Vancouver Long-Term Disability Attorneys
Long-term disability benefits help provide income to disabled persons who are suffering financial hardships while out of work for an extended time period. However, when an insurance company delays, denies or diminishes these claims, it can make an already stressful situation even worse.
Our Vancouver long-term disability attorneys at Rizk Law are ready to help recover the benefits you need, even if it means filing an appeal for a denied claim on your behalf. Our firm provides free initial consultations to answer any questions you may have about long-term disability insurance and to learn whether you have a valid claim. We do not get paid for our services unless you obtain compensation.
Founder Richard Rizk knows exactly how insurers think having previously served as an insurance defense and coverage attorney. To date, he has resolved more than $15 million in claims. Our licensed attorneys have years of experience representing clients who have been wronged by insurance companies. We know why claims often get denied and look forward to helping you throughout the legal process.
Give us a call anytime 24/7 at 503.245.5677 to see how we may be able to help.
Am I Eligible for Long-Term Disability Benefits?
Our legal team needs to review your situation to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. This includes reviewing what is covered and not covered in your long-term disability (LTD) policy. Our consultations are completely free and confidential and come with no risk or obligation to hire us.
Eligibility requires having a significant medical condition that makes you unable to perform your work duties. Some medical conditions that may qualify you for long-term disability benefits could include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Back injuries or degenerative back conditions
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression, anxiety and panic disorders
- Fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Hearing loss and deafness
- Lung disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurological disorders
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Vision loss and blindness
Your LTD policy will likely have an elimination period or a waiting period during which you are disabled but not eligible to benefits. The elimination period is generally three to six months.
If you become disabled as a result of a work-related injury, you are not eligible for LTD coverage. You would need to file a workers’ compensation claim to be able to obtain compensation from an employer.
Rizk Law. Free Consultations. No Upfront Fees. Ph: 503.245.5677.
Common Disability Insurance Policy Exclusions
Many LTD policies have exclusions or limitations that may prevent you from collecting benefits. If you have a medical condition that was diagnosed or treated before applying for disability insurance coverage, the insurance company may apply the preexisting condition clause to limit your ability to obtain benefits. In most cases, the exclusion period often ranges from 90 days to six months or may even last up to a year.
There are also exclusions for certain mental and nervous conditions that could make you ineligible for LTD coverage. It is important to thoroughly read any insurance policy so that you understand what is included and not included. The language used in policy exclusions can often be unclear and misinterpreted by claimants.
That is why we recommend seeking legal representation as soon as possible. Insurance companies will do whatever it takes to take advantage of those who are inexperienced with handling claims.
A reputable Vancouver long-term disability attorney from our firm is standing by to take your call.
Benefits Available from LTD Insurance Policies
LTD insurance policies generally provide partial or total income replacement and benefits to help disabled persons get back to work. These policies may even cover rehabilitation or return-to-work incentives to help you get back to work as soon as medically possible. The benefits available to you will depend on the terms of your policy, with benefits being payed out once your short-term disability benefits expire.
Before you decide to purchase a policy, get clarity on what it covers and does not cover to save you from unwanted stress and frustration. If you have already purchased a policy, be sure to review your insurance needs on a yearly basis. Our legal team is ready to review your policy and your potential available benefits during a free, no-obligation consultation. There is no risk in calling us to learn more.
Is My Insurance Benefits Claim Governed by ERISA?
The majority of LTD plans provided by an employer are governed by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Plans not provided by an employer are typically not covered by ERISA. Other exemptions include insurance policies and benefits provided by churches and other religious organizations, along with many plans for government employees.
This law regulates how LTD claims should be processed, the deadline for processing these types of claims and a claimant’s rights if a claim is denied. However, it is important to note that being covered by ERISA does restrict your ability to take other types of legal action, such as making a claim against an insurance company.
There are some advantages to having an LTD policy that is not governed by ERISA. For example, punitive damages and other forms of compensation beyond what is covered in your plan could be pursued. In some cases, courts only have so much authority to review ERISA claims verses non-ERISA claims.
If you are not sure whether your claim is governed by ERISA, contact our experienced Vancouver long-term disability lawyers to review your situation and discuss your legal options.
What to Do If Your Claim Was Denied
Even if your claim has merit, it could still be denied. This, however, should not deter you from pursuing the benefits you need. Should we represent you, our legal team is prepared to appeal the decision on your behalf.
It is important that you obtain a copy of your LTD plan documentation that gives you a detailed overview of the plan, including how it works, what benefits it provides and any exceptions or limitations that may apply. You may need to request these documents in writing. You should use certified mail and request a return receipt to show proof that you are actively trying to obtain benefits.
It is also important to review the denial letter you received from the insurance company to get a detailed explanation of why your claim was denied, the specific plan provisions the denial was based on and other details of the plan’s appeal process, including deadlines for filing an appeal.
While going through the appeals process, make sure to continue your medical treatment and do not skip any appointments. Your doctor should know the extent of your condition and how it affects you on a daily basis.
There is only so much time to take legal action in these cases, which is why having a lawyer on your side to help you stay on track could make all the difference between being approved or receiving another denial.
Reach Out to a Vancouver Long-Term Disability Lawyer for Help
Need help getting long-term disability benefits?
At Rizk Law, our attorneys are here to help. We are committed to our clients every step of the way and unlike the insurance companies, we are prepared to advocate for your rights and best interests.
Request a free consultation with a trusted Vancouver long-term disability lawyer from our firm for answers to your legal questions and to learn if you have a valid claim and are eligible for benefits. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of Oregon residents over the years.
Get started by calling 503.245.5677. We are available anytime, day or night.