If you’ve recently submitted a claim for long term disability benefits to Dearborn National, or if you’re considering submitting a disability claim in the near future, you may be anxious about what to expect and how long the claims process will take. Learn more about what you should be able to expect after filing your claim for long term disability benefits from Dearborn National.
The Handling of the Lawsuit Will Be Different if Your Claim is NOT Governed by ERISA
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that governs the handling of group long term disability policies offered through an employer. Group claims that are covered by ERISA require claimants to exercise one mandatory disability insurance appeal at the internal level before the claimant can sue in federal court. Individual policies, on the other hand, may allow a claimant to file a disability insurance lawsuit (and, in many cases, secure a settlement) in state court, applying state law, as soon as the initial denial letter is issued.
There are Significant Advantages for a Claim that is Not Subject to ERISA
One of the advantages of an individual disability claim, as opposed to an ERISA claim, is the standard of review the trial court will apply to a civil disability insurance lawsuit for disability benefits. Under an individual policy, the claimant will generally need to show only that they are suffering a disability in accordance with the policy’s definition.
ERISA claimants, on the other hand, will need to show two things: 1) first, that the claimant is disabled in accordance with the policy’s definition; and 2) that Dearborn National’s denial of long term disability benefits was either “arbitrary” or “capricious.” This can be a high standard to meet, especially if the initial disability claim wasn’t well-developed when Dearborn National first considered it.
In both ERISA and individual policies, the administrative record – or what was submitted to Dearborn National in support of your claim for disability benefits – may be all that the trial court can consider when deciding whether to award disability insurance benefits pursuant to the terms of your long term disability insurance policy.
The Time Frame for Resolution of a Lawsuit Varies Widely Based on the Facts of Your Case
Each disability claim is different, and fitting the language of the policy to the circumstances of your case can make it hard to answer the question, “how long will this process last?” Some disability claims are fairly cut-and-dried and can be resolved quickly, while others may require more extensive therapy, treatment, or documentation. In some cases, something as seemingly minor as having a doctor who is reluctant to fill out claim forms can set claim resolution back by months.
One factor that can speed up the process regardless of how long it might take is whether the claimant has help from an attorney. Navigating the disability insurance claim process can be a challenge whether the disability policy is an individual one or an ERISA policy. Disability insurance claimants who are trying to deal with this paperwork and complex claim language while also newly navigating a disabling medical condition can quickly become overwhelmed.
Let Dell & Schaefer help. Our experienced team of disability insurance attorneys spans the country and has helped thousands of claimants recover the disability insurance benefits they’re owed. Visit our website today to set up your FREE consultation with one of our attorneys.