If your disability claim is denied, under ERISA, you have the right to file an appeal and, after exhausting all appeals, file suit in federal court against the insurance company.

It sounds simple enough, but to overturn a denial of disability benefits in court, an insurance company only has to show minimal evidence to support its denial of benefits.

How to Increase Your Chances

You can increase your chances of getting your claim approved or winning your case in court if you have correctly filled out application forms and included supporting documents in your favor.

Here are the steps to take to successfully file a disability claim:

  1. Read your insurance policy and Summary Plan Description.
    Know what is and what is not covered in your policy. Under ERISA, you have the right to receive copies of these documents after you send a written request to the plan administrator.
  2. Identify the date of disability.
    All relevant dates, such as when you are required to file a proof of claim and when payments start, will be based on the date of disability.
  3. Choose your last date of work carefully.
    Gather as many documents as possible that support your disability before you stop working.
  4. Know the deadlines.
    Read your policy to become familiar with all of the deadlines that you will have to meet in filing your claim.
  5. Get copies of your medical records.
    Your medical records must contain objective proof of disability, so you need to know what your medical records say about your condition.
  6. Get legal help.
    Because qualifying for disability insurance is a complicated process, it is a good idea to get help from an experienced attorney who specializes in long term disability.