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What You Need to Know About the 180-Day Appeal Deadline Under ERISA

Navigating the short-term disability and/or the long-term disability process can be confusing and daunting. The first step is to apply for disability benefits. You have submitted your medical records. You completed the forms the insurance company asked you to complete. Your doctors have done the same. Even with doing all that, the insurance company denied your claim.

Now you must appeal . . .

If your initial claim for disability benefits is denied, the next step is to submit an appeal to the insurance company. This is your chance to:

  • submit any additional medical information,
  • explain why you disagree with the insurance company’s initial decision, and
  • point out any information the insurance company may have overlooked or dismissed.

This is a crucial step in the disability process and should not be rushed. An appeal is the last chance you will have to submit information. In an ERISA governed claim, it is also required that you submit an appeal before you can file a lawsuit. If you do not appeal, you cannot file a lawsuit later.

So how much time do I have to prepare an appeal?

The law requires that insurance companies give you a minimum of 180 days to submit an appeal. The law does not state a maximum time. However, your insurance policy may also specify the amount of time you have.

In some circumstances, the policy will state that 180 days is the maximum. That means you can submit an appeal at any point from the denial to 180 days after. If you submit the appeal on day 181, the appeal will not be timely, and the insurance company will not be required to accept it.

Other times, the policy will not mention anything about how much time you have to appeal. In those circumstances, the default will be the legal requirement that you have a minimum of 180 days. Here, if you submit an appeal on day 181, it will still be timely, and the insurance company must accept your appeal.

You should always consult your disability insurance policy for the exact terms as the terms of the policy will govern, and keep in mind any deadlines.

Help from an Attorney with Expertise in Disability Insurance

Disability insurance law is complicated. If your claim for long-term disability benefits was denied or is delayed by an insurance company, it is important to get help from a lawyer with expertise in disability law.

Why Us?

  1. Our lawyers specialize in disability insurance;
  2. Our lawyers have experience with UNUM, Hartford, CIGNA, Reliance Standard, and just about every other insurance company;
  3. Our lawyers have won tough disability insurance lawsuits;
  4. Our lawyers have recovered millions in disability benefits for clients who were wrongly denied.

Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we do not have to be located in your state to help.

Dabdoub Law Firm represents clients nationwide with:

Call (800) 969-0488 or contact us online to speak with a disability insurance attorney. No fees are costs unless clients are paid.