If your long term disability insurance benefit is denied, you may have only a short time to file your internal administrative appeal. Long term disability insurance plans governed by ERISA allow only 180 days to appeal the denial of benefits. If your plan is not governed by ERISA, you should consult the information contained in the plan document to determine how long you have to appeal a denial of benefits.

Meeting the 180 day appeal deadline is important for several reasons. First, it preserves your legal right to a review of the insurance company’s decision. Second, it allows you to correct any incorrect information that the insurance company has used to deny your claim for benefits. Often times, this will be your only opportunity to correct these errors or present additional information. In future legal proceedings, you will not be able to challenge the information in the insurance company’s file or introduce additional medical documentation supportive of the fact that you are disabled. Third, it preserves your rights to challenge an unfavorable decision in court. Working with experienced legal counsel will provide you with the best opportunity to secure your long term disability insurance benefits.

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Bill Parsons