John B. Dupree
East Tennessee ERISA Attorney
John Dupree has devoted himself to helping people overcome the difficulties encountered when seeking benefits through an insurance company or an employer. Mr. Dupree normally works on a contingency basis – this means that he only gets paid if you are awarded benefits.
Welcome to Erisarelief.com. This site is for individuals who are pursuing claims for disability benefits, pension benefits, health insurance benefits, life insurance or other insurance or employment related claims. If your claim has been denied or terminated, we can probably help you with your application or your appeal with the insurance company. We can also provide some insight into the law that controls your claim and ways to maximize your chance of persuading the insurance company to overturn its decision. However, as you might have already discovered, pursuing your benefits can be frustrating work – especially when you are totally disabled and falling behind on your mortgage, medical bills or car payments.
The insurance company or administrator will require you to submit lengthy and sometimes confusing applications and forms. Further, if you are seeking benefits for short-term disability or long-term disability, the adjuster might require your treating physician to complete an “Attending Physicians Statement” and will probably demand that you gather and provide all of your medical records. You will also usually have to apply for social security benefits whether you want to or not. Some of this is geared toward building a case to deny your claim and some of it is geared toward developing an offset so that the plan can subtract those monies from your monthly check. If you look closely at your policy, you will almost always find a provision allowing for an offset for “other income” such as social security disability. The Aflac duck never told you that did it?
If you are making a claim for benefits provided by your employer, your claim is almost certainly controlled by the law of Erisa (Employee Retirement Income and Security Act). Erisa is a federal law that started with noble intentions, but has turned into bad law for claimants. Over the years, the law has developed so that the decision to deny or terminate benefits is given great deference by the courts. So larger employers like BWXT, Bechtel Jacobs, K-25, Lockheed Martin, ORNL, Eastman, and many hospitals may be self-insured for their benefits. Afterall, why pay insurance premiums if the claims are hard to win? In court, if a judge decides that there is a possible reasonable basis for the decision of the administrator, you lose. That is why having a lawyer to help you through the process is so important. You have to provide the right evidence to the adjuster and an attorney can help you plan your strategy.
Insurance companies have had great success marketing through humor and animal mascots. It’s a zoo out there – lizards, ducks, elk, dogs, cavemen. They even hitch their wagons to our greatest presidents – Lincoln and Jefferson. Do not be fooled. If you are dealing with any of the following insurance companies, we strongly encourage you to contact our firm at once: Aflac, Jefferson-Pilot, Lincoln Financial, Prudential, Cigna, Lina, Sunlife, Unum, Provident, Hartford, Aetna, UsAble, Mutual of Omaha, Standard, Liberty Mutual, CNA, Colonial Life, Principal, Reliance and Transamerica. Your claim for disability, pension or other benefits can be complex and an attorney can help you fight your way through the appeal process.
Call for your free consultation today or send us an e-mail via the online contact form. Let us know what your problem may be and we will respond to your e-mail promptly.
This web site is to provide general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice and should not be construed as creating a lawyer/client relationship. Not certified as a civil trial specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization