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Long Term Disability Topics

You came to this website looking for a trusted guide to help tell your story to a skeptical insurance company.

You are facing a challenge. An injury or sickness has disrupted your life and you are no longer able to work.

Now, You are dealing with an insurance company.  All you are asking for are the benefits they promised, so you can focus your energy on managing your disability and possibly returning to work, but the insurance company is skeptical and suspicious of your claim.

Then the long term disability insurance company began to minimize your limitations and even went so far as to say that your doctors don’t know what they are doing. This is making your life more stressful and the energy that should be devoted to healing is instead siphoned off to fight the disability insurance company’s mistreatment.

Big insurance companies should not be allowed to do this to anyone, let alone someone who can't work. But don't worry, you are in the right place. Our ERISA long term disability team is here to guide you through the process.

Here's How BenGlassLaw Can Help You Right Now

If you are thinking about going out on disability, we should talk about that before you stop working. During our paid consultation we will review your disability policy, talk about your medical issues and chat about your job. You will walk away from that call or meeting with a definite plan of action. You can call us during regular working hours or use the schedule a call button at the top right to set your own time.

Or you can go right now and register for our free webinar on filing your long term disability claim.

If you are on claim and have questions, but we don't currently represent you, you have three choices:

Go to - it's free and we've answered just about every question imaginable. You just may find everything you need there.

Have a short, free call, with one of our non-attorney disability specialists. They are often able to get your questions answered about processes and procedures. They do not give legal advice.

Schedule a paid consult meeting, call, or video meeting with Ben Glass (We are located in Fairfax, Virginia). 

If your claim has been denied, just fax/email/mail us the denial letter as soon as you get it. We will review it and give you a detailed strategy for moving forward. This service is free, but you must act promptly. The insurance company only gives you a limited time to appeal or their decision is permanent.

Your employer's group long-term disability policy may be the greatest rip-off in the history of the American employee! Unsuspecting employers have been conned into buying policies that some courts have said will only pay benefits if you are in a coma.

We represent claimants in disputes involving:

  • Denial of benefits under private (non-ERISA) insurance policies.
  • Denial of benefits under long-term disability policies, both ERISA and non-ERISA.

When Should You Get Legal Advice Regarding Your Long Term Disability Claim?

You should absolutely consult with an attorney experienced in ERISA long-term disability claims before you file a claim. Too often we are contacted by people who have filed claims and exhausted their administrative appeal rights. If you must later file suit, a court is only going to review what is in the insurance company's file.  EVERY case we have in which the client has applied for benefits and done the appeal himself/herself, the record that the court reviews lack important information and documents that could have been provided with the original claim. Remember, the insurance company KNOWS that your review in court is limited.

Do you think that the insurance company is going to fill the record with information favorable to you? We have never seen that happen!

Your attorney should be experienced in litigating disability income insurance claims and, if your insurance is through your employer, that attorney should understand how ERISA impacts the case. Ask the right questions. Attorneys cannot simply “dabble” in ERISA!

If you have been denied long-term disability benefits, we will review that denial letter at no charge and suggest an appropriate course of action. After that first step, you may want to hire us to create the appeal for you depending on your particular circumstances.

We want you to know your rights and understand the insurance company's tactics.

Common Insurance Companies That Issue Long Term Disability Policies

7 Ways Disability Claims for Doctors and Dentists Are Different

  1. Doctors (and Dentists) make the worst patients. You tend to diagnose yourself and put off seeing a doctor who’s not you as long as possible. (Almost as bad: you see your good friends who are specialists but who treat you for free and don’t set up a formal medical file for you.) Why does this matter? the insurance company will not consider you disabled until you’ve established medical care (and a proper record of that care) with someone who’s not you.
  2. Doctors and Dentists are devoted to their practices. A lot of people love their jobs, but in many cases, you are your job. You’ve built a practice that so many people rely on. You’ll try anything to keep it going, so applying for disability benefits is the last resort. Why does this matter? The insurance company wants to see “what changed” before they’ll approve a claim. They want to know why you could work Friday but not Monday. If you’ve worked with your disabling condition for a long time, they’ll argue that you could just keep on working.
  3. Doctors and Dentists are expensive. Your monthly salary is high enough that paying your claim is going to be significant for the insurance company. Why does this matter? The insurance company is going to invest resources in exhaustively examining every detail of your claim to try to find a reason not to pay.
  4. Your role is reversed. If you’ve dealt with disability insurance companies before, it was probably because they were coming to you for your opinion about whether your patient was disabled. Why does this matter?  You probably think that if the insurance company sought out your opinion about Patient X, they will value and respect your opinion about Patient You. You would be wrong. They want to hear it from your doctor, not from you, doctor (see pitfall #1).
  5. Your job is highly demanding. In most professions, a little tremor or a slight decline in cognitive function is barely noticeable, much less disabling. Why does this matter? Proving a slight decline in performance to the insurance company’s satisfaction is challenging. Convincing them that “normal” cognitive functioning is disabling in a profession that requires uber high cognitive functioning, or that a “slight tremor” for a dentist or surgeon is very dangerous, even deadly, can be even more challenging (especially if you try to “work through” your limitations without a strategy).
  6. Your policy language is different. Whether you are insured under a group disability policy through your employer or an individual disability policy you bought on your own, your policy language will be highly detailed and very specific about when you are/are not Disabled according to the terms of the policy. Why does this matter? A doctor or dentist with one medical condition may be Disabled according to the definitions used by one policy, but the exact same person with the exact same set of facts may be Not Disabled according to a policy with just slightly different wording. Understanding how your policy has been interpreted by the courts is critical to proving your claim.
  7. Doctors and Dentists can work part-time and often cut back their hours (and earnings) to avoid having to make any claim at all. (See pitfall #2). Why does this matter? Your benefit amount is normally based on what you were earning prior to stopping work, not prior to reducing your hours. If you were earning less, the insurance company will argue that your benefit amount should be less.

The best time to consult a lawyer is before you make a claim. There is a way to strategize through these problems, but it involves thinking about the issues early and working with someone who understands the “founder’s mentality” when it comes to your business.

BenGlassLaw offers a flat-fee consultation for $600. We’ll review any records you want to send us in advance (which should be your disability policy plus any recent medical or other records relevant to your claim) and schedule a meeting with Ben to discuss everything with you. Our goal is to help you “bulletproof” your claim so that your claim is approved, and you never need us again. If we do handle an appeal for you in the future, we’ll credit the $600 consultation fee to the cost of the appeal.

If you are a doctor or dentist and need help with your long term disability claim, reach out to our expert ERISA long term disability team at (703) 584-7277. 

Warning: There are law firms soliciting long-term disability insurance cases who will refuse to file a lawsuit for you if they are not successful on the internal appeal to the insurance company. These firms then DUMP clients, telling them "sorry, written appeals are all we do." Do not hire a firm to do your disability appeal that will not file a lawsuit if needed. This video explains why.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.