How to Appeal a Long-Term Disability Denial

Receiving a disability denial letter can be discouraging, especially when you’re trying to recuperate. The denial means you’ll have to deal with the insurer to find out why and what to do next. The letter will explain why your claim was denied, that you have the right to appeal, and include a deadline by which you must file that appeal. These deadlines are strict, so don’t ignore them, or your claim will be denied.

long term disability denial

Do not be discouraged if you receive a denial letter. Long-term disability claims can be complex, so enlisting the help of a Houston disability attorney can make the process easier and increase your chances for approval.

The Appeals Process

With most insurers, you’ll need to go through the appeals process before you can file any legal action like a lawsuit. Appeals give the insurance company another chance to review your claim and any additional information they did not review before.

The insurer may also request additional information from you, including additional medical records. They may also request an independent medical examination from their doctor, or a functional capacity evaluation to determine if they can work at any job.

In many cases, insurance companies issue more than one denial, but you still have an opportunity to appeal a second time. Once again, you’ll receive a strict deadline by which you must file your appeal, so make sure you submit your appeal timely.

Additional Documentation

Your first step is to request a copy of your claims file from the insurer. You’ll see what the company is working with, and what you need to do to file your appeal. If you have already enlisted the help of a Houston disability attorney, they can help in getting your copy of the file.

Your file should contain as much information as you need to support your claim and show that your condition warrants long-term disability. This can include:

• Medical reports from your medical providers, such as your primary care physician, along with any specialists who are involved in your care and treatment.

• Letters of support from your healthcare providers, vocational evaluation experts, and others directly involved in your claim.

• Information that clarifies or further explains anything that was overlooked or not correctly determined in the denial

• Any other information that clears up any legal mistakes or other misunderstandings that led to the denial of your claim

Once you’ve completed your due diligence and gathered additional information, work with your disability attorney to begin your appeal. You may need additional information, and your attorney can help you obtain the rest for your claim, and then draft your letter of appeal.

When Can I Sue?

If your long-term insurance is employer-provided, you’ll need to go through the entire appeals process first. After you’ve exhausted all your appeals rights, you can then file a lawsuit under ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act.) However, if you bought your policy yourself, the policy is regulated by insurance laws in the State of Texas.

The evidence submitted for your claim and appeals will become part of the lawsuit.

When you’ve decided to pursue litigation, work with an attorney who has experience with disability claims and understands the process.

Your Houston LTD Disability Attorney

If you need help filing a long-term disability claim or are having trouble with the insurer paying your benefits, we’re here to help.

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians receive the LTD benefits they need. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you through the process, and give you one less thing to worry about. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees. We only collect a fee if we win your case.

Camp LeJeune Process Needs Overhaul

Since the first claim was filed under the Camp Lejeune water contamination act in 2022, no one has reached a settlement or taken their case to court. Claimants, US Navy attorneys, and attorneys for claimants are seeing that the Camp Lejeune process needs an overhaul.

Because of the unusual nature of this type of claim, any lawsuits must be filed in North Carolina’s Eastern US District Courts. A lawyer, like Houston’s William Herren, who is handling and filing claims for qualified claimants, can help file a Camp Lejeune claim.

Problems with the Claims Process

After the signing of the PACT Act, more than 60,000 claims have already been filed. It’s expected that an estimated 500,000 to 1 million cases could be filed, so there are many calling for a better process, including one of the judges from the North Carolina Eastern US District Courts. There is already a volume of claims that appear to be overwhelming the system in place. So far, the US Navy has offer limited solutions to make the process easier for the government, the claimants, their legal counsel, and the courts.

The Current Process

When someone files a Camp Lejeune claim using Form 95, it is submitted to the court for determination. Once the claim is filed, the government has 180 days to accept or deny the claim. Lawyers for the US Navy are handling these claims.

