Questions About LTD Appeals And Deadlines? We Can Provide Answers.
If you are denied long-term disability (LTD) benefits, or if they are terminated, it is imperative that you address the decision immediately in order to protect your rights. Normally, LTD benefit plans give you the right to appeal a denial or termination of your benefits. The “appeal” actually is an internal review by the LTD insurance company or another plan administrator. There are very specific deadlines which must be followed exactly. If you miss an appeal deadline, your claim for LTD benefits could be lost forever.
To protect your rights and your ability to claim benefits, it is critical to work with a skilled attorney like ours at Beedem Law. As one of the premier disability law firms in Minnesota, we are a trusted resource for clients and other attorneys alike. On this page, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive related to appeals and appellate deadlines. We invite you to ask us your own questions in a free consultation.
Can’t I just sue the insurance company?
Most appeals are mandatory. In other words, if you fail to appeal within the time period allowed, you typically cannot ask the court to reverse the denial or termination of your benefits. LTD plans may provide for either one or two of these internal appeals to the insurance company or other plan administrator. Again, each plan is different. Therefore, it is important to contact our firm as soon as your LTD benefits are denied or terminated.
How long do I have to appeal?
Under ERISA, you normally have 180 days after you receive the letter or notice informing you that your LTD benefits have been denied or terminated in which to make your first appeal. If a second level of appeal is available, you need to find out what the time limit is under your LTD plan and treat it very seriously.
As stated earlier, each plan is different. Some appeals periods can be as short as 60 days. It is very important to check the exact provisions and time limitations of your LTD plan.
How do I prepare for an appeal?
This is arguably the most important part of the process. It is extremely important to collect any and all medical records, doctor’s reports, vocational reports and physical/mental evaluations that you want to be considered and submit those with your appeal.
If your claim is governed by ERISA, it is very likely that you will not have an opportunity to submit additional documents or other evidence in support of your claim after the appeal process is complete (in other words, after the LTD insurance company or other plan administrator has finished its internal appeal process). Obtaining and submitting all evidence with your appeal is especially important if you ever want to go to court and ask the court to reverse the denial or termination of your benefits. In most cases, a court will not look at or consider any documents or other evidence that was not submitted to the insurance company or other plan administrator during the internal appeal process.
We’re Here To Help – Reach Out Today
If your long-term disability benefits have been terminated or denied, don’t wait to contact an experienced law firm for help. At Beedem Law, we are intimately familiar with Minnesota LTD appeals, which means we can advise you on relevant deadlines for your case and handle the appeals process on your behalf. Reach out today to set up your free, one-on-one meeting with one of our knowledgeable attorneys in Minneapolis. Just call 612-305-1300 or submit an online contact form.