Disability and ERISA Law Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer: Nothing on this website, including the information on this page, should be considered legal advice, or the basis of an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions are too complicated to comprehensively answer via a website. Always obtain legal advice directly from a licensed attorney who has knowledge of your specific facts and circumstances.
Q: How much will it cost for you to represent me?
- A: I accept cases mainly on a contingency fee basis. If I recover benefits for you, my fee is a percentage of those benefits, plus my out-of-pocket expenses (copies, postage, etc.). If you do not receive a recovery, you owe me nothing — not even expenses. If you would prefer to pay me an hourly rate, we can discuss that as well. However, know that an hourly contract requires a significant retainer which most people cannot afford, and I get paid whether we prevail or not.
Q: How do I know if my disability policy falls under ERISA?
- A: While I cannot give a comprehensive answer in this space, generally speaking, if you received your long term disability policy as part of an employee benefit package, it is likely subject to ERISA. Certain employers, such as governments and churches, are exempt from ERISA.
Q: When should I call you about my claim for long term disability benefits?
- A: Ideally, you should contact me as soon as possible after you receive the first letter from your insurance company that tells you your claim is denied. This will give me the best opportunity to build your disability case. If you wait too long to contact me after you receive the insurer’s denial letter, it may be too late for me to help you. If you attempt to appeal the insurer’s denial on your own and are denied benefits again, I may not be able to help you. However, there is no need to call me before you initially apply for benefits. You may be approved without needing my help, and you can save yourself some attorney fees.
Q: Do you really make house calls?
- A: Abolutely. As long as you are within a reasonable driving distance (as far east as Tallahassee) I will come to you at no charge. You’re the one who’s disabled. Let me come to you. As for people further away from Pensacola than Tallahassee, I can often handle most issues via telephone, mail and e-mail. So, if you do not feel like coming to me, call anyway to see if I can help you.
Q: Do you handle (personal injury, employment, X) kind of cases?
- A: As a licensed Florida attorney I can practice any type of law. However, I have chosen to limit my practice to long term disability / ERISA cases so that all of my efforts can be focused on one area of law. These are the only types of cases I accept, and the only kind for which I will render legal advice.