How Do You Fight a Long-Term Disability Denial?

Getting a denial letter from your disability insurance company is one of the ultimate insults. You are sick and not able to work, yet your disability insurance company is telling you to return to work. The disability insurance company has denied your disability benefit claim and is basically calling you a liar. When receiving a disability denial letter or a phone call that your disability benefit claim was denied, most claimants initial reaction is a state of shock. The disability insurance company often tells the claimant to just go ahead and submit an appeal of the denial. It’s true that you need to submit an appeal to your disability company, but it’s not something that happens immediately.

As a law firm that has handled thousands of long-term disability denials, we want you to know what it takes to fight a long-term disability denial. In the video above our long-term disability denial attorneys discuss the following:

  • First steps our disability lawyers take when handling a long-term disability denial;
  • Why is it so important to do a deep dive into the claim file?
  • You must get medical records from every doctor;
  • A winning appeal requires you to build strong medical evidence;
  • Vocational evidence should be included and an expert could help.
denied disability insurance claim

What do you do if you have been denied disability benefits? 

You must first determine the type of disability claim denial you have in order to determine the next steps to take. Our law firm helps people that have disability insurance and have either a short term disability claim denial or a long term disability benefit denial. If you have been denied any type of government disability benefits, such as state disability benefit or social security disability benefits (SSDI), then you need the help of a social security disability lawyer. We are short and long term disability denial lawyers and we do not handle any SSDI or state disability benefit denials. In our video below we explain the difference between a long-term disability denial attorney and a social security disability attorney. We only help individuals with disability insurance denials.

ERISA Is a Federal Law You Must Know

If you have either purchased a disability policy or have disability insurance benefits as an employer provided benefit, then we can help you with your disability insurance denial. If your disability insurance is a benefit from your employer, then your disability benefit denial is governed by ERISA and you must submit a written appeal letter to your disability insurance company. If you purchased your disability policy from a disability insurance company without any involvement from your employer, then you have a private disability policy and ERISA laws will most likely not apply.

The disability denial in Employer Vs Private Policies

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is a federal law that governs all employer provided disability denials. You may have heard of ERISA, because it also governs the health insurance benefits provided by your employer. ERISA provides specific rules and timelines on how a disability insurance company must evaluate a disability claim denial. There are pros and cons to the ERISA laws, but ERISA laws tend to favor disability insurance companies. With an experienced long term disability denial lawyer there are ways to make the ERISA laws work in your favor. In our video below we discuss ERISA disability denials and how the ERISA laws apply.

A Written Appeal of Your Disability Denial May Be Required

Whether you have either a private disability denial or an ERISA disability denial, we almost always recommend the submission of an Appeal letter. Under ERISA you have 180 days to submit an appeal of your LTD benefit denial. Short Term disability claim denials also known as an STD benefit denial, may have a 30 day appeal timeline, but you can usually get up to 180 days to submit an STD appeal. An appeal letter is your opportunity to get your disability benefit denial reversed and get your disability benefits paid without having to file a disability denial lawsuit.

Our disability benefit denial lawyers have submitted thousands of long-term disability appeals on behalf of claimants nationwide. Disability insurance companies want you to rush and submit your appeal of an LTD denial, but failure to submit a strong disability appeal will almost always result your disability benefit denial being upheld.

In the video below our long-term disability insurance denial attorneys discuss how to submit a winning appeal of your disability benefit denial. You must be strategic in both the drafting of your disability appeal and in obtaining additional medical evidence to overturn your disability insurance denial. We welcome you to contact any of our disability insurance denial attorneys for a free review of your STD or LTD benefit denial.

Disability Benefit Appeal Success Stories

Our disability denial lawyers have helped thousands of claimants to get their disability insurance denial reversed. We encourage you to search our website by looking for specific information about your disability insurance company. We have a lot of helpful information that is specific to your disability company, including examples of disability appeal victories and summaries of disability denial lawsuits against your disability insurance company. We have listed below some examples of our disability benefit appeal resolved case success stories.

Unum Approves LTD Benefits for Pharmacist with Eye Disorder

Long term disability lawyer Rachel Alters discusses how she helped a Pharmacist to continue working and collect residual disability benefits from Unum. Rachel also discusses why it is always in a claimant’s best interest to contact a long term disability lawyer before you contact the disability company.

Home Depot Employee Gets Hartford Disability Benefit Denial Reversed

This case is a good discussion of issues that arise when you have mental nervous and physically disabling conditions. Hartford denied long term disability benefits three weeks before the change from own occupation to any occupation definition of disability. Hartford also denied claiming that the disabling medical condition was only for mental disabilities. This is a common denial strategy used by The Hartford. In this video long term disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss the details of the denial and the strategies taken to get the Hartford denial reversed.

Lincoln Life Denies Disability Benefits to Operations Manager

In this Lincoln Life disability benefit denial, Lincoln relies on two of their own employed doctors to deny LTD benefits. Benefits were initially approved for 7 months. It is amazing that Lincoln ignored the opinions of 6 treating doctors and relied on their own doctors to deny benefits. In this video long term disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and Alex Palamara discuss the strategies taken to get this Lincoln Life disability benefit denial reversed.

