When you file your long-term disability claim, you expect to file it with a sense of certainty. You expect to follow the recommended instructions, file your claim within the designated deadline, and wait to receive your benefits.
When you receive a denial for your long-term disability claim, it puts a dent in your plans. Getting denied for your long-term disability benefits can be discouraging, but you don’t have to figure the appeals process out alone. The Chicago long-term disability appeals attorneys at Bartolic Law can help you.
When you want to appeal your long-term disability denial, you will go through at least two levels of administrative appeals to get your benefits.
When your long-term disability plan is purchased through your employer, the appeals process is guided by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
What that means for you is that you have to exhaust all of the administrative appeals before you can even file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
One of the most important factors in your appeals process is your administrative record. Think of your administrative record as a documented version of your lawyer because that is what it is.
An administrative judge is not going to listen to the statements made by you or your lawyer. The only evidence the judge will use when making their decision is the evidence in your administrative record. That is why the evidence that you include in your administrative record matters.
You want to stack your administrative record with the most balanced evidence possible.
In addition to copies of your medical records, you will want to include your doctor’s opinion or medical notes about your disability. Another thing that you want to keep in mind is the amount of time that your administrative record will stay open.
Once you file an appeal, you have a deadline of 180 days to submit your claim. That means you have 180 days to gather all the right evidence for your administrative record.
Once this deadline is up, you won’t have a chance to include any additional evidence to your administrative record.
Another important document you want to include in your administrative record is your appeal letter. With your appeal letter, you want to persuade the administrative judge to reconsider your denial. You want to ensure that the language in your letter is non-argumentative, clear, detailed, and honest.
You want to ensure that your letter includes the reasons that the insurance company used for your wrongful denial and any language in your policy supporting your disability. You will also have the opportunity to include supporting evidence with your letter.
At Bartolic Law, our Chicago long-term disability appeals attorneys deal with long-term disability cases at all stages. To schedule your free consultation, fill out the contact form below. We can answer your questions and help you file a disability claim without mistakes.