Submit A Strong Disability Insurance Appeal Package

If your long-term disability insurance benefits have been denied, then you will find some relief after speaking with our disability insurance attorneys. Our law firm’s goal is to get your disability benefits reinstated and paid until you decide that you can return to work. We win more than 75% of our disability benefit appeals and we have represented thousands of claimants with their ERISA governed disability benefit appeals and/or lawsuits since 1979. We would like to review your disability benefit denial letter and provide an immediate free phone consultation to discuss how we could help get your disability benefits paid. We look forward to discussing your long term disability appeal.

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Why Is It Important to Submit a Great Appeal?

The insurance companies want you to draft and submit your own appeal, but it is nothing but a trap. The information submitted in an ERISA disability appeal is extremely important, as all of the documents submitted become part of what is known as the “administrative record”.

In the event that your ERISA appeal(s) are denied and a lawsuit is filed, the court in most cases will be limited to their review of the administrative record. This means that if you were to have surgery after a final appeal decision is made by the disability company, then the court cannot review or consider any information about the surgery if it was not presented during the appeal.

ERISA does not allow for a jury trial, therefore if a lawsuit is filed it will be decided by a Judge. A non-jury ERISA trial is usually a disadvantage for a claimant, because the Judge does not get to hear live testimony and the Judge is basically just reviewing documents in the administrative record.

When appealing a disability insurance denial it is essential that a claimant submits every piece of information in support of a claim for disability benefits that the claimant would want a Judge to consider. The submission of a great disability appeal is an art and our disability attorneys are highly skilled at knowing what needs to be in an appeal and helping claimants to obtain the information needed to have the best chance to win an LTD appeal.

In order to help you understand the disability insurance appeal process and how to appeal a long term disability denial, you should read more here: How To Win Your Disability Insurance Appeal.

How Do We Help?

In order to present our client’s appeal in a light most favorable to the insured, Dell Disability Lawyers work very closely with our clients and their treating physicians, to ensure that the appeals are submitted with an overwhelming amount of information and detail.

Every case is unique and we work with your doctors to prepare statements that are specific to your medical condition and occupation. We make sure that every possible piece of objective medical evidence is obtained and we often recommend additional medical testing that could help prove your eligibility for benefits. In many cases, Dell Disability Lawyers will retain a medical doctor or nurse to review all of our client’s medical records and make recommendations regarding additional evidence that would strengthen our client’s claim.

The insurance companies often hire their own doctors to either review your records or examine you. We work very closely with your doctors and our nationwide medical experts to rebut the reports created by these insurance company hired gun medical doctors. In most disability appeals, Dell Disability Lawyers will retain a vocational expert in order to determine what vocational skills a claimant can perform in light of the claimant’s medical restrictions and limitations.

The vocational expert will also perform a labor market study in order to determine the availability of specific jobs in a particular market. We spend a great deal of time explaining the occupational requirements of a claimant’s occupation in order to make the insurance company understand why a claimant cannot work. We have access to all available medical research and we often rely on medical studies as further support for a client’s restrictions and limitations.

The drafting of personal statements and statements from co-workers, family members and friends can be an important piece of an appeal we submit for you. In certain appeals we will submit a custom video to further explain the difficulties you are experiencing. We exhaust every option in order to submit the best possible appeal for you. We think outside the box and when we finally submit an appeal it is hard for the insurance company to disagree with us.

What Are The Important ERISA Timeframes?

ERISA provides extremely strict guidelines and deadlines for disabled claimants seeking disability insurance benefits under their group policies. If sufficient information is not submitted within these timelines, a claimant may be forever barred from introducing the documentation to prove their disability. The disability insurance company is required to give a claimant 180 days from the date of initial denial to submit a first appeal.

While 180 days seems like a long time to prepare a disability appeal, most of this time is required to submit an appropriate appeal. The appeal process is long because it often takes time to receive all of the claimant’s medical records, obtain new medical support and review the entire claim file provided by the disability insurance company.

