I have been paid my long-term disability benefits for 10 years. Now they are denying my claim. Can I sue them?
Before suing a long-term disability carrier, it is advisable to exhaust your appeal rights that are available under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, (ERISA). If you purchased your group long-term disability policy through your employer, your case will be governed under the ERISA disability law which allows for a 180-day appeal period.
Nancy Cavey, ERISA long-term disability attorney, suggests that you get a copy of the long-term disability carrier’s file, including the adjusting notes, so you can see how they set your claim up for denial. It is important that you retain an experienced ERISA disability attorney to perfect an appeal that addresses point by point, blow by blow, every ground the carrier has raised to wrongfully deny your long-term disability benefits.
They may have had you have an Independent Medical Evaluation, a Functional Capacity Evaluation, or taken your statement in an effort to find a reason to justify their claims denial. There are specific strategies that can be employed to fight denial based on the carrier’s use of an Independent Medical Evaluation or vocational evaluation.
Many times long-term disability carriers will combine your statement with surveillance and try to trap you into admitting that you are capable of working or that you exaggerated your limitations.
Don’t be intimidated by the long-term disability carrier!
Once you have exhausted the 180-day appeal period, you may sue in Federal court if the long-term disability carrier has refused to reinstitute your benefits.
Many long-term disability carriers don’t make it easy to be civil to get the continued benefits you deserve. If a severe medical condition makes it impossible for you to work, and the long-term disability carrier has now denied your benefits after many years of making payments, ERISA disability attorney Nancy Cavey can help cut through the red tape and fight for your benefits, no matter where you live in the United States. Contact her today at 727-894-3188.