IBM Executive with Occipital Neuralgia & Headaches Wins Metlife Disability Appeal

Headache disability insurance claims are commonly challenged by every long term disability insurance company. The challenge is due to the limited objective evidence available to objectively verify headaches. In this MetLife long term disability denial appeal claim, attorney Cesar Gavidia was able to get the denial reversed for an IBM executive. In this video we discuss MetLife’s reason for denying long term disability benefits and the strategies we took to win the MetLife appeal.

Research Epidemiologist with Chronic Fatigue / ME Wins LTD Appeal Against Prudential

Chronic fatigue syndrome cases are often challenged with great scrutiny by Prudential. This video with long term disability attorneys Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discusses how we were able to get Prudential to reverse their wrongful long term disability denial. We also discuss the common challenges that claimants with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often have to deal with when seeking long term disability benefits.

New York Life Denies LTD Benefits to 64 Year Old Sales Manager

In this NY LIFE disability denial, our client was able to win his appeal despite an IME doctor claiming that he is not disabled. It is amazing that after multiple surgeries and being age 64, that NY Life determined our client could return to work. In this video long term disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss the strategies taken to get this unfortunate disability benefit denial reversed.

Disability Denial Lawsuit Options

What can you win in an ERISA disability lawsuit?

There are multiple outcomes in a long term disability denial lawsuit that is governed by ERISA. In the following video, LTD attorneys Gregory Dell and Alex Palamara discuss the different remedies available in an ERISA lawsuit. 

Most long-term disability insurance denials require a lawsuit to be filed in Federal Court. As we discussed above, if your disability insurance denial is governed by ERISA, then you cannot file a lawsuit until you have submitted an Appeal to your disability company and given them the required time to make an Appeal decision. If your long-term disability benefit denial is upheld following an Appeal, then you must act in a timely manner to file a lawsuit. Failure to file a disability benefit denial lawsuit within either the statutory period or the time frame stated in your disability policy will forever bar you from recovering disability benefits. Most long-term disability policies require you to file a long term disability insurance denial lawsuit within either 3 years from the date your disability benefits were denied, or three years from when you were eligible to be paid disability benefits.

If you have a private disability benefit denial, then your lawsuit will be significantly different than an ERISA disability benefit denial lawsuit. In a private disability denial you will be entitled to a jury trial, whereas an ERISA disability denial is a non-jury trial and the final decision in made by a Judge. Our disability denial lawyers have handled thousands of long-term disability lawsuits in federal courts nationwide. We have extensive experience with both private and ERISA disability benefit denials. We would like to provide a free review of your disability insurance denial and determine if we can get your disability denial reversed. In our video below, our long-term disability benefit attorneys discuss what to expect in a disability insurance denial lawsuit.

fight a long term disability insurance denial

Disability Benefit Lawsuit Success Stories

Tens of thousands of long-term disability insurance denial lawsuits have been filed in federal courts nationwide. Our disability denial lawyers constantly monitor the disability denial lawsuits and court decisions that are rendered daily. On our website we have summaries of disability lawsuits and court decisions against almost every disability insurance company. We encourage you to use the search feature of our website to review summaries of disability denial lawsuits against either your disability insurance company or any disability company. We think it is helpful for you to understand how courts review long term disability denials and potential outcomes in a disability denial lawsuit. Below we have listed some examples of disability lawsuit stories that you may find helpful.

A Hartford Disability Benefit Lawsuit Victory for Truist Banker with Lupus

This was an egregious Hartford disability benefit denial. Long term disability lawyers Alex Palamara and Gregory Dell discuss a successful LTD lawsuit on behalf of a former banker with lupus, back disorders and cognitive impairments. After 15 years of payments from her former employer, Hartford took over the long-term disability claim and denied disability benefits. The claimant filed a Hartford Appeal on her own and it was denied. Attorney Alex Palamara filed a lawsuit and the Hartford Disability Benefits were reinstated. In this video we discuss the reasons for Hartford’s disability denial and the steps Alex took to win this Hartford disability denial lawsuit.

Reliance Standard Disability Lawsuit Results in Payment of Disability Benefits for HR Manager

Long term disability lawyers Gregory Dell and Alex Palamara discuss a successful long term disability lawsuit after Reliance Standard denied long term disability benefits to an HR Manager with Fibromyalgia and Cognitive Impairment. In this video we discuss the basis for Reliance Standard denying long term disability benefits and the strategy long term disability attorney Alex Palamara took to win this ERISA appeal. In this Reliance Standard disability denial, they had no reasonable basis to deny long term disability benefits and ignored the approval of social security disability approval. This Reliance denial was egregious as they failed to make a time appeal decision so were forced to sue them. The outcome was great as long term disability benefits were reinstated.

Microsoft Manager Denied Prudential Long Term Disability Benefits

Our client, a Microsoft Manager, was disabled due to a rare condition called Addison’s disease. Prudential challenged our client’s disabling condition and limitations from the inception of the claim. Attorney Rachel Alters discusses the actions she took on behalf of our client. This Prudential long term disability claim was resolved in a confidential settlement following filing of a disability benefit lawsuit under ERISA.

