The most critical stage in a long term disability (LTD) claim is the appeal stage. Once the internal “administrative” appeals directly with the insurance company have been exhausted and a lawsuit has been filed, no new evidence can be introduced to the court. You do not testify. Your doctors do not testify. You cannot introduce any new evidence to the court after your appeals are completed. There are no trials, hearings, or depositions. The court simply reviews the administrative claim file and does so with a legal obligation to defer to the insurance company’s decision. It is essential that an experienced LTD attorney review the claim file at the appeal stage in order to determine what additional medical and/or vocational proof needs to be added to the administrative file and to determine what adverse information needs to be rebutted.