New York Long Term Disability Lawyers

If you live or work in New York and are struggling with a long term disability insurance claim, or dealing with the disability insurance company, you are not alone. Our law firm represents many residents of New York with short-term and long-term disability insurance claims. 

Many of our clients struggle with the online forms they are required to fill out, in part because they are not sure if their answers will be taken out of context. The process is challenging. They are right to be concerned – – today’s disability insurance company has a small army of people who manage claims with an eye to any reason to deny or delay paying claims. This is a for profit business, so what happens to each claimant is not personal – to the insurance company.  It is deeply personal to you. 

Why Would an Insurance Company Dispute a New York Long Term Disability Claim?   

Long term disability insurance policies, like most insurance policies, are financial products sold to consumers based on statistical analysis of the likelihood of people filing claims. At the very simplest level, the fewer people who file claims, or the more people whose claims are denied, the more profitable the insurance company will be. But profit at the expense of legitimate claims is not what insurance was or is supposed to be about.  

There are more factors, including interest rates and rate of investment returns, but the bottom line concerns the profitability of each long-term disability insurance contract and the aggregate of all policies and claims.  For New York workers who need to file a disability claim, the first concern is whether or not they will be able to pay their bills and maintain their lifestyle. This is why they purchased the LTD policies and coverage in the first place, with the reasonable expectation of being paid benefits as per the provisions in the policy.  That was the promise made. 

Why Do I Need a Long-Term Disability Lawyer?

Filing a claim for long-term disability insurance benefits is a complicated process that is even more difficult when you are dealing with a physical or mental disability. Gathering all of the information necessary to satisfy the requirements can become overwhelming. If most of your medical reports are on an online website associated with your doctor, it may be difficult to identify the ones that will matter versus the reports and doctor’s notes that could trip up your claim. This is where an experienced long term disability attorney can help.  We make the insurance companies keep their promises.

How Important is the Claims Application for Long Term Disability Benefits?  

The materials submitted to the insurance company and the responses to questions on the forms are critical, which is why our firm represents many people when they first begin the claims process. Any information you provide to the long term disability insurance company can and will be used to look for reasons to deny your claim. It’s not what you had in mind when you purchased the policy, but it is how the system works.  Our work is spotting issues, and fixing them, prior to them becoming problems.  

The medical reports supporting a long term disability insurance claim are especially important, and often critical to the claim.  Many claims are denied (or terminated) based on claimants or their medical providers failing to send in complete medical reports, sending reports with ambiguous results, or sending reports that don’t fully reflect their inability to perform the tasks of their occupation. Doctors’ notes and claim support need to clearly explain the person’s disability, and its impact on their ability to work.

If the doctor’s notes are vague or don’t clearly state the diagnosis or the impairment issues, the claim will likely be challenged. If the medical reports submitted don’t support the diagnosis or indicate a different kind of disability, the insurance company’s claims adjuster or reviewing doctor or nurse will push back on the claim.  Our firm works closely with treating physicians to ensure medical reports support the claim.

New York Disability Claims need to include all relevant information so the claim will be prepared if an appeal is necessary. If the LTD is provided by your employer as part of your benefits package, any denial will need to undergo an appeal under a federal law known as ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This law sets specific procedures and time limits for filing LTD claims, including what materials may be reviewed if the claim is denied. 

An experienced LTD attorney will know how to follow the procedural rules and time limits of ERISA, which is a complicated landscape to navigate.  The process is critical to protecting your rights.

Our firm has represented many attorneys and insurance company employees, all of whom thought their own career experience meant they would be able to manage their claims on their own. They were surprised when their years of experience left them unprepared to file a claim, appeal a denial or take their claim to Federal court. ERISA claims are vastly different from ordinary litigation.

My Disability Claim was Denied – What Happens Next? 

It is unnerving to find out your disability claim has been denied, but you do need to take steps to protect your claim. First, look at the denial letter. It should have a reason for your denial and a date by which you need to respond. That date is typically firm and non-negotiable, so don’t stuff the letter away in a desk drawer and hope it resolves by itself. It won’t and that will jeopardize your rights.

You have options. You can try to fight the claim on your own, gathering materials and submitting them according to the instructions in the letter. We know from our experience in this area of law however, this usually turns a bad situation into a worse situation. You will need to provide information in addition to what was first sent to the insurance company, documentation regarding your occupation and the tasks it takes to perform well at your job. You may also be missing key medical records, but you may not know which ones are missing. Your doctor or their office staff aren’t disability insurance attorneys, so they won’t know either.

We invite you to call our office at (877) 406-7883 for a free, no-obligation consultation.   We are a national firm, based in New York.  During our conversation, we will be able to give you information about your claim, the insurance company and what your options are to combat what the disability insurance company is trying to do.