You likely found this website after a doctor or lawyer who recognizes our leadership in disability claims told you to "call BenGlassLaw." Our Virginia-based attorneys can be your guide you no matter where you live. In both 2021 and 2022 we recovered over $3,000,000 in wrongfully denied disability insurance benefits for our clients through insurance appeals and lawsuits. We currently manage over $33 million in future benefits for our clients. We are the top filer of long term disability lawsuits in our area. No one else in the Mid-Atlantic matches our numbers.
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 a disability 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 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.
If you are on claim and have questions, but we don't currently represent you, you have three choices:
Go to UltimateDisabilityResource.com - 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, and do almost all of our client work by Zoom and phone).
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.
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.
Long Term Disability Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Long-Term Disability Attorney Near Me in Virginia?
If you are dealing with a long-term disability insurance company you may have started searching for a "Virginia long term disability attorney near me."Long term disability lawyer near me is probably the most frequently searched phrase for someone who is on the Internet and who has been denied disability benefits by a long-term disability insurance company like Unum, or Cigna, or Mutual of Omaha.
Unfortunately, there simply aren't that many attorneys in Virginia who handle ERISA long-term disability cases. BenGlassLaw handles the most long-term disability cases here in Virginia and we file the most ERISA federal lawsuits seeking disability benefits (We file over 80% of all new long term disability lawsuits filed in Virginia each year).
Good news for you, we've learned that you no longer need to be near the office of whoever might be the best lawyer for you in order to hire that attorney and, frankly, in order for them to appear in court. The ERISA regulations allow this. Your challenge is to find the attorney who is the best fit for you. We offer a free review of your denial letter. BenGlassLaw represents people all over the country and has won benefits for people all across the United States.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer After Your Disability Claim was Denied?
If the insurance company has denied your long-term disability claim, you have a limited timeline to appeal the decision. So, when should you hire an attorney? Hire the attorney now.
If you are going to hire an attorney, hire them soon. The more time an attorney has to work with your case, the better prepared your claim will be. You know your story, but the attorney does not. He or she must work through your background and get all the facts, then write a legal appeal. That takes time, and every day, minute, and second counts.
What Is the Most Likely Month That My Long-Term Disability Claim Will Be Terminated?
Most long-term disability policies provide that you will be paid benefits for 24 months if you meet the definition of disability and you cannot perform your "own occupation." After 24 months the definition of disability changes to "any occupation," meaning that you will only be paid if you cannot perform "any occupation."
Note, these definitions do vary, policy to policy. Fax or email us if you live in Virginia and we will look at your policy for free and give you our analysis. Call us for the special fax and email contact information.
We have handled over 1500 long-term disability cases and, an extensive analysis of our files reveals that if you are getting paid a disability benefit the most likely month that your benefits will be terminated is on the 21st month after payment started.
What if my doctor refuses to cooperate with me in applying for disability?
This is usually very bad for the claim. You might want to have a serious heart-to-heart discussion with your doctor about why he is refusing to cooperate with you. It may be that he feels that you are not disabled. It may be that he feels he's not being paid for his time for filling out mounds of insurance company forms. You need to know where your doctor stands on the issue of disability before you apply for disability benefits. It is the kiss of death to a claim to have your doctor telling the insurance company that you are not disabled.
My Insurance Company is Asking Me to File Social Security?
Most every disability insurance contract does require you to file for social security disability if the insurance company asks you to. No matter which attorney you choose for the social security claim, you will be reimbursed by the disability company, so they are all "free" in that respect.
But here's the real problem. While the social security company representing you should be looking after your interests only, they often (most often--always, in my experience) are working aggressively to make sure the disability company is going to get its repayment of benefits. They'll have you sign a form, typically authorizing them to put their hands right into your checking account to grab money if you get your SSDI benefits.
In my opinion, that's a major conflict of interest. Here's another thing I've seen. Knowing that the long-term disability insurance company will pay minimal benefits if your disability is mental illness related, the "free" attorney recommended by the disability insurance company will work to make your SSDI claim a "mental" claim. That's good for your disability company and bad for you.
It is, in my opinion, always better to hire a good social security disability attorney who is local to you and who will look out for your best interests only.
Can My Bank Use My LTD Payments to Pay Off a Loan?
What may be happening is that a judgment has been rendered against you and the judgment creditor has garnished your account at the bank. Thus, any money going into the account is subject to the garnishment of the creditor. Yes, this is legal. You might consider directing your long-term disability insurance company to send you the check instead. You should then open a different bank account at a different bank to prevent garnishment.
I have gotten several conflicting recommendations from my doctor: one doctor says to get surgery, while another says not to get get surgery. Will my decision to forgo surgery impact my SSD and LTD?
