Many employers provide group short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage as a fringe benefit to their employees. These programs should pay benefits if you become unable to do your job due to sickness or injury. Too many times, however, valid claims for benefits are denied by the insurance companies that provide coverage. If that happens, Lynn Bishop will help you fight for the benefits you deserve.
The ERISA Statute and Its Interpretation by the Courts
Group disability insurance plans are governed by the Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As interpreted by the courts, this federal law gives special protections to group disability insurance carriers. If you have to sue to collect your benefits, you don't get a real trial. Instead, the insurance company files a copy of its claim file with the court. The judge then reads the claim file to see if the insurance company's denial of benefits is reasonable and supported by "substantial evidence." If the insurance company's decision is not obviously unreasonable, its denial of benefits will be affirmed even if the greater weight of the evidence shows that you are disabled.
Critical Importance of the Administrative Appeal
If you are denied short-term or long-term disability benefits, you are entitled to at least one administrative appeal with the insurance company. Because you cannot submit any new evidence when you go to court and because the judge's review of the insurance company's decision is so limited, the administrative appeal is the most important step in the appeal process. Your appeal must be supported with evidence so powerful that the insurance company recognizes that a denial of benefits would be obviously unreasonable.
If Your Short-Term or Long-Term Disability Benefits are Denied, Contact Our Firm Immediately
You have 180 days in which to file an administrative appeal regarding the denial of short-term or long-term disability benefits. Don't wait, however, to contact our firm--it may take nearly all that 180 days to put together the powerful evidence needed to win your appeal. In a free initial conference, Lynn will listen carefully to make sure she understands all the facts in your case. She will answer your questions and clearly explain your options. She will also obtain and review a copy of the insurance company's file in your case. If we are able to help with your case, Lynn will handle it personally rather than turning it over to a non-attorney paralegal or legal assistant.
We Don't Charge a Fee Unless We Win Your Case
Our fee is one-third of the past-due benefits we help you obtain.
Contact Our Charlotte Law Firm Today
If you have been denied short-term or long-term disability benefits, don't wait to take action. We invite you to contact the law office of Lynn Bishop, Attorney at Law, by telephone (704-234-6461) or e-mail. We represent clients in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding towns and cities. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.