We Help People Get the Benefits They Deserve
Disabilities can strike at any time. They can range from minor issues that prevent people from performing certain tasks to problems that require full-time care.
Massachusetts is unique in that nearly half of all of the state’s residents living with a disability report having a cognitive disability. Clinical diagnoses that can result in cognitive disabilities include traumatic brain injuries and dementia. In many cases, these conditions have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work, or even perform daily tasks that most of us take for granted. As a result, these individuals need the disability benefits to which they are entitled.
Private and group disability insurance policies may not cover certain preexisting cognitive disabilities. Physical problems associated with cognitive disabilities may nevertheless qualify for disability insurance coverage. Some acquired cognitive disabilities may also qualify, depending on the terms and limitations of your long-term disability insurance policy. Some of the issues experienced by people with cognitive disabilities include:
- Memory loss or memorization difficulties
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
- Difficulty with comprehension
- Struggles with problem solving
These symptoms can make earning a living—or even simply living independently—extremely difficult.
Other conditions that may be disabling include:
- Heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Neck and back pain
- Scoliosis and problems with the spine
- Pneumonia, asthma, and other lung conditions
- Pregnancy complications
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and migraines
- Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses
The award-winning disability insurance attorneys and ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw have more than 100 years of combined experience fighting for the right to disability benefits. We evaluate cases and appeals from all over the country, including Massachusetts. We can often help clients gather evidence of their disabilities and obtain the disability benefits to which they are entitled under the provisions and limitations of their disability insurance policies and the law.
Long-Term Disability Insurance in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts government provides a good overview of long-term disability insurance in the Commonwealth. Your specific insurance benefits and obligations will vary depending on the terms and limitations of your individual or employer-sponsored long-term disability policy. Always take advantage of the free policy analysis offered by the disability insurance lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw.
Insurance is a business, and your carrier is in the business of making money. Even the Commonwealth’s disability carrier is a for-profit insurance company.
This means your disability insurance company will do whatever it can to endlessly delay, reduce, cut off, and wrongfully deny your valid disability benefits. Anyone seeking disability insurance benefits should to talk to a top-rated disability attorney and ERISA lawyer at DarrasLaw to fully protect their legal rights.
Examples of Long-Term Disability Benefits in Massachusetts
A Massachusetts long-term disability insurance policy generally entitles you to:
- A certain percentage of your gross monthly salary or hourly wages.
- A partial disability benefit. Unlike under federal Social Security, you can collect benefits for a partial disability under a private disability insurance plan. In other words, if you work construction and break your leg, you may qualify for disability benefits from your private insurer. Under federal Social Security Disability Insurance, you wouldn’t qualify for benefits because you are not totally disabled from all work.
- A supplemental income benefit. If you are able to work only part-time because of a disability, you may qualify for benefits that supplement the missing income. Some partially disabled people may find work emotionally healing, even if they only put in a few hours every week. While this is a difficult benefit to obtain, speak with a disability lawyer and ERISA attorney from DarrasLaw about negotiating the terms of this benefit with your carrier.
- Rehabilitation and career change benefits. If your disability has kept you out of the workforce for an extended period, you may not be able to return to your previous occupation. Your disability insurance carrier may pay for training classes to change occupations.
- Behavioral health benefits. Not all injuries are physical, and some long-term disability policies will offer benefits for a diagnosed mental health condition. Examples include post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. These benefits are typically limited to 12-24 months. However, many behavioral health and associated cognitive conditions have underlying or associated physical causes. If your benefits were wrongfully denied or cut off because your behavioral health period has expired, contact the disability attorneys and ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw. We offer free policy analysis and case consultations that may help you claim benefits for your physical as well as mental condition.
Again, the nature, availability, and extent of these benefits will differ depending on the terms and limitations of your specific long-term disability insurance policy. Our experienced, award-winning disability insurance attorneys and ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw will conduct a free policy analysis and claim consultation to determine whether you are entitled to benefits. Whether it’s an individual disability policy, or an employer-sponsored group plan, the top-rated, seasoned lawyers at DarrasLaw know how to maximize your disability benefits.
Long-Term Disability Bulk Payouts
We will say it again: Your insurance company is trying to make money, not distribute it. Your long-term disability carrier’s teams of insurance attorneys are always looking for ways to wrongfully delay, deny, or terminate your benefits. If you suffered or are suffering from a serious illness or injury, such as cancer, your long-term disability insurance carrier is going to be looking at years of potential payouts.