Once an appeal is submitted, the disability insurance company has 45 days to respond to a claimant’s appeal. However, the insurance company may request an extension for good cause. Dell Disability Lawyers understand the importance of trying to obtain benefits for our clients in an expedient and efficient manner.

Frustrating as it may seem, the disability carrier will not tell you what is necessary to perfect your claim. Moreover, group disability income policies are drafted with ambiguous and confusing contractual terms. These ambiguities provide insurance companies with multiple reasons for delaying and denying disability income benefits. Furthermore, most policies provide the insurance company with full discretion in deciding whether sufficient information has been provided by claimants prior to approving a claim.

Given the complexity of the legal issues involved and the tendency of insurance companies to vigorously defend claim denials, evaluation of any potential legal claim on behalf of an insured should be handled by a law firm experienced in ERISA disability insurance claims.

Our long-term disability appeal attorneys are available to provide you with a free consultation and review of your long term disability policy. Please keep in mind that there are time deadlines with ERISA disability claims and we must have sufficient time to evaluate your claim and take the appropriate legal actions on your behalf.

The ERISA Facts

If your ERISA governed long-term disability claim has been denied following your initial application for disability benefits, ERISA regulations require the insurance company to establish and maintain a procedure by which a claimant shall have a reasonable opportunity to appeal an adverse benefit determination to an appropriate named fiduciary of the plan, and under which there will be a full and fair review of the claim and the adverse benefit determination.

This means that your ERISA disability appeal must be reviewed by a person different than the original person that denied the claim.

The idea is that a claimant is supposed to receive a full and fair review by the insurance company when an appeal is filed. Many people want to sue their insurance company and not bother with an appeal, but the law requires at least one appeal be filed and possibly two depending on your disability policy language.


The challenge is that The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a horrible nationwide federal law that gives disability insurance companies an unfair advantage over disability insurance claimants.

If you obtained either your short or long-term disability insurance coverage as employee benefit through your employer then your disability claim will be governed by the ERISA. The ERISA regulations for disability claims were modified in 2018, but these changes have only made it more difficult for claimants to win appeals and prevail in litigation.

The Insurance Companies

Our lawyers know the claim handling techniques of every disability insurance company and we are highly skilled at defeating them at their own game. Through our personal experience we have created and constantly maintain the most extensive resource on the internet for information about every disability insurance company.

We want you to learn as much as possible about your disability company, review our resolved cases against your insurance company and our experience in helping people with a situation similar to yours.

Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits

Disability Benefit Denial Options
Submit a Strong Appeal Package

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

Learn more

Sue Your Disability Insurance Company

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

Learn more

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

Learn more

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

Learn more

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

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

Learn more

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 >
Answered Questions by Our Lawyers
Showing 8 of 38 Answered Questions

Q: Do I have an option after my appeal is denied?

Answered on April 10th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: Lauren:If your appeal is denied by MetLife then you have the option to file lawsuit in federal court. Read More >

Q: My employer terminated me 11/14/23 while my LTD claim is being appealed by the Hartford. Does my appeals process get terminated as well?

Answered on November 20th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: Mark:Your termination of employment in the facts you describe has no impact on your Hartford claim. Be ver... Read More >

Q: Denied short term disability and need to file for long term with same insurer

Answered on June 29th 2023 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: We would be more than happy to speak with you and review your denial letter and policy and discuss how we can ... Read More >

Q: Sedgwick denied my STD appeal, is there anything I can do to get my money back?

Answered on June 15th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: Vicky: You need to file a written appeal of your Sedgwick Disability Denial. Sedgwick will have someone review... Read More >

Q: How can I mount a successful appeal to a denial of coverage under my employer's Insurance carriers EOI review for Long Term Disability. Or is it a losing battle?

Answered on June 6th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: I don’t think you will have too many options as your Employer is not required to offer Long-Term Disability ... Read More >

Q: Can I ask for another appeal?

Answered on July 13th 2020 by Attorney Alex Palamara
A: Giovanna, you should consult with the attorney(s) that represented you in your appeal to the Third District Co... Read More >

Q: How long do I have to file my Guardian disability appeal?