Should the government deny the claim, then the claim must be decided in a court of law. This is where things will quickly become complicated. The concern is that with only four judges, these cases will continue to create a backlog of cases. A backlog could have claimants, also known as plaintiffs, waiting years for their suits to be decided. Someone with a terminal illness may never see a judgment for their case or families who have already lost a parent or spouse due to water contamination may not see compensation for years.

The Judge’s Request

Judge James Dever, one of just four in the Eastern District of North Carolina, has requested that the plaintiffs’ lawyers and the Navy’s lawyers collaborate to improve and streamline the claims process to avoid the potential bottleneck for these cases. The judge suggested that the involved attorneys on both sides:

1. Create a database of all affected victims
2. Include the extent of their injuries and causations
3. How long each victim lived on or worked at Camp Lejeune
4. Combine similar cases
5. Set up a structure for settlements

The judge specifically requested that the attorneys work together to focus on the affected victims and their family members, which includes a high number of children who were either miscarried, stillborn, or died later from the effects of the contamination. Following the first hearing in April, Judge Dever gave attorneys a month to create a leadership team to devise the new process.

May 26, 2023 – Navy Blames Staffing and Budget

In an email to claimants’ lawyers, a Navy attorney, Jennifer Tennile Karnes admitted that the Navy lacks the necessary financial resources and staff to promptly review compensation claims from veterans affected by toxic water at Camp Lejeune. She mentioned that the tort claims unit is working excessive overtime to handle the claims and expressed hope to double the staff by the end of summer. However, the Navy has yet to establish the promised online portal for expediting claims, and Congress has not allocated the additional funds needed to manage the compensation program. She described the Camp Lejeune claims process with a great metaphor: “building a plane mid-air.”

Contact The Herren Law Firm For Your Camp Lejeune Claim

Regardless of these difficulties with the Camp Lejeune process, it still is worth making a claim before the deadline. Missing the deadline will eliminate you from even being considered for compensation.  You must file your claim filed by August 10, 2024, so timing is critical. Please contact our offices immediately to learn more.

For more than 30 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them. We are focused on successfully getting claimants their settlements. If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people with disability and veteran claims and appeals, and we look forward to helping you. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free.  We work on a contingency basis so you won’t owe us a fee until we settle your case.

Effects from Chemical Exposure at Camp Lejeune

People who used Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water from 1953 through 1987 suffered from of illnesses that were eventually traced to the water. They were affected from chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune. The presence of three primary VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, plus several others. These chemicals were regularly ingested by military personnel, their families, and civilian workers at rates thousands of times higher than the EPA’s levels considered safe.

patient exposed to camp le jeune contamination talking with nurse

Ingestion through drinking, bathing, and other uses allowed the chemicals to build up in their systems. Many VOCs have a longer half-life, taking much longer to be metabolized out of the body. Health effects associated with exposure to these chemicals can vary widely and depend on factors such as the duration and intensity of exposure, as well as individual susceptibility.

People who spent time at Camp Lejeune during the affected period reported a wide range of illnesses that were seemingly unrelated at the time. Many years later, after the government admitted the contamination, did anyone make the connection? Observations made over time indicate a series of specific effects that can be traced directly back to the contamination. These are called presumptive conditions since they are known to be directly related.


Multiple types of cancers have been traced to the Camp Lejeune contamination, including:

• Kidney
• Liver
• Bladder
• Breast
• Leukemia
• Lung
• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

There are only a few that have enough evidence to prove causality. Other cancers, such as brain, lung, gallbladder, or prostate cancer, may also be caused by water, but not enough research yet exists. This doesn’t mean someone can’t file a claim for their illness, however.

Neurobiological Effects

These are conditions that directly impact how the brain communicates with the central nervous system. This can manifest in a wide range of issues that may not have been previously attributed to the chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune, whether physical, emotional, or behavioral. The symptoms depend on how much exposure the brain has had that led to damage.

Individuals who experience neurobehavioral effects often describe alterations in mood, personality, attention, and memory. Additionally, neurological symptoms may manifest as motor dysfunction, which can include difficulties with coordination or balance.

