Nearly every disabled individual who applies for disability benefits through an employer based disability plan or from private disability insurance is encouraged or even required to also apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The employer provided disability plan will usually provide for a benefit, net of an offset for benefits you receive from the Social Security Administration. The insurer may not communicate to you, though, that if you fail to pursue disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, the insurer will begin to automatically offset your insurance benefits by the amount you could have gotten from Social Security if you tried.
Because of the unique interaction of benefits from the Social Security Administration and ERISA long term disability insurance, we represent our clients with both claims for benefits to minimize your burdens and responsibilities. While you could hire separate lawyers to handle each matter, it is more efficient to have the Firm handle both matters because we are already familiarizing ourselves with your medical conditions and presenting your case to persuade an insurer you are disabled. In addition, any experts we retain for purposes of your long term disability disputes can then be used in your Social Security matter without incurring any additional cost. The long term disability insurer often asks for frequent updates regarding the status of your Social Security matter, and as your point of contact with the insurer, we can readily provide those updates for you, instead of you acting as a conduit between your Social Security lawyer and the disability insurer.
The most important reason to have the Firm handle both of your matters is the importance of how your Social Security claim can affect your long term disability insurance determination. A lawyer only handling your Social Security matter will have only one objective in mind: to get you Social Security benefits. But a lawyer also responsible for your long term disability insurance benefits will consider whether arguments raised to the Social Security Administration may actually trigger a limitation or exclusion in your disability insurance case, where it would not otherwise be necessary to do so. Also, our main goal is to help you get both benefits, and the faster we resolve the Social Security matter, the more we can use it as leverage in your long term disability insurance dispute.
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