Disability Insurance Attorneys Assisting Claimants in New York City
Helping New Yorkers Navigate Their Disability Insurance Options
While New York City reports an average working-age disability rate of about 7 percent, New York State has an unusually high disability rate of 11.5 percent. While ambulatory disabilities—which make walking and climbing stairs, among other tasks, difficult—are common in New York, the state also boasts a high rate of independent living disabilities. People with independent living disabilities struggle with certain duties outside of the home. They may experience trouble working, shopping, going to the doctor, or driving.
With about 8.5 million residents, the Big Apple is the most populous city in the United States. It’s also one of the most expensive in which to live. If you’re one of the nearly one million New Yorkers suffering from a reported or unreported disability, don’t feel afraid to ask for disability help. While New Yorkers pride themselves on their work ethic and resilience, disabling illnesses and injuries are common. Whether you suffered from pregnancy complications, a broken leg, or cancer, you may be entitled to private individual or group disability insurance benefits.
The award-winning individual disability attorneys and ERISA insurance lawyers at DarrasLaw have more than 100 years of experience fighting for your right to individual or group long-term disability benefits. Led by our founding partner, Frank N. Darras—the nation’s top disability attorney—DarrasLaw’s seasoned team of ERISA attorneys and individual disability lawyers know the methods that insurance companies use when they try to minimize their payouts or deny valid disability claims altogether. Mr. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed or denied insurance benefits. Contact us online or call us at (800) 458-4577 to take advantage of our free policy analysis or free claim consultation.
Disability in New York City: What Is It, and Do I Qualify for Benefits?
If you’re a wage earner in New York, one look at your pay stub reveals a lot about New York disability insurance. New York is one of a small number of states that offers state-sponsored disability insurance. Similar to federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) protects New York workers if they become disabled. Federal SSDI does the same if you’re totally disabled, and you pay for both directly out of your paycheck.
However, the standards for claiming benefits for these government-sponsored disability plans are extremely narrow. They require you to be totally disabled. This means your disability must preclude you from performing the important responsibilities of your current occupation.
Private Disability Insurance in New York
The majority of New Yorkers struggling with a disabling injury or illness will not pass the total disability test. That’s why New York employers may sponsor group long-term disability benefits, or people buy their own individual coverage from their agent or insurance broker.
Private individual or group disability insurance primarily replaces a percentage of your income if you’re unable to work due to a disabling illness or injury. With a private individual or group long-term disability plan, you qualify for benefits if you’re disabled and unable to work in your current occupation, and in some cases, any occupation you are trained or educated to do. This means you don’t have to be “totally disabled” from all work to qualify for those disability benefits. Most individual or group disability insurance plans place caps, exceptions, exclusions, and limitations on the insurance benefits they offer. These are the benefits we fight for at DarrasLaw.
Other than SSDI and NYSIF, you may find three major types of disability insurance plans in New York City:
- Employer-sponsored disability insurance: These policies are often part of your employment benefits package. Your employer may cover all or part of your premium, and the insurance provides income-replacement benefits if you are disabled and unable to work. These plans do not generally come with you if you leave your job, and you don’t get to choose your disability carrier.
- Group-sponsored disability insurance: Group disability insurance commonly comes through a union or professional organization. These disability benefits may also travel with you between union-sponsored employers. You may claim disability benefits if you maintain your membership in the union or sponsoring organization.
- Individual disability insurance: If you’re self-employed, an independent contractor, or wish to supplement any group- or government-sponsored policy, you may choose to buy an individual disability insurance policy. For example, if your employer provides short- or long-term disability insurance benefits, you can buy a supplemental plan to protect yourself more fully. Individual disability insurance follows you, not your job.
Knowing what type of disability plan you have is essential when you need to fight for your disability benefits. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a complex, constantly changing set of federal laws that governs most group and employer-sponsored disability insurance companies.
Furthermore, the case law that interprets ERISA varies according to your federal jurisdiction. In New York City, you need to consult an ERISA attorney or disability insurance lawyer from DarrasLaw who understands Second Circuit federal procedures and case precedents.
ERISA strictly limits your ability to fight a wrongful delay or denial of benefits when you have group or employer-sponsored disability insurance coverage. Nearly your entire federal ERISA lawsuit is confined to the underlying claim denial and the record in your administrative appeal. You do not have the right to a trial by jury. In fact, you can’t even call witnesses to testify or use discovery to acquire evidence from your insurance company, as you would during most other types of litigation. You also must abide by strict, unforgiving deadlines, or you will lose your ERISA case, despite its merits.
Many people make the fatal claim mistake of not timely submitting a comprehensive, legally sufficient medical, occupational, and vocational record during their administrative appeal. Consequently, they lose their group ERISA disability cases.
Don’t feel discouraged. Consult an award-winning ERISA attorney or individual disability insurance lawyer at DarrasLaw as soon as possible. If you’re an employer, or you’re purchasing individual disability insurance, call us for a free policy analysis so you can learn how to use your policy. If you’ve suffered a disability, call us for a free claim consultation—if possible, before you file your valid claim. The earlier you involve the top-rated individual disability lawyers and ERISA insurance attorneys at DarrasLaw, the better we can help you fight a bad-faith delay or denial of your valid disability claim.
Fighting for Individual and Group Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits
A for-profit company is usually responsible for paying your disability benefits. Its job is to minimize risks and payouts so it can make the most money possible. Your disability insurer is always looking for ways to wrongfully delay deny, or reduce your disability benefits.