In this case, your insurance company may offer you a lump sum buyout. You will generally receive a lump sum offer only if the insurance company thinks it would cost less in the long run. For example, if your company was paying you $60,000 a year in benefits, it may offer you a fraction of the total amount to settle your claim. The company knows that you may feel desperate for funds because you’re only getting paid a smaller percentage of your normal salary.
Lump sum buyouts are extremely tempting, and sometimes it’s the best decision for you and your family. However, once you accept the payout, you are no longer entitled to disability benefits for related illnesses or injuries. If you are totally disabled and qualify for Social Security, then taking a bulk payout might seem wise. If, however, you have no other potential source of income, make sure your costs of living and treating your disability don’t exceed your payout.
Before accepting a lump sum remember that it is your choice. Your disability insurance company cannot wrongfully deny you benefits because you refused to accept a buyout. If you’re considering taking the payout, run it by our top-tier disability lawyers and ERISA attorneys. We can review your case and evaluate the offer properly.
Appealing and Litigating Your Wrongful Denial of Benefits in Massachusetts
The process for appealing and litigating a wrongful denial of disability benefits is complex. In fact, it is one of the most complicated areas of federal law. As a result, anyone seeking disability insurance benefits should seek the assistance of a highly experienced disability lawyer immediately.
The nature and method of the appeals and litigation process actually depends on the type of disability policy you carry.
If you purchased an individual disability policy, then you can generally take your wrongful denial case directly to court. There, you will have the same rights as most litigants. You may call witnesses to testify as to your condition, request records from your insurance company, and have a disability insurance attorney cross-examine the insurance company’s witnesses under oath.
If you have a group policy through your labor union or an employer, you do not have these same rights or consumer remedies. Instead, you must first go through an administrative appeal that sets the tone for any future litigation.
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which governs most group and employer-sponsored plans, your entire case rests on what you submitted during the claim and how you appealed. In a federal ERISA lawsuit, you can introduce only the documents and statements you submitted to your insurance company. Your disability lawyer does not even get a chance to argue your federal ERISA lawsuit before a jury. Instead, the judge looks at the administrative record and renders a decision based on everything you and your insurer did during the claim and the appeal.
Despite these limitations, our top-rated disability insurance lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw have taken on every major disability insurance company in the nation—and won. Frank N. Darras, our founding partner, has more than 30 years of experience fighting for your right to individual and long-term group disability benefits under ERISA. As the country’s top disability attorney, Frank N. Darras knows how to beat the insurance companies even under the limitations imposed by federal ERISA law.
Speak to a Disability Insurance Lawyer From the Start of Your Claim
Many people believe they will simply get the benefits they deserve. This is often not what happens. In many instances, people with disabilities go without the benefits to which they are entitled for months, years, or even for the rest of their lives. The assistance of an award-winning disability insurance lawyer and ERISA attorney can prevent this from happening to you.
Consulting with seasoned disability attorney and ERISA lawyer from DarrasLaw at the outset can make a significant impact on the way that your case is ultimately resolved. Because the administrative appeal is limited to the information you submit to the insurance company, it is imperative that you timely file your case. A disability ERISA lawyer will ensure that the information that you submit to the insurance company is accurate and complete.
Too many people do not realize when they are wrongfully denied benefits. They also may not know that a slight mistake cost them the money they need to live. In order to be certain of your rights throughout the entire disability process, you have the right to legal representation.
An experienced long-term disability insurance attorney can handle every aspect of your initial claim. We can handle all communications on your behalf. We can negotiate and provide evidence of your disability to prove that you deserve the benefits under your policy. If your claim is partially or completely denied, we will fight on your behalf.
Call a Top-Rated Massachusetts Disability Insurance Lawyer at DarrasLaw Today
At DarrasLaw, our initial consultation is always free. We will also conduct a free policy analysis and claim consultation to help you understand your rights. Unlike some other disability firms, you never have to pay us up-front costs or sign any contract to get an honest opinion about your case.
We are here to help you fight the insurance conglomerates at every stage of the disability process. Whether you need help understanding your policy, filing a disability insurance claim, maintaining your benefits, or filing an administrative appeal, we have the nationally recognized disability attorneys you need. With 100 years of combined experience, we have recovered millions in wrongfully denied benefits.
We review cases and appeals from all over the nation, including Massachusetts and the Boston area. Email us or call (800) 458-4577 today to schedule your free meeting with one of our disability lawyers.