan: A Disability Lawyer Helps Insurance Claimants With Long Term Disability Benefits

For the 17th consecutive year, Frank N. Darras was recognized by Lawdragon as being one of the Top 500 Leading Lawyers in the nation. This year, he was recognized in three separate categories Leading Lawyers, Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers and Plaintiff employment Lawyers. Mr. Darras is widely respected by peers and prominent publications for his work representing people in long term disability insurance cases and claims. Lawdragon, one of the most prestigious attorney ranking surveys in the nation routinely honors Mr. Darras for his work on behalf of people living with various disabilities who are fighting to get the long term permanent and total disability coverage they are entitled to.

Recommended Reading: Can You Get Disability For High Blood Pressure And Diabetes

Understanding Employer Sponsored Short And Long

You work for your paycheckevery penny of it. When each month, a lot of your hard-earned money goes toward your disability insurance premium, you accept it. You hope you never need disability benefits, but theyre there if you need them.

Dont forget that group disability plans provided by your employer are not public service benefit plans such as Medicare and Social Security. Instead, the majority of these disability insurance companies are privately owned, for-profit enterprises. Their goal is to make money, not distribute it. Their teams of lawyers will fight you for every dollar you need to support your family after a disabling illness or injury.

In California, major insurance companies market long-term disability policies as emergency income to help cover expenses during extended illnesses or injuries. Group long-term disability benefits can assist with living expenses to help pay for food, clothing, rent or mortgage, car payments, co-pays, and utilities.

Short-term disability insurance provides between 50 and 60 percent of your salary replacement benefits. Overtime hours, bonuses and commission are items that the policy may or may not cover. Remember, short-term disability generally pays six days to six months, which incentivizes a quick transition back into the workforce.

Disability Coverage Considerations For Law Firm Partners

Many law firms offer disability insurance to employees as a group benefit. While there are advantages to participating in your firms group benefits, in most circumstances group disability coverage isnt sufficient income protection for a successful attorney.

For the highest earners in a law firm, there is likely to be a gap between the coverage provided under the terms of the companys group disability benefit plan and the income protection they really need.

Thats why individual disability insurance can be such an essential component of sound financial planning for successful legal professionals. When making decisions about long-term disability insurance, lawyers have to carefully consider the full financial implications of experiencing a disability.

Its often advisable for law firms or individual attorneys to set up individual disability insurance coverage for partners and the leading attorneys in the firm rather than just depending on group disability coverage.

In larger firms, sometimes even individual policies can be issued on a guaranteed issue basis or whats called simplified issue. With or without this, a successful attorney should arrange for individual disability insurance with own occupation coverage to supplement any group disability insurance plan.

Also Check: The Americans With Disabilities Act

Obtaining Disability Benefits For Your Disability Claim

The process of obtaining long term disability benefits from your private disability or ERISA disability insurance carrier can be overwhelming and frustrating. You paid for this disability insurance to help you if you became disabled and the promise of those benefits seems hollow. We will help you understand your disability insurance policy, what traps are waiting for you in the application process, the disability claims appeal process and the common mistakes you can make. Nancy Cavey, a long term disability insurance lawyer will review with you:

1. The Summary Plan description of your disability insurance policy.

2. Review your medical records and help develop the medical and vocational evidence necessary to file the initial disability claim application.

3. File an appeal within 180 days if your ERISA claim is denied. We obtain and review your file from the long term disability carrier, meet with your doctors and obtain supplementary reports, arrange for you to have a functional capacity or vocational evaluations, do medical research and file a detailed and exhaustive disability claim appeal of your private disability or ERISA claim denial.

4. If necessary, file a lawsuit in court.

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