Sustaining an injury and finding out that you are no longer able to work can be devastating. There are many different types of financial aid you can file a claim for, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims can help you gain access to the money you need to survive after an injury.
Making a mistake during the ERISA claims filing process could jeopardize your ability to receive benefits, so here are three mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1: Assuming you have enough evidence to prove your disability claim.
In order to be eligible to receive long-term ERISA disability benefits, you must meet the legal definition of disabled as set forth by the insurance provider. Since the insurance company is responsible for determining whether or not your claim will be approved, it's essential that you gather enough evidence to show that you are disabled according to the definition written into your policy.
Just because a doctor or employer says you are too sick to work, that doesn't mean their word will be sufficient evidence to successfully process your claim. Working with an attorney while filing an ERISA claim can be beneficial, since he or she will be able to determine what evidence is needed to avoid a claim denial.
Mistake #2: Relying solely on the advice of a human resources department representative when filing your ERISA claim.
While many human resource department employees are eager to assist you in the filing of your claim, these individuals often don't have the experience needed to interpret complex insurance policies. Rather than relying solely on the advice of a representative from your employer's human resources department, you should always seek the help of a qualified attorney.
The insurance policy that governs ERISA claims is considered a legal document, and an attorney will help you interpret the language within the insurance policy correctly to avoid filing an ERISA claim that will eventually be denied due to a technicality.
Mistake #3: Hiring an attorney with no prior ERISA experience.
The federal statute that governs ERISA claims is complex, and the process of filing a claim can be daunting. An attorney with experience handling ERISA claims will understand the deadlines associated with filing a claim, and know which forms must be filed for accurate processing.
Failing to work with an attorney who has ERISA experience could mean that costly mistakes are made when preparing your claim. Reduce the risk of your claim being denied, and hire an attorney who has a proven track record when it comes to filing ERISA claims.
Avoiding mistakes during the preparation and filing of your ERISA claim will increase your chances of being awarded long-term disability benefits.
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