Minnesota Long Term Disability Lawyer
If you have long term disability coverage, you likely paid for this through your employer to provide financial support in the event you could no longer work. Disability insurance carriers are private corporations. The policy decisions they make often keep profit margins, and not your best interests, in mind when deciding whether or not to pay out a claim. At Wagar Dabdoub, our long term disability insurance lawyers are here to help you fight for the benefits to which you are entitled.
Helping You Get Your Disability Benefits
A Minnesota long term disability lawyer can help with all phases of your claim. This includes the initial claim for short term and/or long term benefits. He or she can review your disability policy and help you understand your legal rights under the contract and the law. If your claim has been denied or terminated, a long term disability lawyer can prepare the presuit appeal and gather medical evidence to submit within the strict deadlines.
Discretion - What is it?
Most disability insurance policies have a term referred to as a discretionary clause. This allows the insurance company to have the sole decision making authority when determining whether or not someone should be paid disability benefits. As a result of this clause, when a disability case is filed in court the judge must rule in favor of the insurance company unless it was completely unreasonable in denying benefits. This judicial standard of review is known as arbitrary and capricious.
This is a difficult burden to overcome. Proving disability is not enough. Under this standard, a person seeking disability benefits in court has to show they are disabled and the insurance company was unreasonable in not paying benefits.
Minnesota Law Favors the Disabled
Many states, including Minnesota, have passed laws banning discretionary clauses. Minnesota passed such a law in 1999 but it only applied to health insurance policies. As of January 1, 2016 Minnesota law prohibits any disability policies from using provisions that set a specific standard of judicial review. This includes a setting a standard that is inconsistent with state law or that is less favorable to the individual when the disability claim is denied.
Federal courts across the nation have ruled that even though ERISA is a federal law, it does not trump the state’s insurance regulation law that bans discretion. As a result, disabled individuals seeking disability benefits in a Minnesota court get the benefit of a more favorable standard of review for their case.
How We Can Help You
Our seasoned long term disability lawyers can handle every stage of a case. This includes the initial claims process, the required pre suit appeal, and filing a lawsuit in federal court. If you or someone you know has been denied their long term disability benefits, contact one of our lawyers today for your initial, free, consultation.
In 1999, Minnesota statute 62Q.107 was passed, which prohibits health coverage plans from specifying a standard of review. You can read the statute here. A few years later, Minnesota legislators expanded this prohibition to disability income policies. Read the legislationhere.