Helping Disabled Hawaiians Claim their Rightful Benefits
Hawaii has the lowest disability rate in the United States, at about 3 percent. Still, many Hawaiians may suffer from disabilities and not report their illnesses or injuries. Some Hawaiians might not realize they qualify for individual or group disability benefits. Others may fear the stigma associated with having a “disability.” Hawaiians may also rely on their families and communities to care for them during periods of disability.
A disabling illness or injury, however, can leave your family in financial distress. Individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits can often alleviate the financial problems caused by a disabling illness or injury.
Whether you’ve never applied for individual or group disability benefits, experienced delayed or wrongfully denied coverage, or simply need advice, reach out to the award-winning disability insurance lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw.
We are America’s top individual and group disability insurance litigation firm. Spearheaded by our founding partner, award-winning disability attorney Frank N. Darras, our top-rated disability and ERISA lawyers have more than 100 years of experience fighting for your right to individual or group benefits. Frank N. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed and denied insurance benefits. For a free policy analysis or free claim consultation, contact the nationally renowned disability attorneys and ERISA insurance lawyers at DarrasLaw online or at (800) 458-4577.
What Should You Expect from Disability Insurance?
About one in four working Americans will eventually suffer from a disability. To guard against this possibility, you may have purchased an individual disability insurance policy from a local agent or broker. Many American employers also offer group disability insurance as part of your employee benefit package. Your employer may pay some or all of your premiums for your group long-term disability insurance benefits.
Generally, disability insurance benefits are designed to replace a certain percentage of your income if you suffer from a disabling illness or injury. Be aware of any income caps or limits written into your policy. You may also find term limitations, exclusions, and even deceptively worded cutoffs for certain common disabilities like back pain, mental illnesses, or self-reported claims.
To claim individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits, you typically need to have a qualifying illness or injury that generally will last more than 60 days. Typical individual or group disability benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Long-term income replacement: Some policies will pay a percentage of your salary for a certain number of years, or until you reach normal retirement age.
- Partial disability benefits: Unlike with federal Social Security Disability Insurance, you don’t have to suffer a total disability that prevents you from performing any work to claim private individual or group disability insurance benefits. Instead, your individual or employer-sponsored group disability policy may provide benefits if your disability prevents you from performing some but not all of the important duties of your occupation.
- “Return to work” benefits: Because it’s in your insurance company’s best interest to get you back to work so it can stop making disability payments, many insurers offer career services. This can include sending you to résumé clinics, helping you find a new occupation, or paying for occupational therapy so you can get back to a different line of work.
Take advantage of DarrasLaw’s free disability insurance policy and free claim analysis offer. One of our experienced individual or long-term disability insurance lawyers will review your policy to help determine what benefits you qualify for.
Most Common Disabling Illnesses and Injuries
Because Hawaii is an adventure hub, Hawaiians may sustain injuries while participating in sports like scuba diving and surfing. Common injuries incurred as a result of sporting accidents include:
- Paralysis: The inability to control and move certain parts of your body, typically your arms, neck, and legs is usually caused by physical damage to your spinal cord.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A severe jolt to the head most often causes traumatic brain injuries. Loss of oxygen in a near fatal drowning accident may cause an anoxic brain injury. You may lose control of certain parts of your body, can no longer concentrate at work, or might struggle to communicate. Even with substantial rehabilitation, a traumatic brain injury may render you totally disabled and unable to work in any occupation.
Additional examples of injuries and illness that may qualify you for individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits in Hawaii include:
- Heart disease, diabetes, COPD and strokes
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and migraines
- Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis
- Neck and back pain, including cervical stenosis and sciatica
- Pneumonia, asthma, and lung conditions
- Knee injuries and knee replacements
- Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome
Whatever the cause of your valid disability insurance claim, the individual and long-term disability insurance attorneys at DarrasLaw can analyze your policy and the facts of your case to determine if you qualify for individual or ERISA group disability benefits.
Consult DarrasLaw’s Top-Rated Disability Insurance Attorneys and ERISA Lawyers Early to Avoid a Bad-Faith Delay or Denial of Individual or Group ERISA Benefits
Contact DarrasLaw even before you purchase your individual policy—or if you’re an employer, your group policy—so that you understand all the features, advantages, and limitations.
