Everyone has advice about your long-term disability claim. Unfortunately, even though this advice is always well-intentioned, ERISA law is such a specialized area of the law that most people are ill-informed. This is true even when you're getting advice from other attorneys. Even very bright lawyers can lead their clients astray if they give advice in the field of ERISA law without having practiced extensively in that field.
If you've talked to anyone about your long-term disability claim, you've probably heard one of these lines:
- If you write a reasonable letter to the insurance company, you will get a reasonable settlement proposal
- Filling out the insurance company's forms will get you your benefits
- If you have been received Social Security disability benefits, getting long-term disability benefits will be easy
- If the insurance company sends you an "activity log," its because they really want to know what you do day in and day out
- The best way to convince the insurance company that you can't work in a sedentary job is to write them a 40-page letter describing your medical condition and all of its details
- Any lawyer can help you with your ERISA long-term disability claim
- You should hold back your best evidence until the day of trial
- Your doctors will come to trial and testify for you and you'll be able to convince the judge that you are disabled
- You will be allowed to testify when your case goes to trial
- If your doctor writes that you are "disabled," you will win your case
- The insurance company "appeals" process is fair and unbiased
- When you file a suit, the issue the judge has to decide is whether or not you are disabled
- The playing field is level between you and the insurance company
- If your employer says you're too disabled to work, the insurance company must pay out
These are all myths! The sad truth is, following this sort of "advice" can sink your claim.
To learn the truth about ERISA law and de-bunk all of these myths, you must read the long-term disability book by Fairfax attorney Ben Glass: Robbery Without a Gun.