If you misunderstood an intentionally vague question on a disability claim form or failed to submit certain medical documentation, your insurance company could immediately deny your claim.
Insurance companies may need to pay individual and group long-term disability benefits for longer than a year. In some cases, they are obligated to pay beneficiaries until they retire. To maximize their profits, they may delay, deny, and defend their decisions not to pay your valid disability claim.
Don’t let them. Consult an experienced ERISA insurance attorney or top-rated individual disability lawyer at DarrasLaw. We know the ins and outs of New York long-term disability policies. Our experienced lawyers can help you answer the tricky questions on your disability claim application. We can assist with your group ERISA administrative appeal or ERISA federal lawsuit with local counsel.
You typically qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits in several ways, including:
- You’re still suffering from the disabling illness or injury when your short-term disability benefits expire. Post-partum depression and related birthing complications are common reasons why people may need to transition from short-term to long-term benefits.
- You developed a disability, expected to last more than 90 days.
Call the award-winning individual or group long-term individual disability lawyers and ERISA insurance attorneys at DarrasLaw today if:
- You’re confused about how to answer the questions on your disability claim forms or application
- Your individual or group long-term disability insurer gives you the runaround, endlessly delays your valid claim, or keeps asking you for duplicative information
- You need to file an administrative appeal after your group long-term disability insurer denied your valid claim, or an ERISA federal lawsuit if the administrative appeal upholds your initial denial
Our experienced individual disability insurance attorneys and top-rated ERISA lawyers will analyze the terms of your plan at no cost to you and provide you with a free claim consultation to help you understand your individual and group disability benefits.
Common Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Disability Insurance
It’s easy to say what disability insurance should cover. Insurance companies will disagree. They may try to delay or deny valid claims for:
- Carpel tunnel syndrome and wrist injuries: Few occupations today don’t require typing. Occupations that don’t require computer literacy may involve manual labor. This can result in carpel tunnel syndrome, a painful condition caused by overuse and misuse of the wrist. A severe wrist injury, for example, could completely prevent a court reporter or an electrician from performing the important duties of those occupations. Pain from carpel tunnel syndrome can go on to affect all aspects of daily life.
- Car accident injuries: If you’ve ever driven in New York City, the prevalence of car accident injuries shouldn’t surprise you. Even a fender-bender can result in painful injuries that leave you unable to work. After car-related neck and tendon injuries, victims may experience problems with looking at a computer screen, driving, sitting, carrying, or even walking from place to place. Serious car accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or other forms of total disability.
- Asbestos and lung cancer: While many New Yorkers were exposed to asbestos years ago, it might only start to manifest now. Because asbestos exposure often leads to mesothelioma, a fatal form of lung cancer, you may qualify for individual or group long-term disability benefits.
- Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses: While ticks are less prevalent in the city, they are part of the landscape in New England and on Long Island. Accordingly, if you vacationed on Fire Island and ended up with Lyme disease, you may require extensive medical care and recovery time. When Lyme disease has progressed, it can leave chronic effects that could qualify you for individual or group long-term disability benefits.
The following injuries and illnesses also commonly qualify claimants for individual or group long-term disability benefits:
- Cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation
- Traumatic brain injuries, mild traumatic brain problems, dementia
- Sprains, strains, fractures, broken bones
- Herniated discs, degenerative joint problems
- Sciatica, back, thoracic, and neck issues
- Crohn’s disease, IBS, and gastro-intestinal disorders
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and migraines
- Depression/anxiety, PTSD, postpartum depression
- Heart failure, stroke, COPD, and diabetes
- Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and musculoskeletal disorders
This list is not exhaustive. Whether your illnesses or injury is physical, emotional, or cognitive, if it prevents you from doing your occupation, you might have a claim for individual or group long-term disability benefits. Whether you qualify for disability benefits depends on how the illness or injury affects your ability to perform the essential tasks of your occupation, or any occupation you could be trained, educated, or suited to do.
Call a Top-Rated Long-Term Disability Lawyer or ERISA Lawyer From DarrasLaw Early in the Claim Application Process
It’s never too soon to call an individual or long-term ERISA lawyer or disability insurance attorney at DarrasLaw. Because ERISA limits your legal options, involve an award-winning ERISA lawyer or individual disability attorney from DarrasLaw as early in the claim application process as possible. The sooner you get a top-rated individual disability insurance lawyer and ERISA attorney on your side, the less likely you are to face a bad-faith delay or denial of individual or group long-term disability benefits.
If your individual or group long-term disability insurance company has unreasonably delayed or issued a wrongful denial of your benefits, we can offer help as you prepare your group ERISA administrative appeal. That, in turn, may help maximize your chances should you need to file an ERISA federal lawsuit.
Disabled in New York City? Call DarrasLaw for a Free Long-Term Disability Insurance Consultation Today
While insurance companies have numerous tricks to delay or deny your valid disability claim, we are here to help at DarrasLaw. Our goal is to get your rightful individual or group long-term disability benefits. We charge no upfront fees or costs. DarrasLaw won’t bill you for a policy analysis or disability claim consultation with one of our award-winning ERISA lawyers or individual disability insurance attorneys. We don’t get paid unless we help you win your disability benefits—not even in a complicated ERISA case. Call DarrasLaw today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.