If you are filing, appealing, litigating, or looking to protect your long term disability insurance claim, Riemer Hess can help. Below we answer common questions about our consultation process and how our New York long term disability lawyers can help you with your claim.
Will a consultation help me file my disability claim?
Yes. A consultation with one of our partner attorneys will be helpful to you in filing a disability claim, even if you do not end up retaining our firm for legal services. During your consultation, the attorney will discuss your situation and provide you with a personalized assessment of the viability of your claim. Most prospective clients find this to be extremely helpful. The attorney will review your documentation prior to the consultation (including your long term disability policy, medical records, and any other relevant information) in order to give you personalized insight based on your specific circumstances. The attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and lay out our strategy for getting your long term disability claim approved.
Although the attorney will have reviewed your uploaded materials and assessed your claim, it is only through a retainer that legal work will begin on your claim.
How long is the consultation?
Consultations typically last for approximately one hour. However, there is no “hard stop” for your consultation, and it may run longer if necessary. We also understand that oftentimes questions arise after the consultation. You always are able to communicate further questions and concerns for our partner attorneys to answer after your consultation.
Is the consultation remote or in-person?
All of our consultations are currently being held via Zoom video call or, if preferable, by phone.
Who will I be meeting with?
You will be meeting with one of our partner attorneys, Scott Riemer or Jennifer Hess. Please note that consultations are scheduled based on our partner attorneys’ availability.
Do I need a copy of my long term disability insurance policy to book a consultation?
No, you do not need to have your complete LTD insurance policy in order to move forward with scheduling a consultation. Your policy may be available through your insurance company’s online portal or from your employer’s benefits department. If you have issues or concerns about retrieving a copy of your policy, you may speak with one of our partner attorneys regarding strategies that can help during your consultation.
What is the difference between a discovery call and a consultation?
A discovery call is a 15-minute phone call with our Client Intake and Relationship Manager to gain an overview of your disability matter and to determine whether a consultation would be beneficial. Please note that our Client Intake and Relationship Manager is not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice.
Our Client Intake and Relationship Manager will gather background information on your current situation and answer questions regarding our consultations and retainer arrangements. If it is appropriate to book a consultation, you will be scheduled to meet with one of our partner attorneys, Scott Riemer or Jennifer Hess. (Please see above for details on our consultation fees.)
What does the consultation cost?
Consultations with one of our partner attorneys cost a flat fee of $500. If offered a retainer during your consultation, this $500 fee is then applied to the total cost of the initial retainer. Please contact our Client Intake and Relationship Manager for more information.
How much does a retainer cost? Do you offer contingency fee options?
We offer customized retainers that are designed to meet your needs, including contingency options where appropriate. When offering a customized retainer agreement, we weigh many factors. The most important factor is where you stand in the claims process because that substantially impacts the scope of the work. For example, filing an initial claim involves a very different scope of work than filing an appeal. No matter what option(s) we offer, we strive to ensure that our retainers are fair and reasonable, based on the anticipated scope of work.
How is payment accepted?
To protect your financial information, we use a secure electronic payment system that accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover Card as credit card payment methods. You also may submit payment from your bank account via secure electronic transfer. Please contact our Client Intake and Relationship Manager for more information.
Will you assess whether my disability claim is winnable?
Yes, we will assess whether your long term disability claim is winnable. Whether your claim is winnable will depend on many factors, including the specific terms of your insurance policy and the medical evidence supporting your claim.
At the consultation, we also will assess what your insurer will require to get your claim approved, and determine what Riemer Hess can do on your behalf to maximize your chances of approval.
How much experience does your firm have with my particular disability?
Riemer Hess has decades of experience handling long term disability claims for clients with hundreds of different medical conditions, both physical and mental illnesses. Check out our About Your Diagnosis section to see just some of the medical conditions we frequently see and how we may be able to help.
How long does it take to file an LTD claim?
Riemer Hess often represents clients who need urgent legal help. Once retained, we will immediately notify your insurance company and provide them with notice of your claim.
The timeframe for filing the proof of your LTD claim will depend on a number of factors, including where in the process you are, the availability of your medical providers, and whether additional medical testing would be required. Generally, this usually can be accomplished within 15 to 45 days of retaining us.
It’s essential to check the terms of your policy and understand the applicable deadlines for filing your claim. Waiting too long could result in the denial of your claim, and you may lose your entitlement to benefits. However, you also may want to ensure your claim is accurate, comprehensive, and submitted with the strongest possible evidence.
A consultation with one of our Riemer Hess partner attorneys can help you understand your policy’s terms, guide you through the claims process to ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines, and offer you a timeframe for filing your claim.
How long will it take the insurer to approve or deny my claim or appeal?
Under ERISA, the federal law that regulates most employer-sponsored long term disability plans, insurers typically have 45 days from the receipt of a claim or appeal to approve or deny it. Your insurer can extend this reviewing period under certain circumstances.
For claims, insurers may extend their review for up to 60 days; for appeals, they may extend their review for 45 days. However, for both claims and appeals, your insurer is required to provide written notice outlining their reasons for delaying a decision. Sometimes insurers will fail to satisfy these deadlines—which is where having an attorney can be helpful to keep them in line.
Our partner attorney can review your LTD policy before your consultation and let you know the specific timeframe to expect your insurer to make a decision once your claim or appeal is filed.
How often will you communicate with me if I become your client? I don’t want to deal with the insurance company at all.
We are always available for your questions and concerns. Riemer Hess takes pride in being a concierge firm. The legal team assigned to your claim will tailor our communication frequency to your preferences and expectations to ensure you are as hands-on as you wish to be.
You will not have to communicate with the insurer directly. All communications with your insurance company will be handled by your legal team who will share updates with you until a final decision has been made by your insurer.
What happens if my doctor does not support my claim?
If your doctor does not support your long term disability claim, it can make it more difficult to obtain benefits. Insurance companies rely heavily on your treatment records to evaluate long term disability claims, and if your doctor does not provide supportive medical documentation, your insurer may be more likely to deny your claim.
However, it’s important to remember that just because your doctor does not support your claim initially does not mean that you cannot pursue a claim. You may wish to seek a second opinion from another qualified healthcare provider who can review your medical records and provide an opinion that supports your claim. You also may seek additional objective medical testing to support your claim.
At your Riemer Hess consultation, the partner attorney will evaluate the strength of your disability claim based on many factors, including your doctor’s support. If retained, Riemer Hess can help you navigate the claims process, advise you of additional medical evidence you may obtain, and work with your healthcare providers to ensure that your medical evidence is comprehensive and supportive of your claim.
Can I still file for long term disability if I just lost my job?
Yes, but filing a claim for long term disability benefits after separating from your employer can be extremely challenging. Our attorneys have extensive experience in successfully filing claims after termination of employment.
There may be an opportunity for you to file your LTD claim after one of our attorneys has reviewed your matter further. Please contact our Client Intake and Relationship Manager to schedule a consultation with one of our partner attorneys.
Do you file SSD claims?
No, Riemer Hess does not file Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claims. The attorneys at Riemer Hess solely focus on long term disability insurance matters.
Generally speaking, most disability insurance policies will require you to also file for SSD if approved for benefits. We regularly connect our clients to reputable social security attorneys who can handle that aspect of your claim. If your disability claim requires you to retain a social security disability attorney, we will refer one to you from our well-vetted referral list.
What's the difference between LTD and Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Our article titled What’s the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability? explains the difference between social security disability and long term disability.
Call Riemer Hess LLC at (212) 297-0700 or click this link to schedule a consultation on your disability case.