Disability Insurance Lawyers Serving Kentucky
Dabdoub Law Firm is a disability insurance and ERISA law firm that represents people in Kentucky and elsewhere who have long term disability claims. As disability insurance lawyers, every lawyer in the firm focuses on helping people whose disability claims were delayed or denied.
Federal Disability Law
Most disability insurance claims are governed by a federal law known as ERISA. Generally, if you received your long-term or short-term disability benefits through work, your claim will be covered by ERISA. Because federal law governs these claims, you do not need an attorney located in Kentucky to pursue your benefits. It is important, however, that you have an attorney with expertise in ERISA claims.
ERISA sets strict deadlines and standards. Importantly, if your benefits are denied or terminated, you must pursue an appeal with your insurance company. Generally, you have 180 days to appeal under ERISA. If your appeal is denied, you then can file a lawsuit for disability benefits. ERISA also sets deadlines for the insurance companies. It is important that you have an attorney that understands ERISA and these deadlines.
State Disability Law
While ERISA provides most of the rules for disability insurance claims and lawsuits, state law is sometimes relevant as well.
An important state issue that affects disability cases are laws about “discretionary clauses.” Under ERISA, if a discretionary clause is included in a disability insurance policy, the insurance company will have complete discretion to decide benefits claims and interpret the terms of the policy. This has the effect of giving the insurance company a favorable standard of review if the long term disability claim ends up in court.
In order to make disability benefits disputes more fair, many states have begun to ban discretionary clauses. With this change, the insurance company and the claimant are on equal ground if the dispute goes before a federal judge, who must then decided if the person is entitled to disability benefits under the insurance policy.
Kentucky Disability Law
In Kentucky, the law is somewhat complicated. Kentucky Revised Statute § 304.14-120 requires all insurers to file their policies with Kentucky’s Insurance Commissioner for review. And, the Kentucky Department of Insurance has issued an Advisory Opinion stating that they have found issues with discretionary clauses and that policies containing these clauses may be disapproved.
Unfortunately, though is seems clear the Kentucky Department of Insurance has doubts about whether discretionary clauses are fair, the courts have not interpreted this opinion as an outright ban. Therefore, courts have enforced discretionary clauses even after this advisory opinion was issued.
Due to the complexity of this issue, if you have a disability claim or appeal in Kentucky or elsewhere, you should seek representation from an experienced ERISA attorney. Attorneys at Dabdoub Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to put your best case forward.
This law firm has successfully represented hundreds of people with disability claims with Hartford, Aetna, UNUM, Prudential, The Standard, Liberty Mutual, Lincoln Financial, Sun Life, and more. Call us to speak with a disability insurance lawyer today.