Private Disability Benefits
Disability Insurance coverage is designed to provide assistance to individuals who are injured, ill, or disabled and unable to work by paying them all or a portion of their salaries. A private disability insurance type of coverage can be obtained through an employer or through the purchase of a private insurance coverage. These plans can provide short-term and long-term disability coverage or both.
A disabled worker may be eligible for both private disability insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and may also collect benefits from both of them. However if you receive SSDI benefits, your private disability insurance benefits will be offset by the amount of your SSDI benefits.
Similarly, some private disability insurance policies may either deny or reduce the benefits of a disabled worker who is already receiving worker’s compensation benefits after being injured on the job.
Individuals with private disability insurance policies have rights that ERISA-governed policies not possess. These include the right to a jury trial if benefits are denied and the ability to recover damages beyond the monthly income benefits and attorney’s fees, including punitive damages and damages for emotional distress.
If your claim for disability benefits is denied, you may pursue an administrative appeal within specific period as required on your policy. However, if your appeals is denied, you may file a lawsuit. Claims involving employer-sponsored disability insurance plans are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); otherwise the claims would be based on state law for breach of contract and/or bad faith for insurance denial.
Our disability attorneys can help you pursue your claims or represent you in hearings, appeals, and lawsuits involving social security and/or private disability claims.
Call us at our toll-free number and avail yourself to our free case evaluation.