Neurological illnesses can include:

• Parkinson’s Disease
• ALS, aka, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”
• Depression or anxiety
• Confusion
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Tremors
• Learning problems
• Trouble concentrating
• Mood or personality changes
• Involuntary muscle movements
• Motor problems, i.e., balance, coordination

Short-term exposure may be reversible. But long-term exposure can cause permanent and severe damage that impacts a person’s ability to work and function independently.

Reproductive Disorders

Infertility of both men and women, miscarriages, and birth defects were also prevalent at Camp Lejeune. Some women suffered more than one miscarriage or stillbirth. Many children of women who had a successful pregnancies had birth defects because of the in-utero impact of the chemicals in the water.

The water contamination also led to these reproductive effects:

• Menstrual disorders
• Delayed menarche (beginning of menstruation)
• Changes in sex hormone levels
• Diminished libido and potency
• Premature menopause
• Impaired semen quality
• Reduced fertility in both males and females

Exposure to trichloroethylene also increased a baby’s risk of immune disorders and cardiac defects.

Liver And Kidney Issues

Cancer isn’t the only water-related condition affecting the kidneys. Chronic kidney dysfunction as well as other damage and dysfunctions resulted from long-term exposures to the VOCs. Fatty liver disease, also called Hepatic steatosis, has been shown to be from exposure.

These are some of the known effects of the contamination. If you or someone you know spent time at Camp Lejeune and became ill later, it’s very possible that their illnesses were caused by chemical exposure, even if their illness isn’t a presumptive condition.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water.

If you or someone you know became ill after working or being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately for help filing your claim. We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

Death from Camp Lejeune Exposure

Much has been said about people who were made sick for many years after exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. This is why, in part, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was finally signed into law. What isn’t as widely discussed is what happens if death occurred as a result of Camp Lejeune exposure. What happens if those who had illnesses stemming from that exposure have already died before the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act in 2022?

doctor consoling patients wife due to camp le jeune exposure

We now know that the US Marine Corps (USMC), despite being aware of its existence, failed to disclose the presence of benzene in the water to soldiers, their families, residents, and workers. Additionally, they stated that the EPA did not currently enforce “safe” thresholds for toxic chemicals like TCE and PCE. Reports indicate that the USMC deliberately omitted the information about benzene in the drinking water from their 1992 federal health review, despite having prior knowledge of its presence.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

This term is usually related to other personal injury cases such as car and other accidents. A claim for wrongful death is filed by a surviving spouse, children, or other family members, or the estate of a person who died due to someone else’s wrongful actions. Filing a wrongful death claim helps the survivors seek compensation for the damages and losses suffered after losing the deceased person following their untimely death.

Many people are filing claims against the government after their exposure-related illnesses from the Camp Lejeune water contamination. But others who were sickened did not live long enough to have this opportunity. Survivors of someone who died after exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can similarly file a wrongful death claim for a deceased spouse, parent, or child.

The lawsuit allows survivors to seek compensation for the suffering and expenses of the deceased’s illness.

Unlike a personal injury-related wrongful death claim, there isn’t an option for “pain and suffering” for these claims. You will only be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and potentially lost wages on behalf of the deceased.


Much like filing a claim for illness, survivors filing a wrongful death lawsuit must also qualify their deceased loved one by showing:

• They spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune during the affected period, from 1953 through 1987
• They lived and/or worked there; you must prove their time there using:

o Medical documentation
o Pay stubs
o Military service records
o Other relevant records

• They experienced one or more medical conditions related to the contamination that caused their death

This may be difficult because of how long ago the exposure occurred. William Herren, an established Veterans disability attorney, is focusing his practice on Camp Lejeune cases and he can make it easier to obtain the required documents and properly file a claim.

Why File A Camp Lejeune Wrongful Death Claim?

