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Boulder Disability Law Attorney

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Every year, people attempt to navigate the disability system on their own. While trying to make their lives easier, they run into hurdles that obstruct their ability to get the help they need. Disability applications and claims are difficult to process alone. If you seek your rights to benefits from an injury, insurance claim, or application, let a Boulder disability law attorney be your advocate.

At McDermott Law, LLC, we assist people daily in getting the benefits they deserve. Whether through handling insurance claims or filling out paperwork, we can decrease your workload and fight for your desired outcome.

Fighting for Your Disability Case

At McDermott Law, LLC, we understand the challenges you face when your disability prevents you from working. If you cannot earn a living on your own and seek compensation, we can help you with a variety of disability cases, such as:

  • PERA Disability Claims: The Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) is a retirement plan for Colorado public employees. If you are a member and were denied PERA disability claims, we can help. Your PERA membership entitles you to disability benefits if you become disabled or unable to work. We have the experience needed to guide you through claims and appeals.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance: Seeking benefits when someone you love suffers an accidental death or dismemberment is difficult. It can help if you do not have to go through the process alone while you try to grieve. Our team can assist you with filing a claim to fight a denial based on definitions of accidental death or dismemberment.
  • Long-Term Disability: When you or your employer purchases a private insurance policy to provide income when you become too disabled to work, you expect that it will cover you when you need it. We can help if you have become too disabled to work your regular job for an extended period but have yet to receive disability income.
  • Personal Injury: This type of claim covers disabilities caused by negligence or carelessness. When an accident is someone else’s fault, and your injuries prevent you from working, you may be owed compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
  • Insurance Disputes and Insurance Bad Faith Claims: These claims are filed when insurance companies deny a valid claim or do not uphold obligations written into a policy. “Bad faith” references circumstances where the insurance company’s actions are unfair or unreasonable. Examples include denying claims without proper reasons or offering settlements lower than what is fair.
  • ERISA Claims and Appeals: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is the federal law that oversees employer-sponsored health plans. This includes disability benefits owed to employees who become disabled. When you get a denial for long-term disability benefits under your employer’s plan, you may be able to appeal the decision.
  • Individual Disability Insurance: If you purchased a private disability insurance policy, it may be challenging to understand your coverage when you need it most. Not only can our attorneys help decipher the complexities, but they can also fight for the benefits outlined in the policy.

Explaining Disability Benefits

Many programs provide monthly benefits to people with disabilities. Despite this, there are many disabled, out-of-work people who do not meet their strict eligibility requirements. People who are out of work due to a disability may not meet the standard of disability set by insurers or employers, but they still need help. Some disability requirements have a high bar, like having a medical condition that will result in death or having a condition that will last a year or more.

Additionally, the individual with the disability should typically be unable to perform any relevant work or any work they might be trained to do. The team at McDermott Law, LLC, can help clients dispute and appeal denials and prove that they are eligible for disability benefits.

Challenges in Receiving Disability Benefits or Worker’s Compensation

When seeking disability or other related compensation measures, there are many obstacles to overcome in Colorado.

In some cases, the strict definition of an applicable disability leads to many applications being denied quickly. If your condition does not significantly prevent you from walking, sitting, standing, lifting, or thinking, it is difficult to demonstrate that it prevents you from performing basic work activities. Additionally, you need extensive medical evidence proving your condition’s severity is accurate.

With worker’s compensation, benefits are usually only available to those who can prove their injury or illness occurred during and because of their nature of employment. Proving this can be difficult, and your employer may dispute any claims you make about the severity and cause of your injury, which can hinder your claim’s progress.

Cases like insurance claims can be difficult to navigate because you need evidence proving “bad faith” or that the insurer acted intentionally or recklessly when denying your claim. Employee discrimination cases can be similar, as it is difficult to gather evidence that the employer acted intentionally to discriminate against you because of your disability. The burden of proof in cases like these is high. It can take resources that a layperson does not have to acquire evidence.

