Georgia Disability Lawyer
Fighting to Get You the Disability Benefits to Which You Are Entitled
At Dabdoub Law Firm, our disability lawyers want to help with your claim for disability benefits in Georgia. Our firm has successfully helped many individuals from across the state of Georgia get the disability benefits they deserve. We can guide you through your claim, appeal, or lawsuit because we know specific issues of Georgia law. Over the years we have represented individuals with disability claims against all the major disability insurance companies. We know how they work and we know the law that governs their behavior.
ERISA & How it Affects You
For most people, the disability insurance coverage they have is provided through an employer. These group disability policies are generally governed by a federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA sets specific rules that must be followed by both the disability insurance company and the individual seeking disability benefits. Under ERISA if your disability claim is denied or terminated, you have a right to an appeal. This appeal must be made directly to the disability insurance company.
The appeal is often your last chance to provide medical and other information to support your disability claim, with few exceptions. Generally, once a final appeal decision is made no other information can be added to your case. If your appeal is denied, the next step is to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Unlike other states, Georgia has not passed laws making the law more favorable to individuals seeking disability benefits. As a result, many disability insurance policies grant the disability insurance company discretion - or the sole authority to make a decision on the claim. These are known as discretionary clauses. While the state of Georgia does not ban discretionary clauses (like California and other states), not all disability insurance policies contain this language.
Discretionary clauses are important because they give the insurance company a more favorable review by a Georgia judge. In Georgia, a majority of the disability benefit cases decided by judges are reviewed under an “arbitrary and capricious” standard. This means the judge is required to rule against the individual unless it is shown that (1) he or she is disabled and (2) the insurance company’s decision was unreasonable. Even though this is a very difficult standard to overcome, Georgia courts have ruled in favor of individuals like you.
Contact Our Disability Attorneys
Even if your case is governed by a less favorable standard because the disability policy has discretionary language, our disability attorneys know how to maximize your case within that standard. ERISA is both complex and confusing. For this reason, you should hire an attorney who understands ERISA to handle your disability claim. Our disability lawyers are familiar with the importance of your appeal, Georgia law, and how the standard of review affects your case.