Successfully filing and managing a long-term disability insurance claim on your own is extremely
risky. You're betting your income for the foreseeable future on your ability to do battle with a
multi-billion dollar corporation that has a vested interest in your not succeeding.
That's why our disability lawyers, Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield, work with people across the
United States who have had their disability insurance claims denied. We know the law, but that's
just the beginning. After decades of fighting for our clients, we also know the strategies used
by the disability insurance companies, their inside and outside lawyers, third party
administrators, the doctors and nurses they work with, and the things they do to delay – and
ultimately deny – disability claims.
5 Ways Our Disability Lawyers Can Help:
- Initial Claim Development and Short-Term disability claims;
- In-Claim Support and Monitoring;
- Appeals of ERISA and non-ERISA Disability Denials or Terminations;
- Litigation of ERISA and non-ERISA Disability claims; and
- Settlement of Disputed and non-Disputed ERISA and non-ERISA claims.
There is a lot that we do within each of these broad categories to support our clients during
these difficult times. Throughout our website are examples, success stories, and testimonials
which reflect the various ways in which our disability lawyers help our clients. Here are more
ways that we help clients:
INITIAL CLAIM DEVELOPMENT and SHORT-TERM DISABILITY CLAIMS
In many instances, we meet with clients who are sick and determining what their rights are and
what their potential obligations may be under either a Group Long-Term Disability Claim (often
governed by the federal law ERISA), or through a private, individually paid disability insurance
In some cases, we plan the timing issues, which with some medical professionals might include
discussions of the sale of the practice which they have built up over many years of hard
For many people, the years of wear and tear have finally eroded their abilities to work, and the
time to cease working is upon them. Our disability lawyers often help them navigate the
initiation of their claims with their employer and the disability insurance company.
IN-CLAIM SUPPORT AND MONITORING
Our disability lawyers often help guide clients in the claim process, and this occurs usually
quite early after filing the claim on their own (if they did not utilize us to navigate the
initial submission). Here, we will interface with the insurance company to help facilitate the
claim process, while guiding the client as to how to develop the support to prove the
Whether it is working with the treating doctor(s), medical or vocational experts, or the employer
as appropriate, we help to develop the support needed for a claim approval. Once approved, we
often monitor our clients' claims, as the "face of the claim" – to insulate our clients from
direct and often stressful contact with the insurance company. Our work in these situations
offers clients significant protection and stress by removal from the interactions with the
disability insurance company and its representatives.
At times, the insurance company may pursue an examination of the claimant. Our disability lawyers
will become involved to advocate for fairness to the process, and guide the client through this
potential minefield. Other times, the insurance company may seek an in-person interview with the
claimant and our presence with a client can offer great value, as we guide them through this
APPEALS OF ERISA and NON-ERISA DISABILITY DENIALS OR TERMINATIONS
This is often the most critical time for a claimant, and many claimants fail to understand
appreciate the significance of this process – when ERISA governs a denied or terminated
See our ERISA page for a fuller discussion.
We do administrative appeals on behalf of our clients, providing powerful medical, vocational,
factual and legal support for our client's proof of loss, while providing a strong rebuttal to
the determination made by the insurance company.
PRE-LITIGATION AND LITIGATION OF ERISA and NON-ERISA DISABILITY CLAIMS
When client appeals are not successful in returning them to claim status, we are then forced to
sue the insurance company to pursue relief from the Federal Courts. We litigate these matters in
courts throughout the country on behalf of our clients, often travelling to advocate in the most
favorable forum available to our clients.
On non-ERISA claims, we seek to pursue an array of claims for relief and damages, seeking bad
faith and punitive damages where appropriate.
Litigation is often the time when clients are presented with settlement opportunities, many times
through mediation, or a Magistrate Settlement conference. Our advocacy skills in this arena
often yields a strong result for our clients.
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTED and NON-DISPUTED ERISA and NON-ERISA CLAIMS
Clients often come to us with an offer presented by insurance company, typically on a claim that
has been paid for some period of time, and a buyout offer has been presented. We can often help
to enhance the offer from the insurance company, and will discuss issues and strategies
concerning the offer and its impact.
With disputed claims, there are opportunities to resolve claims before litigation is commenced,
often without having the insurance companies' outside lawyers involved. In those situations, we
work with internal resolution units.
In some cases, pre-litigation mediations occur, where we hire a private mediator to assist in
resolving the disputed claim. Our advocacy for our clients has regularly enhanced the value of
Our Disability Lawyers Have Unique Experience with Disability Claim Denials
Our disability lawyers usually meet clients during one of the worst times in their lives. Their
health and well-being have been altered, permanently, and they are facing an entirely new set of
life circumstances. It's hard to know what to do first. Add to that the idea of fighting the
insurance company and they are understandably overwhelmed.
One thing we like to make sure our clients clearly understand: the disability company's denial or
termination of your claim often has nothing to do with the legitimacy of your claim – but often
with a numbers crunch in a never-ending quest for corporate profit. We have seen insurance
companies deny claims from people who were so clearly so unable to function that it was
outrageous that their claim was denied – but the insurance company does not always take that
This is what we at Frankel & Newfield do for our clients. We take away the mental burden and
stress so that you don't have to engage with the insurance company and their many
representatives. Instead, you can focus on your health and potential recovery. We handle the
phone calls, the arguments, the paperwork, online or on paper, medical records, financial
It is as if the claimant gives us a giant box of paper that they have been carrying from room to
room with no place to land, and we take that box from them.
We believe very strongly that any disability claim will have a better chance at being successful
if our disability lawyers are involved with your claim from the very beginning. We are able to
draw on our years of experience with disability claims, treating physicians and disability
insurance companies to help prepare the claim to avoid the commonly-encountered reasons for
Our experience has also shown us that by engaging a nationally-known disability law firm from the
start, the claim is less likely to receive the run-around so commonly experienced by claimants.
It is human nature for people who work for the insurance companies to respond differently when
there is a disability lawyer on the phone than if the person calling is a claimant. This is not
fair, but this is how the disability insurance world works.
Also, by engaging Frankel & Newfield early on in the claims process, we are able to ensure that
your file itself is properly created. When a disability claim battle is over a policy that is
part of an employee's benefits, there are many strict rules about what materials the
administrative judge may review.
The experienced disability lawyers at Frankel & Newfield know the law, the procedures, and the
details that improve a person's chance of succeeding on their disability insurance claim. We
believe that anyone who has filed a disability insurance policy claim for long-term or
short-term claim will do better with an experienced disability lawyer, and we also believe that
our firm will do the best job representing you.
We look forward to speaking with you about how we can help.