You Can Get Your Disability Denial Reversed

Long term disability benefits denials are overturned everyday, but it takes a strategy and a very qualified disability insurance attorney to guide you. Our long term disability insurance attorneys want to review your denial letter and provide you with an immediate free phone consultation. We will give you a straight forward opinion as to whether we think we could get your disability insurance benefits paid.

In order to evaluate your disability benefit denial you will need to email us a copy of your denial letter. Based upon a review of your denial letter we can usually let you know if we can help. We never charge any fees or costs unless we win your long term disability claim. We look forward to discussing your disability benefit denial.

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Disability Benefit Denial Options
Submit a Strong Appeal Package

We work with you, your doctors, and other experts to submit a very strong appeal.

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Sue Your Disability Insurance Company

We have filed thousands of disability denial lawsuits in federal Courts nationwide.

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Get Your Disability Application Approved
We help claimants throughout the entire application process.

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Prevent a Disability Benefit Denial
We manage every aspect of your disability claim following claim approval.

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Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.

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Disability Company Reviews
Showing 8 of 642 Reviews

AT&T Was Great and Sedgwick Horrible

Reviewed by From a great job to a complete nightmare on March 20th 2024   Verified Policyholder | March 2024 date of disability
My Physician recommended that I take some time from a toxic environment after several deaths in my family coupled with AT&T trying to run tenured employees out of the door... read more >
New York Life

Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
Reliance Standard

Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >


Former Hartford employee has had life insurance and accidental death policy's revoked for one late premium payment

Reviewed by Becky H. THOMAS on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | February 2024 date of disability
Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

Lincoln Financial

Never received benefits my entire leave - or help with them

Reviewed by Anna on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I used my short term disability insurance for maternity leave and started the process beforehand knowing when I would be out (scheduled induction.) It took a little over a... read more >
Sun Life

Unscrupulous Tactics

Reviewed by Misseekayy on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
Sunlife uses unscrupulous tactics in order to prevent payment of claims. They wait until it is close to the 30 day mark and then they ask for another form of information o... read more >


Reviewed by Dennis T. on December 11th 2023   Verified Policyholder | March 2022 date of disability
My experience with Sedgwick and personell is as follows: Unhelpful, unprofessional and an overall unpleasant experience.

Low payments

Reviewed by Dorothy on November 30th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I was injured at work. I did house keeping in a hospital. I tore just about everything imaginable in my knee. I was let go from my job, because I was no longer able to do ... read more >
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Seven Surgeries and The Standard Still Denies Long Term Disability Benefits

Our client was employed with the State of Oregon as a Technical Support Representative. She s... Read More >

Sun Life Wrongfully Denies Disability After Paying For 23 Months

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Transportation Manager with Brain Injury Wins Unum Disability Benefit Appeal

Unum unjustly terminated our client’s long term disability claim after it had approved and... Read More >

Engineer With Depression Wins Prudential LTD Appeal

The claimant is a former Senior Technology Services Engineer for Accolade, Inc. who was force... Read More >

New York Life Approves Disability Benefits for School Teacher With Multiple Sclerosis

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Reliance Standard Disability Denial Upheld Due to Claimant's Lack of Strong Medical Record Support

In the case of Amy Wright v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Reliance), Plaintiff was the vice-president of... Read More >

Unum Wrongfully Terminated Disabled Lawyer’s Disability Claim of Depression and Anxiety Despite Improvement in His Condition

This Unum lawsuit and appeal in federal court is a great victory for all Unum disability claimants. This ca... Read More >

Federal Court Overturns Aetna Denial Of Disability Benefits

In the recent case of Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. a federal judge from the Northern District of Illinois determined that Aetna improperly te... Read More >

Court Finds Irregularities in Procter & Gamble Long Term Disability Benefit Denial

In ERISA cases filed in a district court asking for judicial review of a plan administrator's denial of benefits, the court is generally limit... Read More >

Federal Judge Makes Companion Life Insurance Pay Long Term Disability Benefits

Companion Life tried to play games and deny long term disability benefits, but thankfully a New Mexico Federal Judge made them pay disability ... Read More >

NFL Disability Review Board Ignores Evidence of Disability and Appeal Court Reverses Lower Court Decision

In Darren Mickell v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan (Plan), Mickell spent nine years in the NFL as a defensive e... Read More >

Judge Agrees that MetLife's Denial of Long Term Disability Benefits was Reasonable

In Anne Ehlert v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), Ehlert was a consulting pension actuary for pension plans at Towers Watson.... Read More >

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The case of Jose Chavez v. Standard Insurance Company has quite a history with the United States District Court for the Northern Dis... Read More >

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5 Ways We Help Get Your Benefits Paid

Get Your Disability Application Approved

Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.

Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.

Submit A Strong Appeal Package

If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.

Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.

Sue Your Disability Company

98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.

We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.

Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.

In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.

Who do you help?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.