Has Metropolitan Life (MetLife) Insurance Company Denied Your Individual or Group Disability Insurance Claim?
Prudent people avoid foreseeable mistakes and prepare for unavoidable accidents or mishaps. Disability insurance is one of the many ways that prudent people protect themselves from sickness or injury that disables them from their regular occupation. Disability insurance should protect you if a covered debilitating life event occurs. Insurance companies should step up and treat policyholders in good faith in the aftermath of a disabling event—paying disability insurance benefits for rightful claims without delay or undue burden.
Unfortunately, the truth is that this doesn’t generally happen. Big insurance companies understand they can increase their profits by delaying and denying legitimate disability insurance claims or by giving policyholders the runaround. Unfortunately, insurance companies act unreasonably more often than one might imagine.
Common red flags that indicate illegitimate claims delays or denials include:
- Requests for independent medical examinations by unqualified physicians or overused or improperly trained paper medical reviewers
- Massive requests for duplicative medical, occupational, vocational or financial documentation
- Failing to make a disability insurance claim decision within a reasonable amount of time
- Minimizing objective and subjective medical evidence supporting disability and disregarding the treating physicians’ opinions.
Insurers get away with this underhanded behavior when policyholders don’t fight back. By denying disability insurance claims outright or convincing policyholders to settle claims for less money, insurers literally bank on you not putting up much of a fight.
If you believe that Metropolitan Life has wrongfully delayed or denied your disability insurance claim, our Metropolitan Life (MetLife) Insurance Disability Claim Denial Attorneys can help. In the past, customers have accused Metropolitan Life (MetLife) of:
- Failing to inform claimants about how to perfect their appeal options following denials in both individual disability cases and group ERISA policies.
- Wrongfully denying or terminating disability insurance benefits by relying on biased doctor reviews or in-house medical reviews.
- Using the wrong vocational criteria to create denials
- Failing to honor self-reported claims or discounting valid objective evidence of disability.
- Failure to pay disability insurance benefits based on the wrong occupational demands.
At DarrasLaw, our team of disability insurance attorneys and ERISA includes Frank N. Darras, America’s Top Disability Lawyer. We have the experience and knowledge to fight for the coverage you deserve from MetLife. Contact our law firm today for immediate assistance with your MetLife individual disability or group ERISA insurance case.
Who Is MetLife? What Does It Offer?
You must understand your insurance company—before, during, and after disability claim issues arise. Generally, it is a good idea to know about the company, even in the best-case scenarios.
Not every denial is wrongful or subject to criticism. Understanding your insurance company, and the policy that you have, can help you know when to fight back!
MetLife offers both short- and long-term disability insurance benefits. Generally, its short-term disability (STD) policies provide disability insurance benefits for three months to one year—depending on the policy. MetLife’s long-term disability (LTD) policies provide disability insurance benefits for disabilities that leave customers unable to perform their occupational duties after an elimination period for as short as twelve months all the way to normal retirement age.
As with all disability insurance, it is imperative that you—the policyholder—understand your insurer’s definition of disabled. This term may not conform to your typical usage or understanding of the word; the insurer’s definition may involve narrower, more specific meanings that you must show and prove to receive disability insurance benefits.
The definition of disability will vary depending on your plan. Some policies consider you disabled if, due to sickness or accidental injury you can’t perform the important duties of your own occupation, while others consider you disabled if you’re unable to perform the duties of any occupation considering your training, education, and experience. Other policies provide an initial period of own occupation coverage, then the disability definition switches to any occupation by which you’re trained, educated, or suited.
As you can see, what you must prove—through medical, financial and vocational documentation—to receive disability insurance benefits will largely depend on definitions and how your situation fits them. Make sure you understand the features, advantages, and benefits of your policy so you know how to prepare your claim. If you have questions or just want further clarification, contact DarrasLaw. We are the nation’s top disability insurance litigation firm, and we can help you understand and interpret your policy’s language.
Steps to Take After a Claim Denial from MetLife
If you receive a denial letter from MetLife regarding your disability benefits claim, your initial reaction might be to panic. You might imagine that you will never receive the monthly insurance benefits you need to support yourself and your family while you cannot perform the essential functions of your occupation and earn income.
However, you should not panic, and you should not contact MetLife and beg for your benefits. Instead, seek professional help from a seasoned disability insurance lawyer who has specific experience appealing or litigating claim denials by MetLife.
Many claimants make the mistake of sending in the same information again or failing to identify the true reason behind the denial. Once our attorneys identify why MetLife adjusters denied your disability claim, we can determine the best course of action to appeal the wrongful denial.
