Both Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield are dedicated disability insurance attorneys who are admitted to practice law in Connecticut. They represent clients in disability matters where policies are provided through the employer (ERISA or group policies) as well as high income earning individuals who own their own policies, known as private disability insurance policies.
Both partners of the firm became admitted to practice law in Connecticut because of its close proximity to New York State. With affluent suburbs like Greenwich and Westport, along with busy cities like Stamford and Bridgeport, Connecticut has a strong concentration of insurance companies. Hartford, located in central Connecticut, has been nicknamed "The Insurance Capital of the World." Connecticut is the corporate home of Travelers Insurance, The Hartford, CIGNA and many others.
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If you are an employee at a company that owns a disability insurance policy that is paid for through wage deductions, then you own a disability policy that is governed by ERISA – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This federal law was created originally to protect pension funds from unscrupulous employers. Today ERISA is used to govern all retirement, disability and health care needs of employees. While the intent behind the creation of ERISA was to protect employees, it is now used by insurance companies to constrain the process of appealing a decision to deny or terminate disability benefits.
One of the more significant problems with an ERISA appeal is that the very same entity that is denying a claim is also the one that is in complete control of the appeals process. It feels as if the claimant can’t possibly win an appeal. However, powerful legal representation and experience in this area can make a difference.
The ERISA appeal has two purposes. One is to fight the denial of benefits. Frankel & Newfield has successfully appealed denials on behalf of many of our clients, although each situation is different. The other part of the ERISA appeal is to create a thorough and complete record for future litigation, if it should become necessary. The evidence allowed for use in an ERISA appeal is very limited and very specific. The only medical records that can be referenced are those that are in the insurance company’s file. This is why we advise clients to retain us before they file a disability benefits claim. The correct medical records must be in the file, the treating physician must understand the importance of the doctor’s notes within the file, and the tests and procedures must be fully documented.
The process of an ERISA appeal is very strict, with deadlines that are carved in stone. This is not an area of the law that can be easily entered, and it is not one that a layperson can navigate with any good chances of success.
If you are about to file a disability claim in Connecticut or if you are in the middle of an administrative ERISA appeal and are feeling overwhelmed, call our office to learn how we can help.Ready To Talk?
Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.
FILING A DISABILITY INSURANCE CLAIMSecrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to know!
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