You should not appeal your long-term disability denial letter without the assistance of an attorney, a qualified attorney who knows how to appeal ERISA disability cases. Don’t hire a general practice attorney, a family law attorney, or some guy who represented you in a traffic ticket years ago and you thought he was a nice guy. Those are not the people that you should have helping you appealing your denial letter.
You need to have an attorney who understands the process, who’s been through the process and understands what is at stake if you lose in the process. You also then someone who’s willing to go to federal district court on your behalf if you lose. If they’ve done all the groundwork you have a better chance to prevail later on down the road.
The Problem With Appealing on Your Own Denial Letter
A lot of these policies will only give you one opportunity to appeal your denial letter before you have to go to federal district court. And if you do not include all, and I mean all of the evidence that supports your disability in that initial claim and in your appeal, then your claim will be denied.
Further, you will have very limited arguments going forward in federal district court. You can’t bring new evidence out in federal district court. The only thing that you can do in federal district court is to rely on the administrative record that you created in your appeal within the insurance company in your appeal.
So if the insurance company sends you a denial letter for your long-term disability claim, and you have one opportunity to appeal, then this is it, folks. And if you don’t do everything that you need to do within that 180 days, then you are essentially out of luck. You will not be able to win your case when you get to federal district court.
Now, alternatively, there are some policies that will give you two levels of administrative appeals.
If that is your policy, then you have two bites at the apple to take your administrative appeal and to fill the administrative record with information that supports your claim for long-term disability. But if you don’t do it right the first time, then you’re essentially waiting an entire year for nothing.
Do it right the first time, hire an attorney to appeal your denial letter.
Yes, it costs money. Yes, it’s not exactly what should. You should have been approved to begin with. They should have done the right thing. Yada, yada yada. I understand all of that.
But at the end of the day, it’s the difference between getting something that’s really good and not getting anything. And then having to rely on the federal government, which is well known for its ability to handle money, to take care of you in your disability.
No Need to Rely on The Government: Make Your Insurance Pay What They are Required
So let’s not rely on the federal government. Let’s rely on the insurance policy that you are protected by. They have agreed to cover you for a disabling condition that makes you unable or prevents you from being able to maintain the duties of your “own occupation” for that first two years and for “any occupation” for the next years after that.
So make sure that you hold their feet to the fire, hire an attorney to appeal your denial letter. Hire an attorney who knows what they’re doing and then do it right the first time. Stop using half measures to try to save a little bit of money.
Folks, let me tell you that people that I’ve seen exhaust their denial letter administrative appeals without putting enough information into the administrative record, have done so to their own detriment.
Don’t be that person.
Hire an attorney sooner rather than later, you won’t regret it.
If you need help, if you would like us to review your denial letter and to let you know if we think that you have a claim for appeal or for appealing that long term disability denial, we would be happy to look at that denial letter for you, give you some advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and then help you appeal your denial letter so that you can win the very first time. Give us a call, send us an email or send us a message on Facebook. We’d be happy to help.