Generally speaking, a long-term disability insurance company cannot direct that you have extensive surgery. However, there have been circumstances where a claimant refused to undergo relatively simple surgery, which all of the doctors agree would have allowed the claimant to work. We have seen courts deny long-term disability payments in that situation. However, generally with the issue of extensive surgery and conflicting medical opinions you will not be penalized because you decide to not undergo the risk of surgery.
What if the termination letter says I missed a deadline: Is my case lost?
Not necessarily. Each case is different and we have seen insurance companies terminate benefits when a particular form has not been filed on time. However, benefits can be reinstated once the form gets filed. Of course, this assumes that it has not been months and months since some form was due and you have totally neglected your duty to communicate with the insurance company. Again, each case is different. Ben Glass offers a free review of your termination letter in order to determine whether he can help or whether he can refer you to someone who can help.
Does My Insurance Company Share My Records With My Employer?
The health information you supply to your employer's disability insurance company should not make its way back to you employer. This would be a violation of confidentiality laws. In my experience, most disability insurance companies are very good at making sure this private information does not go to the employer.
I've heard that to receive benefits you have to being actively treated. What does this mean?
Most disability insurance policies do require that you be under the current care of a physician. The term "actively treated" of course has different meanings for different illnesses. At some point the insurance company may require you to be seen by an independent medical doctor to see whether the treatment you are receiving from your doctor is appropriate. With some diseases/illnesses, periodic checkups at six month intervals is appropriate. Each case and each situation is different. If you run into problems with your disability insurance company you should seek the advice of an experienced disability insurance attorney.
How Do I Get My Long-Term Disability Claim Records?
If your policy is a group policy, then it is probably regulated by ERISA. If so, you are entitled to a complete copy of the claim file by writing to the company and asking for all relevant documents that make up your file. They have 30 days to give it to you. When you get it, make sure that it contains at least the following:
- your plan or policy
- any summary plan description
- any records you sent them
- any records your doctor sent them
- any records they received from authorizations you signed
- any internal notes they made while processing your claim
- reports from any doctors that they had look at your case.
Remember, if you are going to appeal your case, you generally have 180 days from the date you received your denial letter to appeal.
I'm planning on applying for long-term disability benefits through the insurance plan offered by my employer. Do I need a Virginia disability insurance attorney?
Yes, there are many possible mistakes that could be made along the way that would impact your ability to receive benefits, but an experienced lawyer will help you avoid them.
It is best to involve a Virginia disability insurance lawyer as soon as you consider making a claim, even while you are still working. You take a big risk if you stop working only to find out you don’t have a provable disability. You could end up losing your job and benefits, such as life and health insurance.
If you make mistakes filling out forms or giving recorded statements, it makes it that much more difficult for your attorney to help you obtain disability benefits.
I’ve heard that insurance companies continue to check on your status. Do I have to have my doctors fill out new forms about my disability?
Generally speaking, an insurance company does have the right to get periodic updates from you regarding your condition. Our experience is that these updates tend to be more frequent in the beginning of your claim and then, if the insurance company is convinced that you have a serious disease or illness that will likely disable you for a long time, the reporting becomes less frequent. Every time they ask you to fill out a form you should fill it out. If your forms are delayed going back to the insurance company, they may terminate, suspend, or delay your benefits.
Must I do everything requested by my insurance company, such as taking tests and allowing home interviews?
Generally, you are required to cooperate with your insurance company. Certainly you must do home interviews and fill out whatever forms they send you. You may be required to "take tests;" however, this generally falls under the "Independent Medical Examination" clause of the policy and not all policies provide that you are required to take tests. On the other hand, the insurance company has money that you are trying to get for your disability. If they are not satisfied that you have provided sufficient evidence to have the claim paid, they simply will not pay the claim.
If you have a question about whether a requested test is appropriate under your policy, you should speak to an experienced disability insurance attorney in your area.
What date should I put on the disability claim form as to when my condition started?
The "date disability condition started" box on a claim form is very important. It is impossible, however, for anyone to tell you what date to use without knowing all of the facts and circumstances of your claim. Another date that is very important is the "last day worked." You may want to have an experienced disability attorney look at your claim form before you file it. That attorney will likely want to see your medical records/reports from your doctors. The attorney will likely charge a fee for this service, but this is a fee well worth paying.
I was being treated by a doctor who specializes in my condition, but I recently switched to another specialist. Do I need to inform the LTD company that I have a new physician?
There generally is no need for you to immediately inform your long-term disability insurance company that you have changed physicians. Generally, you can wait until a new set of forms need to be filled out and then have your new doctor complete and return the forms.
Is the insurance company likely to put me under surveillance?
Yes, they will. That's why it is important not to submit fraudulent disability claims. The insurance company WILL find out and you will be denied.