It may seem counter-intuitive to file a claim for someone who died from their illnesses. But for survivors, a settlement from such a claim can help ease financial burdens after caring for a loved one.

A financial settlement can cover expenses that your family experienced during their illness and death that weren’t covered by the VA, Medicare/Medicaid, or private health insurance. It can also replace some of the lost wages and lost future wages that your loved one would have provided if they were still alive and able to earn income throughout their life.

If your loved one spent time at Camp Lejeune and later died from a serious illness that may have been related, speak with a Houston Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney today to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim for them.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

After the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 was signed into law, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water. If there was a death from Camp Lejeune exposure, they can also file on behalf of a loved one who died before the act was signed.

Contact us today if you need help filing your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

Can Family Members File a Camp Lejeune Claim?

Much of the attention that’s paid to the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination case is given to the Marines and other military veterans who were stationed there. Camp Lejeune also is and has been home to many service members’ families. Military spouses and their children were also sickened by the toxic water contamination, sometimes in utero. They were left with lifelong illnesses, including many forms of cancer.

camp lejeune claims for military family members

The contamination was eventually cleared after 1987, and Camp Lejeune’s water supply is now safe to drink and use. But the damage that resulted from consuming benzene and other carcinogens continue more than 35 years later for those who lived there.

Because family members were usually not military, they would not be ordinarily eligible for disability benefits from the VA. They may have been previously eligible for benefits through Medicaid or other programs. The VA has since established the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program to assist family members in getting medical help for 15 specified related illnesses.

Additionally, The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 provides the families of veterans a way to file their own claims and receive care and compensation for the illnesses and injuries they suffered.

Why File A Claim?

As a non-military resident, you would not be qualified to recover any compensation through the VA as a service member would despite being made ill by the contaminated water. You may or may not have had healthcare coverage when you were diagnosed and may have had to shoulder the costs yourself or turn to Medicaid or Medicare for your healthcare needs.

Filing a claim will allow you to recover the costs of your medical care, lost wages, as well as losses on behalf of children who were sickened by the toxic water. If your military family member has since passed away from the illnesses from the water contamination, you may also be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover financial losses.

The Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) office has a website with information on filing a claim. Those who previously filed related lawsuits and saw them dismissed under the Federal Tort Claims Act must re-file their claims to have them considered under the Camp Lejeune Act.

Qualifying for a Camp Lejeune claim as non-military

Just as you would if you were applying for disability, you will be required to submit documentation that not only shows that you were at Camp Lejeune, but your relationship with a service member. This can include:

• Marriage certificate
• Birth certificate
• Adoption papers
• Other related documents showing a familial relationship (i.e., parents or other dependents)

You will also need to show your dates of residence at Camp Lejeune and a medical diagnosis of your condition.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water.

If you or someone you know became ill after working or being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately for help filing your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

Find an Experienced Disability Lawyer in Houston

It is important to find an experienced disability lawyer in Houston as the process of applying for and getting disability payments through Social Security can be a long and frustrating one. Veterans trying to get disability awarded run into similar frustrations and don’t get us started on the frustrations folks find dealing with insurance companies for their long term disability claims! For this reason, William Herren and the staff at Herren Law offer its services as a way to help navigate the process. Mr. Herren’s over 25 years of experience in this area of law in the Houston area makes him uniquely qualified to help clients. He and his staff help with applications, appeals and representation when it comes time for a hearing.

Our goal is to have every qualified applicant receive the benefits they deserve and need. Unfortunately, not everyone who applies on their own have a good experience. That’s when they need to find an experienced disability lawyer to help them.

How Can A Disability Lawyer Help?

If you decide to apply for disability on your own, without help, you’re often required to fill out tons of forms, and gather relevant evidence such as medical records, all while dealing with your medical condition. It can be overwhelming and confusing. You sometimes wonder if the difficulties are designed on purpose so you will give up.

