A Maryland Long-Term Disability Denial Lawyer Can Help You Meet the Challenges You Are Facing
Many people who are injured and unable to work are shocked when their disability claims are denied. But, unfortunately, the sad reality is that insurance companies routinely deny claims—the fewer claims they pay, the better their bottom line. If your long-term disability claim has been denied, you don’t have to accept it. The first step is to understand the reasons for your denial and what you need to do next. The next step is to speak with a Maryland long-term disability denial attorney to discuss your options for getting the benefits you need.
Why Was Your Long-Term Disability Claim Denied?
Your insurer should have sent you a letter explaining why they denied your claim. It is important to read and understand this letter because it will shape how you proceed moving forward. Here are some of the common reasons why disability claims are denied:
- Insufficient or erroneous medical documentation
- Your claim was filed too late
- Your health condition is not covered or excluded as a pre-existing condition
- You do not meet the policy’s definition of “disabled”
- The insurer disputes the severity of your disability
- You did not respond to the insurance company’s request for additional information
- You did not attend the independent medical assessment
In some cases, the insurer may review your social media feed to find “evidence” that you are not disabled to deny your claim. In other instances, they may actually hire an investigator to video you going about your daily life to support their claim that you are not disabled.
There are also situations where your claim denial stems from bad faith. This behavior includes:
- They may delay approving or denying your claim for an unreasonable amount of time
- They may require excessive or unnecessary documentation of your disability
- They deny a claim without explanation or for invalid reasons
Whatever the reason for the denial of your claim, a Maryland long-term disability denial lawyer will be able to identify whether the denial is valid and determine how you should accordingly proceed.
Your Disability Benefits Denial Triggers Important Deadlines
The letter notifying you of your denial will also explain what to do about your denial, including the deadlines to file an appeal.
Under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you have 180 days to file an appeal of your first denial. One hundred eighty days may seem like a long time, especially when you need your disability benefits to pay your bills. As a result, the sooner you file your appeal, the sooner you will hopefully get your benefits. In addition, the longer you wait to appeal your denial, the more difficult it may be to prove your claim.
We should also note that you will be appealing the denial to your insurance company. While this may come as a surprise, don’t assume that the appeal is hopeless. For many insurance companies, this is just a numbers game; they are banking on the fact that a certain percentage of denied claims will never be appealed. Therefore it is critical that your appeal is handled appropriately. A Maryland long-term disability denial attorney will be able to help you draft a compelling appeal so that you can get the benefits you need.
What to Do When Your Appeal Has Been Denied
Working with an experienced Maryland long-term disability denial lawyer significantly improves your chances of success, but there are no guarantees that your appeal will be approved. Fortunately, you still have rights even if this happens.
If your appeal has been wrongfully denied, the next step is to file a lawsuit against your insurer. ERISA does not contain a deadline by which claimants must file their lawsuit (in legal terminology referred to as a “statute of limitations”), so state law will determine the deadline for you to file your suit. In the state of Maryland, your lawsuit against your insurer must be filed within three years of the date of loss.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late; A Maryland Long-Term Disability Denial Lawyer Can Help
Three years may seem like a long time, but the time to act is now. Necessary documentation may be difficult to find or may have gotten lost. It may be difficult to accurately assess your disability several months after you first became disabled. In addition, litigation can move slowly, with most lawsuits taking up to a year or longer to get resolved. And during this time, you are unable to work and not receiving your benefits.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is call a Maryland long-term disability denial attorney as soon as you receive notice of your denial.
Put Your Best Claim Forward from the Start
Even though you have two opportunities to appeal your denial, it’s important to emphasize that you should submit the strongest possible claim from the very beginning. Whether it’s an appeal or suing your insurer, whoever reviews your claim will look at the prior proceedings. And while the appeal or your lawsuit is supposed to involve a new review of your claim, it’s human nature to give credence to the decisions that have already been made. Therefore, the best way to win your appeal or your lawsuit is to avoid it in the first place. This means submitting a thoroughly documented claim and remaining fully engaged in the process.
For this reason, we would also recommend that you not wait to contact an attorney until you need to file suit. A skilled Maryland long-term disability denial lawyer can provide valuable assistance from the very beginning of the claim process. In addition, if your claim has already been denied, they can help you prepare a successful appeal so that you get the benefits you deserve as soon as possible.
Contact Maryland Long-Term Disability Denial Attorney Emmett B. Irwin Today
You don’t have to let the insurance company decide whether you get the benefits you deserve. You need an experienced Maryland long-term disability denial lawyer who understands the challenges you face and knows how to overcome them.
With decades of experience in helping people get the disability benefits they need, attorney Emmett B. Irwin works with people whose claims have been denied. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call us today at 443-239-5668 or contact us online.