• Principal Disability Benefit Denial OptionsPrincipal Disability Benefit Denial Options

Principal Disability Benefit Denial Options

If you’ve recently received a disability insurance denial letter from Principal Disability or are worried that your claim for long term disability benefits is about to be denied, you may be wondering about your next steps. Here at Dell & Schaefer, we’ve helped thousands of disability claimants overcome an initial denial to eventually secure the long term disability insurance benefits they deserve. Learn more about some of the options available if your Principal long term disability insurance claim has been denied.

The options for a long term disability denial will vary based upon whether you have an ERISA employer-provided policy or an individual disability policy purchased from an insurance agent.

Not all long term disability policies are the same – the differences between a group or ERISA policy (purchased through an employer) and an individual policy (purchased through an agent) can be significant, and the classification of your policy will dictate how your claim proceeds.

If you receive a denial letter for an ERISA claim, you’re required to go through a mandatory administrative appeal. Essentially, you’ll outline all the ways in which you disagree with the denial, attach supplemental evidence, and then return the claim to Principal for further review. Individual policies, on the other hand, don’t have any appeal requirement – instead, once the claim is denied, you’re free to file a lawsuit in court.

Principal does more detailed reviews than most disability companies so the ability to reverse a disability benefit denial is often more challenging.

Although Principal is a large insurance company, it’s not one of the largest—and this size permits Principal to conduct a thorough review without taking too much of a rubber-stamp approach. Principal tends to really take its time when reviewing a claim, which means it’s even more important to mount a strong case on appeal.

Why is 180 days often needed to submit a strong appeal?

Claimants need to gather quite a few documents to create a strong claim. The claim packet begins with the denial letter, which explains why the claim is being denied. Claimants also will need to attach a copy of their disability policy, which shows the terms and conditions Principal is required to abide by when reviewing a claim. Finally, claimants will need comprehensive medical records and an attending physician statement that explains the claimant’s symptoms and limitations.

Trying to rush a claim to get it to Principal before the 180-day deadline can increase your odds of being denied. And for ERISA claimants, the high threshold you’ll need to meet in court means you essentially just have one bite at the apple – a halfhearted appeal won’t preserve the issues you need to raise to prevail in court.

With a private disability denial, it usually is a good idea to submit a strategic appeal prior to filing a lawsuit.

Although private disability claimants aren’t required to file an appeal with the disability insurance company before filing a civil lawsuit, an administrative appeal can often be a strategic way to boost your chances of a good outcome. Not only does this appeal give you more time to get your ducks in a row if the case winds up in court, but it can also encourage Principal to settle to avoid an expensive and time-consuming courtroom showdown.

99 percent of litigated Principal disability denial lawsuits end with a lump-sum settlement.

As we mentioned, very few Principal disability insurance claims wind up in a courtroom. In the vast majority of litigated cases, Principal eventually offers the claimant a lump-sum buyout in settlement of the disability insurance  claim. However, the amount offered in settlement can vary dramatically, and it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney before accepting or rejecting such an offer.

At Dell & Schaefer, we have extensive experience in handling disability insurance claims with more than 30 different disability insurance carriers, including Principal. Don’t go into this process alone – let one of our experienced attorneys help you navigate this sometimes convoluted process. Just give us a call today to schedule your FREE consultation with a member of our team.

FAQ

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 telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com 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 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Jeff B.

When someone has to apply for disability insurance when ill it can be a life altering event. I have always found Dell & Schaefer to be honest, caring as well as patient, as I had all of my questions answered during the application process as well as during the continuation of my disability claim.

Dell & Schaefer always responded to all my questions in a timely fashion. They have been an invaluable resource throughout the claim process. The support staff is very professional and this is why I continue to use the firm.

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