Disability Insurance Law
At Hiller, PC, we handle denied disability insurance claims, terminated disability benefits, and disability administrative appeals — all on behalf of policyholders against their insurers. In 2001, we set the record in New York State for the largest verdict ever against a disability insurance carrier. In that same case, we became the first law firm in New York to obtain a jury verdict against a disability insurer for bad faith termination of benefits. For more information see our Disability Claims Frequently Asked Questions.
If your claim has been denied or if your benefits have been terminated, we can help. Through long experience, we have developed a proven strategy for winning benefits – often without having to go to court. Unlike other disability firms, we vigorously pursue your benefits from the outset of the case. We don’t assume a court date is inevitable and wait to make our best case in front of a judge. Rather, we devote tireless effort to persuading the insurer, either through direct negotiation or through the administrative appeal process, to pay your benefits, without having to go to court. While litigation may sometimes lead to buy-outs and lump-sum payments, we have found that litigation, far more often than not, delays policyholders’ receipt of benefits. So, where it is possible to obtain benefits prior to litigation, our New York disability lawyers make every effort to do so. And it often helps that, although you may not have heard of our firm, the insurance carriers certainly have.
Our New York Disability Lawyers Can Help
Whether you are contemplating applying for disability benefits, have applied and been denied, or have had your benefits terminated, we can help. Our attorneys provide these five services to our disability clients:
- We file initial claims.
If you are contemplating filing for disability benefits, let us help you prepare your initial claim. We will obtain and review your medical records; complete the paperwork; ensure the attending physicians’ statements are in order; and present a complete and persuasive claim for benefits to the insurance company.
- We monitor claims through the approval process.
Whether we filed your claim or you filed your claim on your own, the insurance company is going to have questions. We deal with those questions; provide additional information upon request; and work to keep your claim moving through the approval process.
- We maintain clients “on benefits.”
Once a claim is approved, the insurance company conducts periodic reviews. A representative calls the insured to follow up and ask questions, always looking to lay a trap and uncover evidence to terminate benefits. Our clients don’t fall into this trap. We deal directly with the insurance company, and work with your employer and your doctors to keep you “on benefits.”
- We handle administrative appeals in ERISA cases.
Most firms focus solely on the litigation – what happens when the claim or appeal gets to court. At Hiller, PC, we do things differently. We bring all our experience to bear and focus tremendous energy and effort on the administrative appeal because if you lose this appeal and have to go to court, the entire universe of your case will consist of the information contained in your administrative appeal; the judge generally is not permitted to consider outside evidence. Accordingly, our disability insurance lawyers take a different approach to administrative appeals. We don’t simply file a letter, like some other firms do. We generally file lengthy briefs, often with hundreds (or sometimes thousands) of pages of exhibits. We marshal all the evidence so that the insurance company (and, if necessary, the court) has the entire record to consider in deciding your appeal.
- We prosecute denials.
If your claim or administrative appeal is denied, we will file a lawsuit and fight for your benefits in court.
Our New York Insurance Lawyers Have Years of Experience and Knowledge
When we proceed to litigation, we are ready. During our work over the years, we have accumulated a stockpile of internal insurance company documents and deposition transcripts of insurance company executives, claims managers and adjusters that renders our prosecution of these claims far less complicated because we often have the evidence before we file suit.
Our New York disability lawyers have helped people obtain disability benefits with, among other things, the following conditions:
- Spinal fractures
- Herniated Discs
- Neurologic Disorders
- Meniere’s Disease
- Anxiety Disorder
- Crohn’s Disease
- Bipolar Disorder
- Color Blindness
- Pulmonary Emboli
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Early Onset Dementia
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Abdominal Dystension Disorder
- Hemaplegic Migraines
- Liver Disease
- Cone Dystrophy
- Bulging Discs
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Alzheimer’s Disease
The insurers we have persuaded to pay benefits or against which we’ve obtained judgments are counted among the nation’s largest and most litigious carriers, including:
- Mass Mutual
- Paul Revere
- First Unum
- Provident Life
- New York Life
- Security Mutual
- The Hartford
- Lloyd’s of London
- Guardian Life
- Berkshire Life
- Unum Life
- Northwestern Mutual
- Combined Life Insurance
Finding Experienced New York Disability Lawyers is Essential to Your Strategy
We have successfully prosecuted claims even where the insurers have counterclaimed, alleging failure to disclose pre-existing conditions and other claims of fraud.