What is An ERISA Disability Lawsuit and What Should I Expect?

    Most people have never heard of the word ERISA until it came time to deal with their short or long term disability claim. ERISA is a confusing law and unfortunately a law that favors insurance companies. Thousands of claimants contact us every year wanting to know what their options are following a denial of disability benefits. This video with disability benefit attorneys Rachel Alters and Gregory Dell answers a lot of questions about the common challenges and issues that almost always arise with the filing of an ERISA disability lawsuit.

    This video is intended to educate claimants about ERISA lawsuits and address some of the ways in which our lawyers handle these ERISA lawsuits. If your claim has been denied, we welcome you to contact any of our disability lawyers for a free consultation. We will need to review a copy of your denial letter and we can let you know in a matter of minutes if we can assist you. If we are able to accept your claim, we will not charge any fees or costs unless we recover benefits for you.

    If this video is helpful for you, we would appreciate your comments on this page.

    Leave a comment or ask us a question

    There are 10 comments

    • Kathy, the ultimate legal duty to provide a copy of your policy lies with your employer. I suggest you make such request in writing so as to create a tangible paper trail. If your policy only provides benefits to age 65 (which many do) then the benefit would terminate then even if your SSRNA is greater.

      Stephen JessupMar 20, 2017  #10

    • MetLife has been paying me disability because I took out the policy where I use to work. Now that I’ll be 65 in November of this year and the full retirement age for me as changed until I’m 66, does MetLife have a right to stop my disability income at the age of 65 or 66? I have called them and ask them to send me a copy of my disability insurance plan, but was told that they couldn’t send me a copy because it wasn’t legal. They told me to call the company that I worked for to get a copy, which I have many times and left messages to please call me back and they never do. When drawing disability from a disability insurance policy, can they also take out less money because I’m drawing from SSD as well? I don’t know what to do about any of this and neither MetLife or the company I worked for are willing too help me at all. I’m just sick and tired of being ignored from these 2 companies. Now what should I do?

      KathyMar 19, 2017  #9

    • Elizabeth, to best assess your situation we would need to see a copy of the letter they are going to be sending you. If the letter is stemming from the STD or LTD claim could make a difference as well. When you receive the letter please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

      Stephen JessupJan 23, 2017  #8

    • My employer provides a short and long term disability policy through Liberty Mutual. My employer is self-insured for at least the STD portion. My employer is based in California and the policy is written with language that would appear not to contain discretionary language. I have been on STD for 8 weeks. Short term disability runs for 26 weeks. I recently had my 3rd opinion which resulted in scheduling surgery on my cervical spine.

      I have been submitting medical records to Liberty Mutual all along, as initial leave was 30 days extended another 30 days and now I need to extend again. It is becoming apparent, as suggested by the claim manager herself, that I may find myself transitioning onto the LTD.

      Liberty Mutual has begun to contact me on a regular basis requesting more and more medical records. This morning, I was informed that my leave was being put up for review and I would be sent a Notice to Prove and I would have 45 days to respond. Does Liberty Mutual typically seek to deny claims this early in the process? What is a Notice to Prove and what are they looking for? Sounds to me like it is an excuse to deny.

      ElizabethJan 20, 2017  #7

    • Jean, did you file an appeal of the denial of benefits?

      Stephen JessupDec 30, 2016  #6

    • I have been following cancer treatments for nearly three years. I have had surgery and chymotherapy for colon cancer treatments. When those treatments were ended I had had all kind of physical issues,including joints pain , lost memory and fatigue.Eleven moths ago i went back to work part time. My primary care doctor recently concluded that I could go back to work full time against my objection. I couldn’t stand or sit for anymore than 15 minutes. I frequently walk with a limp because of pain in my ankles,heels,back and legs. Based on my primary care doctor’s willingness to send me back to work full time,my long term disability insurance payments were stopped. I was told my claim was for colon cancer treatments;my cancer is in remission my clain was terminated.

      Jean D.Dec 28, 2016  #5

    • RJB, under ERISA, the claim file closes as of the date of the last denial of benefits. It is extremely uncommon for any additional new information to be added into the record after a final denial.

      Stephen JessupDec 15, 2016  #4

    • If my long term disability administrative claim file has been closed and a lawsuit if filed, can the file be reopened and evidence added by either side? Or does the judge make a decision by whatever was in the file prior to the lawsuit being filed? I have heard stories that the insurance company attempt to add surveillance footage to a case after the file has been closed. Thanks

      R J BDec 13, 2016  #3

    • Salie, if your coverage is through an employer provided policy you will have to go through an administrative appeals process. The law provides 180 days to file an appeal and failure to do so can affect later legal rights. Please contact our office to discuss how we can assist you in appealing the denial, or if you are already done with the administrative appeal process how we can assist you in litigating your claim.

      Stephen JessupMar 29, 2016  #2

    • I lost my income from my LTD Insurance company. I need help. Please.

      SallieMar 28, 2016  #1

    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.

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    Leroy A.

    I was referred to Dell & Schaefer after several years of dealing with my private disability insurance company and their refusal to pay me. Many law firms refused to take my case as it was not a Social Security Disability case. I retained another law firm prior to Dell & Schaefer and they were not able to get me paid. I was lucky to find Dell & Schaefer. They were able to settle with the disability insurance company to my satisfaction and recover disability benefits for me.

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