Often, we might:
- Determine what type of evidence MetLife needs to support your disability claim
- Recommend additional medical examinations, evaluations and testing
- Get expert testimony to support your claim that you are unable to perform your occupational duties
The approach of your appeal will differ depending on your situation and the reasons cited for the denial. One thing is for certain, though—MetLife is not an easy company to deal with. Avoid additional frustration following a denial and allow us to promptly and professionally handle the appeal – and the adjusters – for you.
Litigation Against MetLife
Metropolitan Life faces its shares of lawsuits from claimants, mostly because the insurer stands by so many wrongful denials. Sometimes, having the right disability insurance lawyer stepping in to appeal a denial is enough for MetLife to grant benefits to avoid litigation. Especially with DarrasLaw, insurers know that we will not hesitate to escalate a matter to court and when we go to court, we win.
However, in some cases, MetLife still refuses to budge despite our best efforts during the appeal process. This can mean it is time to file a lawsuit, and there are different types of litigation you might pursue depending on your circumstances:
- ERISA litigation in federal court for denials under employer-sponsored group MetLife policies
- Insurance bad faith claims for unreasonable delays or wrongful denials of valid individual policies, as well as other bad acts common by MetLife
The procedures and approaches will vary depending on the type of lawsuit, and our disability attorneys know how to handle any litigation you might need stemming from a disability claim denial or appeal.
Find the Right MetLife Disability Insurance Attorney
When Met Life issues a denial, they hope you will accept it and give up, which saves the company money. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. Fight back with the help of a knowledgeable MetLife insurance denial attorney from DarrasLaw.
We know that finding the right legal help can seem daunting when you have so much on your plate already. Remember that our goal is to make the process easier and the outcome better for you. Do not waste any time if you receive a wrongful denial, as our legal team is waiting to help.
MetLife’s Patchy Claims Past
Insurance companies are known to undervalue disability insurance claims or even to deny rightful claims outright. This happens because disability companies understand some people will not fight back. When policyholders don’t or can’t fight back, insurance companies save money. Insurance companies bank on policyholder decisions to not fight back when their disability insurance claims are denied or delayed.
DarrasLaw is here to help people like you when MetLife wrongfully delays or denies your disability insurance claims. We can help you fight back. MetLife, along with other insurance companies—are big dogs. We get that. It can feel intimidating to even think about suing a billion-dollar insurance company. At DarrasLaw, we have the seasoned, hard-fought experience to make big dogs pay. If your legitimate disability insurance claim was wrongfully delayed or denied, the law is on your side and so are we.
Insurance companies are not allowed to get away with unreasonable bad faith denials and they should not get away with simply looking for reasons to delay or deny legitimate disability insurance claims.
Often insurers request or perform certain actions that signal that you may need to consult an experienced disability insurance lawyer or ERISA attorney trained to identify wrongful delays or denials. MetLife, as well as most other big insurance companies, employ many tactics to delay, deny, and terminate valid disability coverage claims.
Thankfully, some really terrific policyholders fight back. MetLife was in many disability insurance denial cases initiated by policyholders who had enough. The following case is useful to review, not only because of its facts, but also because of the discussion of the courts—including the U.S. Supreme Court. These discussions provide insight into the way various courts view disability insurance claim denials and ERISA disability issues.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Wanda Glenn
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, is a federal law that insurance companies must follow when it applies. Not every group disability insurance policy falls under ERISA, but many do—particularly those insurance plans that employers provide. ERISA provides certain minimal protections to these insureds, requiring insurance companies to follow certain procedural guidelines—among other things. In this case, Wanda Glenn challenged MetLife’s discontinuation of her group disability insurance benefits pursuant to an alleged ERISA violation—that the insurance company faced a conflict of interest by both determining eligibility for disability insurance benefits payments and making these same monthly disability payments.
On appeal, the Sixth Circuit provided useful insights—ruling that a court’s review of a group ERISA disability insurance claims denial must consider whether, and to what extent, an insurer’s conflict of interest may have actually affected its determination of disability insurance benefits.
DarrasLaw’s Promise to Our Clients:
- FREE: Consultations and Insurance Case Evaluations
- UNDERSTANDING: We understand how you feel. Our clients are often at the very bottom of their life, feeling emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted.
- PASSIONATE PEOPLE: Our expert attorneys and dedicated staff love the work we do. We are compassionate, caring, and results driven.
UNPARALLELED RESOURCES: We will not be bullied or outspent by billion-dollar disability insurance companies or their army of lawyers.
- RESPECTED: We have fought and won the respect of every disability and long-term care insurance carrier for our policyholders.
- RESULTS: Frank N. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully denied insurance benefits to date, and we put that proven track record to work for you and your family.
DarrasLaw is America’s most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long-term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States. Contact DarrasLaw today.