If you need to file a valid disability insurance claim, contact the seasoned disability lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw first. We can try to help you avoid making fatal mistakes on your disability claim form and prevent a bad-faith delay or denial of your initial claim.
This is especially true when a group or employer-sponsored disability policy covers you.
A complex, ever-changing body of federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs group disability policies. If your group or employer-sponsored disability policy wrongfully delayed or denied your valid disability claim, you need a top-rated long-term disability lawyer and ERISA insurance attorney from DarrasLaw to protect your rights.
If a group long-term disability insurance company wrongfully delays or denies your valid claim, under ERISA, you cannot take your case directly to court the way you can with an individual policy purchased from an agent or broker.
If an individual disability insurance company denies your valid claim, you can immediately file suit in court, usually without an appeal. You or your individual bad-faith disability insurance attorney may:
- Use discovery to obtain insurance company claim and underwriting documents to support your case
- Call your treating doctors, friends, and family to testify to the validity of your disability
- Argue the case before a jury
- Seek emotional distress, attorney fees, and punishment damages
Generally, ERISA preempts all of those consumer rights and remedies.
Instead, ERISA requires you to timely file a comprehensive administrative appeal with your group insurance disability company. You can only file a federal ERISA lawsuit after your administrative appeal is denied.
Unfortunately, if your group disability insurance company again denies your appeal, your entire federal ERISA lawsuit is limited to the record and documents you and your carrier submitted in during the claim and in your administrative appeal.
This means you cannot introduce any new evidence in your federal ERISA lawsuit. You cannot call witnesses on your behalf or submit additional expert witness reports or medical records. You’re not even entitled to a trial by jury, and there is no emotional distress or punishment damages. These restrictions make the recovery of wrongfully delayed or denied disability benefits extremely difficult without a terrific ERISA disability attorney assisting you.
The award-winning disability attorneys and ERISA insurance lawyers at DarrasLaw understand how to file a complete initial claim. We also know what information must go into a successful administrative appeal, including:
- The objective medical issues and subjective medical determinations in your treating doctor’s chart notes
- Medical tests, lab results, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Pharmacy records
- Adverse medication side effects
- Explanations of how your disability prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation, or any occupation
- Disability insurance policy provisions, limitations, restrictions, and caps that may pertain to your disability
- Applicable portions of the ERISA statutes your carrier violated
- Relevant interpretations of ERISA issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where you live
ERISA drastically limits your legal rights—including the time you have to file an administrative appeal. ERISA contains strict, unforgiving deadlines for filing group disability insurance claims.
By timely filing a comprehensive occupational, medical, and vocational administrative group appeal, you greatly improve your chances of winning your valid group disability claim. If your group long-term disability insurance company still denies your valid claim in bad faith, you’ve given yourself the best possible opportunity to prevail in a federal ERISA lawsuit with a comprehensive appeal.
While the nationally recognized disability lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw can protect your rights at any stage of the disability claim process, don’t wait to call us. The earlier you involve one of our award-winning attorneys, the more thoroughly we can help you with your individual or group disability claim.
Call DarrasLaw Today for Your Free Insurance Case Analysis
Call DarrasLaw now if you need to apply for individual or group ERISA disability benefits, or to appeal a bad-faith delay or denial of your valid claim.
Other lawyers and firms rarely offer free advice when it comes to ERISA cases—they charge by the hour. At DarrasLaw, you don’t pay unless we win your rightful individual or group claim. Period. Our claim consultation and policy analysis are free, so there is no financial risk to you and your family for contacting us.
The seasoned individual disability insurance lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw have taken on—and defeated—every major disability insurance company in the country. We are passionate about fighting for your valid disability insurance claim and protecting you from a wrongful delay or denial of benefits.
Frank N. Darras, the top disability lawyer in America, and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed and denied individual and group insurance benefits. That’s more than any other individual and long-term disability litigation attorney or firm in the nation.
Don’t delay. Call DarrasLaw today at (800) 458-4677 or contact us online.