Our firm handles all kinds of claims for disability benefits, whether those claims are under a group or private disability insurance policy, or for Social Security disability benefits.
Private Disability Insurance
You may have a disability insurance policy that you have purchased individually, or a group policy from your employer. Whichever you have, legal help is important at every stage of the claim process. We can help you understand deadlines, make the best claim you can you make based on the evidence of your disability, and prepare you if the insurance company denies that you are disabled.
The denial letter you receive will tell you how long you have to file an appeal. While six months — a time period we typically see — may seem like plenty of time, it’s critical that you begin work right away on gathering information. It is best to get legal advice promptly to make sure you are preparing the strongest possible appeal.
The insurance policy will often include technical, legal provisions and other deadlines that are important to your claim. If you have a group plan through your employer, it will probably be governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a law that — despite its name — includes additional pitfalls for the employee that an experienced lawyer will help you avoid.
Once your appeal is denied, it can be much harder to pursue you claim in court. That’s why we encourage disabled workers to contact us as early as possible.
Social Security Disability Insurance
You’ve worked hard for your disability benefits. Although the Social Security Administration’s process for obtaining your benefits is often lengthy and difficult, you shouldn’t just take no for an answer.
In general, if you are claiming Social Security disability insurance benefits, you must show that you have enough Social Security earnings to be insured for disability, that you have a serious impairment that has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death, and that your impairment makes you unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. (You can look up how much income Social Security considers to be substantial and gainful at this page of the Social Security web site.)
If you need to file a new claim for Social Security benefits, you can also call the Social Security Administration directly at 1-800-772-1213, apply on line at the Social Security Administration’s web site, www.ssa.gov, or visit your local Social Security office in person.