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Did you recently file for long term disability benefits, only to have your claim denied by one of the big insurance companies? If so, you are likely feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and confused by the process. This is normal. Please do not give up fighting for your benefits. Sadly, insurance companies deny many valid claims. You need to get your case into the hands of a nearby long term disability lawyer who can assess your claim and determine what needs to be done next to get you your benefits.
In some cases, it will become necessary for individuals to file a lawsuit to seek their long term disability benefits. However, for disability claims governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), you must first use all of your administrative appeal rights before you can get into the courtroom. For long term disability claims, you will typically have 180 days from the date that you received your denial letter to file a request for an appeal. It is important to ensure that your appeal is done right. In some cases, your appeal will be sufficient to get you your disability benefits. However, even if it is not, you need a well-crafted appeal to protect your ability to file a lawsuit.
For ERISA disability appeals, the Administrative Record (also commonly referred to as your ‘claim file’) includes all of the information that the insurance company has that is related to your claim. This includes both information you have submitted as well as information that the insurance company has obtained through other sources. The Administrative Record dates from when you first file a claim until the moment in which the insurance company issues a final decision on your appeal. If your final appeal is denied, and you choose to file a lawsuit in court to seek your long term disability benefits, the only evidence that you will be allowed to use at trial is evidence that is already contained within the Administrative Record. Put another way, if you fail to get relevant evidence into your claim file in a timely manner, you will lose access to that evidence in court. Do not let this happen to you. File your long term disability appeal with the guidance of a qualified lawyer.
At Kantor & Kantor LLP, our team has extensive experience helping individuals obtain the full and fair long term disability benefits that they rightfully deserve. For assistance with your claim, please do not hesitate to contact our team today to schedule your free initial case evaluation. From our offices in San Jose, Alameda, and San Francisco, we serve claimants throughout the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
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