Answered on June 25th 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Jennifer, if you have an employer provided policy you will have up to 180 days to file the appeal. If you woul... Read More >

Q: Before I present my appeal, can I acquire exams and conduct an IME on my own (to avoid bribery/bias from Hartford)?

Answered on November 7th 2019 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Michael, yes. In the course of an appeal you want to get as much beneficial information as possible, to includ... Read More >
Helpful Videos
Showing 10 of 889 Videos
Disability Benefit Tips
Showing 8 of 331 Benefit Tips

How to Appeal a Long Term Disability Benefit Denial in 7 Steps

The filing of a disability insurance appeal following a denial of long term disability benefi... Read More >

Do You Know What Is Needed To File An ERISA Appeal?

Disability insurance claimants naively believe that managing their own disability claim is a simple process. There are disadvantages of managi... Read More >

Can I Hire A Disability Lawyer to Help with my ERISA Appeal?

Yes, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to file your disability insurance appeal. The insurance companies have attorneys and actu... Read More >

How Much Time Does Prudential Have to Make A Determination On an ERISA Disability Appeal?

The amount of time that an insurance company is allotted to provide a decision for an ERISA disability appeal is often confusing to claimants ... Read More >

Can a Disability Claimant Refuse to Attend an IME During an Appeal?

The main issue in Stevens v. Sun Life and Health Insurance Company is whether a claimant’s refusal to attend an IME means the administrative... Read More >

What can I do when the insurer fails to make a decision on my appeal within the required timeframe?

This question is addressed in a recent case decided by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. More specifically, the case addresses what a claiman... Read More >

Does my insurance company have to consider my SSDI award if I received the award after my ERISA appeal was denied?

Claimants often ask if their award of SSDI benefits means that their LTD claim will be approved by their insurance company. As we have discuss... Read More >

What are the important steps to take when filing an ERISA disability denial appeal?

In this video about ERISA disability appeals, disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and R... Read More >
Dell Disability Cases
Showing 8 of 375 Dell Disability Cases

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

We represent a 57 year-old claimant who’s occupation was selling commercial vehicles for ma... Read More >

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

Our client, a former elementary school teacher suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, contacted our office after New York Life terminated her clai... Read More >
Disability Lawsuit Stories
Showing 8 of 765 Lawsuit Stories

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 >

Court Orders Aetna to Pay LTD Benefits to Plaintiff Suffering from CFS

In Nancy Devries v. Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna) plaintiff worked as First American as a Senior Business Analyst u... Read More >

Court Rules Plaintiff's Medical Records Was Replete With Evidence Supporting Claim of MS & Was Not A Pre-Existing Condition

BackgroundIn Bayer v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, C.A. No. 18-9702 (E.D. LA 2020), Plaintiff began working as a seni... Read More >

Court Rules That Aetna’s Failure To Consider Plaintiff’s Actual Job Duties Was Arbitrary And Capricious

Aetna’s Rationale for DenialIn Patterson v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, C.A. No. 17-3566 (3rd Cir. 2019) through his&nb... Read More >

California Federal Court Overturns MetLife’s Denial of Disability Benefits

Application for Long-term Disability Under Kaiser Health PlanRenee Monroe worked as a Human Resources Compliance Specialist for ... Read More >

Court Rules That MetLife Did Not Consider The Material Duties Of Claimants Occupation

In Monroe v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 2020 WL 143005 (E.D. Cal. March 24, 2020), Plaintiff worked for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (“Kai... Read More >

Court Finds Video Surveillance Renders Claimant’s Self-Reporting Unreliable and Upholds Hartford’s Termination of LTD Benefits

In Cummings v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co. (Hartford), Plaintiff was employed by the Free-Port McMoran ... Read More >

1st Circuit Affirms Holding That Claim Is Not Subject To Pre-Existing Condition Provision

In Lavery v. Restoration Hardware Long Term Disability Benefits Plan, 2019 WL 4155038 (1st Cir. September 3, 2019), Plaintiff John Lavery ("La... Read More >

Reviews from Our Clients

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Our Lawyers Respond Same Day

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.