According to the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Disability & DVR Statistics Report dated July 2017, 12.9% of the State’s population is living with a disability. Between 2011 and 2015, the population of people with disabilities grew faster than the State’s overall population, 8.2% compared to 5.2%. Tacoma, WA is the third most populated city in the state, and as such, it is home to many of the Washingtonians that are living with a disabling condition. During this time of financial uncertainty, many WA residents will turn to individual disability insurance and long term disability insurance benefits and Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits to support themselves and their families. However, you may need the help of a Tacoma disability lawyer.
We have seen firsthand that even the most deserving claimants will receive a denial letter rather than the benefits they are entitled to at some point. Our lawyers are here to help if your disability claim has been denied or terminated. We represent long-term disability insurance and Social Security Disability claimants in the Gig Harbor-Tacoma, WA, area, Seattle, and throughout the state.
Ortiz Law Firm Handles Tacoma, WA Long Term Disability Claims
Led by Board Certified Disability Attorney Nick Ortiz, our firm focuses primarily on wrongfully denied disability insurance claims. We assist claimants with long-term disability appeals and, when necessary, we will file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Our experienced legal team will use its years of experience to prepare a comprehensive appeal that will give you the best chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.
Despite the fact that the insurance companies have millions of dollars in resources at their disposal, our firm does not fear a single one of them. If you’re ready to fight back against the insurance company then contact our office to schedule a consultation with disability lawyer Nick Ortiz.
Long Term Disability, ERISA, and Disability Insurance Denials in Tacoma, WA
Disability law is complex, especially if your case is governed by ERISA. But how do you know if your claim is governed by ERISA? If you have received a long-term disability denial, one of the first things you should do is determine whether your insurance policy is an individual disability policy or part of a group plan.
If you are self-employed or you purchased a policy through an insurance agent or broker, it is likely that you have an individual disability policy. Most individual disability policies are not governed by ERISA, and it may not be necessary for you to file an appeal. If your claim for benefits was wrongfully denied, you may have the right to proceed with the litigation process. Individuals with an individual disability insurance policy are often entitled to a more traditional litigation process, including a trial with a jury and the right to call witnesses to testify in support of your case.
However, the process is very different for those who are denied benefits under a group or employer-sponsored plan. These disability plans are typically governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under ERISA, you are required to file at least one appeal. Some insurance policies may even require that you file two appeals. If all of your required appeals were filed within the required time frame and you still received a denial letter, then can you file an ERISA lawsuit.
The litigation process for a claim governed by ERISA is also very different from that of a claim filed under an individual disability policy. You do not have a right to a trial with a jury or the right to call witnesses. The judge reviewing your case will be limited to the documents contained in the administrative record and will refuse to consider any evidence that was not previously submitted as part of your initial application or administrative appeal.
May claimants are shocked to learn that the judge will ignore any new evidence that was not submitted during the administrative appeal process. ERISA laws are extremely complex, and for that reason, we recommend that you consult with an attorney that has experience handling such claims.
Tacoma, WA Courts, Government, and Department of Insurance Information
Western District of WA | United States District Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Official government website for the State of WA
Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Western District of Washington Case Summaries
With De Novo Review Court Should Conduct Bench Trial On The Record
Tacoma Social Security Disability Lawyers
Our office also represents Social Security Disability (SSDI) claimants in Tacoma, Washington. The Social Security Administration will soon be conducting hearings using the Microsoft Teams platform which will make it easier than ever for Social Security Disability attorneys to represent claimants across the country.
What Can Our Tacoma Social Security Disability Lawyer Do To Help?
Nick Ortiz is a Board Certified Social Security Disability lawyer ready to fight for the benefits you deserve. Although our office is based in Pensacola, Florida, our Social Security Disability lawyers represent Tacoma Social Security Disability claimants. We represent Tacoma Social Security Disability claimants at the following stages:
If you have a concurrent case for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then we can help with that too. However, our Social Security Disability lawyers do not handle SSI-only claims.
Tacoma, WA SSA Locations and Resources for SSDI and SSI Claims
Directions to the local Social Security Administration Office
Information about the Tacoma, WA Office of Hearing Operations / Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Tacoma Disability Lawyer
If your long-term disability case has been denied, or if you are fighting to receive the Social Security Disability benefits that you deserve, then contact our office by phone or online to find out more about how we help disability claimants in Tacoma, WA, and in the surrounding areas such as Gig Harbor and Seattle.
We offer a free consultation if your long-term disability claim has been wrongfully closed or terminated, or if you have a Social Security Disability claim at the initial, reconsideration, or hearing stage of the process.
Our attorneys offer a No Recovery, Zero Fee Guarantee – meaning the attorneys only get paid if you receive your disability benefits! You will not pay any attorney fees unless we win your case, so there is no risk if you decide to hire a disability insurance or Social Security Disability attorney to assist you with your case. You only have a limited time to appeal a denial, so call the Ortiz Law Firm today at (888) 321-8131 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.