Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawyers Serving Washington, D.C.
Goldberg & Finnegan represents workers who have become disabled and have PRIVATE DISABILITY POLICIES. If you have been denied benefits, or if you sense that your disability carrier is going to cut off your benefits or is investigating your claim, call us at 202-516-7558 for a free telephone consultation. It is crucial that you act quickly because there is typically a very short deadline to appeal a denied claim (often 180 days). If proper action is not taken within this time period, you will not be able to file a lawsuit, your claim will be time barred and you will lose your right to the benefits you paid for. Don’t wait until the last minute because it takes time to gather the proper documentation to support your claim.
Typically, long-term disability insurance is acquired through your employer, and such claims are governed by Federal ERISA Law. Sometimes though, long-term disability insurance (also often referred to as “LTD Insurance”) is purchased in the private sector, in which case claims are governed by State law. Long-term disability policies are often held by college-educated individuals such as doctors, dentists, computer specialists, defense contractors, lawyers, architects, federal employees, and professional athletes. Such policies provide benefits for those with physical and/or mental illnesses that prevent the worker from performing their job. The benefits under a private disability policy often exceed the benefits provided by the Federal Government’s Social Security Disability Program.
If we agree to take your case, we typically handle long-term disability claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that you pay nothing unless there is a settlement/recovery in your case (There is no risk to you and you will never receive a bill from us). We only get paid if we win.
Keep in mind that private disability carriers are known for having unfair tactics and unreasonably denying valid claims. Don’t trust your long-term disability insurance carrier—they are not your friend. For example, Unum is amongst the largest long-term disability carriers in the United States and they are well known for denying valid claims and have often been accused of bad faith.
What Should I Do? I’ve Worked All My Life and Now I Am Disabled!
The best practice is, as soon as you know your working days may be limited by a disability, be as proactive as possible. Contact an attorney early, save money, treat with medical doctors regularly and gather evidence to support your claim.
Consult A Disability Attorney: Navigating the land mines in a long-term disability claim can be complicated. The best time to consult an attorney is prior to applying for benefits. It is very important to review the policy language and the definition of disability. This can be complicated, and a disability lawyer can help with this. I often say that “The best time to hire a personal injury attorney to help with a long-term disability claim was yesterday, but the second best time is today.”
Save: Save money as best you can to build up some financial padding against the loss of a job or an improper denial of your claim. There are obviously many books on personal finances and saving, but the best advice is to balance any financial decision with your values and consult a financial advisor.
Treat: Go to your doctors regularly to document your disability. Don’t miss scheduled appointments. Most importantly, be very vocal about your issues and the exact range of physical and mental symptoms you experience on a day-to-day basis.
Gather Evidence: It will make your life much easier to have as much documentation as possible before applying for disability. Moreover, you need to know exactly the medical evidence the insurance company will see before submitting your claim, so there are no surprises. Start requesting copies of your medical records when you see the doctor. Under the new federal HITECH Act, you are entitled to a free copy of your electronic records in pdf form. Take advantage of this. Also, make a list with the contact information of all the doctors and hospitals you have treated in connection with your disability. This will make it easier to track your medical record development and ensure that the insurance company has all of the records needed to decide your claim. An experienced disability attorney can help you gather your medical records to make sure you will not be surprised by anything when it is time to apply for disability. Also, try to gather any payroll and time records from your work. If you had to take a leave of absence or used up your sick days, etc., it is important to be able to document this for your disability case.
Please call us at 202-516-7558 with any questions about your long-term disability case and/or fill out the contact form on this webpage. We will be happy to discuss your particular situation and whether we can help guide you through it. DON’T DELAY—THERE ARE VERY SHORT TIME FRAMES FOR APPEALING A DENIED DISABILITY CLAIM!