Hi, I'm Nick Ortiz. I'm a long-term disability attorney in Florida. Today I want to talk to you about how long a long term disability appeal takes.
If your LTD claim has been denied or you've been cut off of benefits, then the denial letter will specifically set forth how long you have to bring an appeal. So the first thing you should is pay particular attention to one of the last couple paragraphs that specifies the length of time you have to file an appeal. Now, under most policies, you have 180 days, which is approximately six months to file an appeal.
I would like to make one side note. You have to bring an appeal if you're under a group plan subject to ERISA. However, if you have an individual plan or if you're a government employee, or if your claim is otherwise not subject to ERISA, then you may not have to bring an appeal, but for the purposes of this video, we're assuming that you have a group plan that is under ERISA, which is most plans. Then you would have to bring your appeal within the time limits required by your policy which should be set forth in the denial letter.
Now, the other issue is why they give you 180 days, and how long does it typically take to put together an appeal. What I always tell people is that an appeal is not simply writing a letter saying, "I hereby appeal your decision, "I think you got it wrong, "you should go back and look at it again." That is an insufficient appeal and that will automatically be immediately rejected. We take several weeks to several months to put together an appeal, and the reason to for that is, what you want to do is put together updated medical evidence, you might wannt to obtain some opinion evidence from your physicians that sets forth what your restrictions are. You might want to put together some statements from you and your family and friends and professionals in your community about what your restrictions are. You might get some vocational expert evidence setting forth how your restrictions keep you from performing work activities. You might have a functional capacity evaluation performed, or an independent medical exam of your own.
So you really want to gather up all this evidence, and it can take several weeks to several months to put it together. That's why it does take a little while to put things together. In our office, it typically takes us between two and three months to put together an appropriate appeal. However, we will always do so within the time limits required by the policy.
If you would like some assistance from an experienced long-term disability attorney, then I encourage you to give us a call at 850-308-7833, or if you would like just some additional information about the long-term disability process in general, then I encourage you to download a free copy of an e-book that I wrote called the Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long Term Disability Claim. You can download a copy of that book at www.freeLTDbook.com. We look forward to hearing from you.