At McDermott Law, LLC, we help minimize the obstacles to getting what you deserve. Our legal knowledge and experience help us build the strongest case, negotiate with the relevant parties, and represent you in court when necessary.

How a Disability Law Attorney Can Help You?

We understand the toll a disability can take on your life. The legal system’s complexities can add another layer of stress that you do not deserve. However, our qualified team can aid you in your fight for compensation.

  • We Lead You Through the Process

Disability claims involve intricate forms, short deadlines, and confusing regulations. Our team has the needed experience to navigate the process efficiently. We can ensure that you can submit your claim or appeal correctly and on time.

  • Building Strong Cases

A strong disability case hinges on extensive medical evidence accurately documenting your disability and limitations. We can help you gather medical records, reports, professional opinions, and other support for your claim.

  • Representing Your Interests

Insurance companies and government agencies have legal teams that fight for their positions. Our legal fortitude gives us equal footing to advocate for your rights. We ensure the right parties hear your desires during all processes.

  • Maximizing Compensation

We can help you understand the full range of benefits available to you, including, but not limited to, private disability insurance and employer insurance plans. Your situation may require careful evaluation to identify all potential sources of compensation you may take advantage of. Together, we can work toward securing all the compensation you have a right to.

  • Negotiating on Your Behalf

Most people have yet to gain experience negotiating with insurance companies and employers. Because of this lack of experience, it can be nearly impossible to negotiate what you deserve from an organization without legal help. Our attorneys can aggressively negotiate and ensure you receive a fair settlement.

  • Fighting for You in Court

We can proudly represent you in court if you receive a denial or if your case is unnegotiable. Throughout hearings and appeals, we have successfully advocated for clients in courtrooms across Colorado and fought for the compensation they deserved.

FAQs:

What Conditions Qualify for PERA Disability in Colorado?

Conditions that qualify for PERA disability in Colorado are that you must have at least five months of service on your record, and half a year must have been in the most recent period of membership. You must apply within 90 days of when your disability begins. For short-term disability, you must be unable to work your current job or any other job where your income would be decreased by 25% or less.

For retirement disability benefits, you must be completely unable to do a job currently and in the future in which your income would be decreased by 25% or less.

What Are the Five Steps of Disability Determination?

A common five-step process for determining disability is:

  1. Are you working, and if so, are you working enough to sustain a certain income?
  2. Does your condition significantly impact your ability to do basic work-related tasks?
  3. Does the medical list of disabling conditions contain your condition?
  4. Can you perform the work you did previously?
  5. Are you able to do any other kind of work?

Who Makes the Final Decision on PERA Disability Qualification?

For PERA, the Disability Program Administrator, Unum, makes the final decision on disability qualifications. Unum also provides short-term disability (STD) coverage through your insurance policy.

If you might qualify for STD or disability retirement, you will need to submit a Disability Program Application as soon as you can. After 90 days following your date of employment termination, it may be too late.

Disability qualification can be a difficult process. It is helpful to have a disability lawyer assist you with understanding the qualification criteria for different agencies.

At What Age Do Disability Payments Stop?

Disability payments can stop at different times of life depending on an individual’s situation. Typically, on PERA, payments cease when the individual has one of the following occur:

  • They stop being disabled.
  • They reach their maximum payment period.
  • They become eligible for other PERA retirement benefits.
  • They refund/roll over their PERA DB Plan account.
  • They die (remaining payments go to their estate).

If your disability payments have stopped prematurely, you can contact a disability lawyer to help you understand what has happened.

Get Help Working Toward Your Proper Compensation

Our Boulder disability lawyer wants to be your guide and advocate. The last thing you need when you seek compensation is the added emotional and mental toll of the disability legal process, so let us handle the stress for you. Individuals represented by an attorney can be more likely to win disability cases and receive more benefits.

At McDermott Law, LLC, we understand the financial hardship presented by a disability. Our lawyer can work tirelessly to secure maximum compensation. With our knowledge, you can focus on your or your loved one’s health while knowing we are fighting for you. Contact McDermott Law, LLC, today for peace of mind.

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