The vast majority of denied long term disability claims we see involving Mass Mutual Insurance Company are individual policies, which can provide the claimant with many more legal rights than ERISA or group disability policies. Under the terms of a Mass Mutual disability insurance benefit, claimants may receive disability benefits if they’re too injured or ill to hold down full-time employment.
But sometimes, even after disability benefits have been initially approved, a more intensive review can lead to a disability insurance denial. What should claimants know about Mass Mutual’s denial of a long term disability claim?
Top Things to Know When Filing a Disability Benefit Lawsuit Against Mass Mutual
Many long term disability insurance companies, particularly those with a heavy ERISA focus, have a reputation for denying disability claims out of hand. Mass Mutual isn’t one of them – with more resources and less employee turnover, they’re more likely to drill down into the substance of a claim before making a decision. But sometimes this meticulous review can backfire, and a claimant may find themselves facing a denied disability claim for a seemingly minor reason.
Though individual policyholders have the right to sue Mass Mutual for breach of the insurance contract if a valid claim is denied, a lawsuit is generally a last resort. However, it’s still crucial to seek legal advice as quickly as possible to preserve your options.
It’s Important to take Immediate Action to Preserve Your Rights to a Lawsuit
You don’t want to waste time with any disability insurer, and Mass Mutual is no exception. Many Mass Mutual policies have their own statute of limitations provisions that’s even shorter than the state’s statute of limitations on contract claims. Once the statute of limitations in your disability policy expires, you may no longer be able to file a claim. Because the statute of limitations can begin running as soon as you submit your claim (not when it’s approved or denied), you may not have as much time as you think.
If Your Claim is Denied, There May Be Options Other Than Filing an Immediate Lawsuit
Unlike some long term disability companies, Mass Mutual is open to engaging in pre-lawsuit settlement negotiations, especially with law firms they’ve grown to trust. Once a lawsuit is filed, Mass Mutual is going to be spending some major bucks on attorney fees to prepare its defense, so it has an interest in heading off a lawsuit before it begins.
The Most Common Reason for Claim Denial is Mass Mutual’s Reliance on its Medical Experts
Mass Mutual often heavily relies on its medical experts and the medical records, sometimes to the claimant’s detriment. Another common reason for denial occurs if the claimant doesn’t timely submit their notice of claim. Though this is a technical issue, not a substantive problem with your claim, it still has the potential to prevent you from recovering damages.
Mass Mutual Will Attack the Credibility of the Claimant to Support Their Benefit Denial
A claimant’s lawsuit against Mass Mutual is only as good as their credibility. If the claimant lies or hedges, even about a minor issue that isn’t relevant to the claim, Mass Mutual may challenge the claimant’s honesty in all aspects of the claim. Claimants should be prepared for this possibility and must avoid misstatements or evasive answers while under oath. A disability attorney, like the experienced attorneys at Dell & Schaefer, can help claimants prepare for trial and practice giving honest, sincere answers.