Suffering from a serious illness or injury is hard enough to cope with on its own, but when your condition keeps you from working, you may have extra medical bills and no wages to pay those bills. In these difficult times, long-term disability insurance is supposed to step in and provide income assistance to help you through.
Unfortunately, insurance is complicated, and it can be tough to tell whether you qualify for benefits and how to prove that you meet the insurance company’s disability qualifications. If your claim is denied or your benefits are discontinued, you may not know where to turn.
However, an experienced Shreveport long-term disability insurance lawyer could help. A seasoned ERISA attorney who understands the problems involved in long-term disability insurance cases may be able to assist you in obtaining the appropriate benefits under your policy. Moreover, if your insurer acted in bad faith, additional compensation may be available.
Long-term disability insurance in Shreveport may be available from a number of sources. Different laws apply depending on the source of the insurance, but the one factor each source shares is that they require the person suffering the disability to endure a burdensome and difficult process in order to prove that their disability qualifies them to receive benefits.
If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, long-term disability benefits may be available through workers’ compensation insurance, in which case state workers’ compensation laws apply. If the illness or injury occurs outside of the scope of employment or an employee does not have coverage under workers’ compensation, they may be covered by long-term disability insurance provided through a group plan their employer offers. In this case, a set of federal regulations known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) would govern many aspects of the case.
If someone suffering from a debilitating medical condition purchased long-term disability insurance on their own, state insurance laws would apply, including bad-faith laws. The Social Security Administration also provides long-term disability benefits, claims for which are handled through an entirely separate process with a completely different set of laws and procedures. So, it is helpful to work with a skilled Shreveport long-term disability insurance lawyer.
Because the laws governing various plans are different, the procedures for handling the denial of a claim for long-term disability benefits also vary. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies routinely deny claims for long-term disability benefits, so appealing a denial is standard procedure.
If an applicant is seeking long-term disability benefits under a policy your employer-provided, federal ERISA laws require them to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. This generally results in filing one or two appeals directly with the insurer, depending on the procedures specified in the policy.
Each directly purchased policy also independently governs appeal procedures, but because ERISA law does not apply, it is not always necessary to wait through the entire administrative appeals process before filing a lawsuit. Instead, a claimant may be able to sue their insurer in state court, as opposed to federal court like in a case governed by ERISA.
An attorney who understands the issues involved in long-term disability insurance cases could assist with a variety of matters, from filing claims and providing documentation to appealing denials. A Shreveport long-term disability insurance lawyer could also help if your benefits are delayed or under review.
The insurance system is complicated, and sometimes it seems as though complex procedures were put in place simply to discourage claimants. Fortunately, an experienced insurance attorney could help you navigate the maze to work to obtain your benefits. Call now to get started.
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