For example when you hire a disability lawyer to help you with the social security disability process, you are required to fill out about 40 pages of forms. When you hire William Herren, you hire an advocate who understands the Social Security disability process and disability law. He can handle the paperwork and evidence gathering for you, and make sure you have what you need. Hiring the right lawyer at the outset can make sure your application is done correctly and that you’re well represented throughout the process.

Another good reason for getting help from a disability lawyer is that they can help you prepare for a Social Security Administration (SSA) examiner’s interview for your case. When you attend this hearing alone, you may say the wrong thing or give too much attention to the wrong things during questioning, because you simply wouldn’t know what is important or relevant or what the examiner is looking for. While you may be focused on the immediate effects of your disability, the examiner is more focused on how your disability impacts your everyday life. A physician or other healthcare provider focuses on your symptoms and treatment and most don’t necessarily understand how the SSA system works. Therefore, your doctor may not be the best person to adequately prepare you for the eventual in-person hearing.

But an experienced disability lawyer should have specific knowledge directly related to the process of filing, the in-person interview, and the appeals process. Therefore, they can prepare for the examiners’ review ahead of time. The attorney will help you with what to say, and more importantly, what not to say. This gives you a better chance of answering the questions correctly and ultimately getting your needed disability benefits.

Reasons to Hire a Disability Lawyer In Houston

The number one reason to hire an experienced disability lawyer in Houston is, of course, you reside in Houston or in Harris County so hiring a local attorney makes sense for personal convenience. William Herren and his staff are very familiar with the insurance companies, the SSA, and area doctors, hospitals etc – meaning he knows who to deal with. His experience brings resources and contacts a less experienced lawyer may not have. Having good professional, and in some cases, friendly relationships help to get things done more efficiently for his clients. While a good doctor and treatment regimen is important for any type of life-changing disability, sometimes a good disability lawyer can help in other ways, such as:

• Be informative and answer any questions along the way
• Help with the initial application process
• Gather all required evidence you need to support your claim of disability
• Present your case in the examiner’s interview
• Assist with appeals if your initial application is denied
• Act as a “coach” ahead of time so that you’ll be prepared to answer all questions correctly
• Taking the pressure off you to get everything correct
• Update the SSA with changes in your medical conditions
• Represent you in a hearing with an administrative law judge if needed

Without the help of an experienced Houston disability lawyer, you’re on your own against a process that can be full of stumbling blocks and “red tape.” For example one of the most important factors is submitting the right medical evidence. Your disability lawyer will communicate with your medical providers and review all medical records to ensure that you have what you need. They have the experience to eliminate anything irrelevant to your case.

Another issue you may run into is the doctor who is unwilling to assist you in getting categorized for your disability. They may believe that the patient isn’t disabled. Perhaps the physician doesn’t understand the process or is just simply not interested in dealing with paperwork. However, these type of doctors will often speak with an attorney representing a patient, especially, as with Mr. Herren, the attorney has more experience dealing with doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Also because a disability lawyer understands the process, they should also make sure that all deadlines are met and you are kept up to date on everything. While the attorney handles the legal side of your case, you can concentrate on taking care of yourself.

Houston Disability Lawyer William Herren

We at Herren Law know the process, know our city of Houston, and are proud of helping more than 4,000 people get the benefits they need. We are ready to help you with your initial application and ensure that your application or appeal is done correctly. We are experienced in helping people successfully navigate through the disability application and appeals process and we can help you too. Our contingency fee means you won’t have to pay until you start receiving benefits.
If you’ve been denied benefits, or don’t know where to start, please call the Herren Law Firm today at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to being of service.

Long Term Disability Exclusions

There are some long term disability exclusions because long-term disability doesn’t necessarily cover every possible disability condition. When you purchase long-term disability insurance, you may believe you understand the coverage and your policy will cover you for most disability scenarios.

elderly man with long term disability

In fact, nearly all long-term disability policies have specific exclusions for certain conditions. Before you go through the process of applying for long-term disability benefits, carefully review your policy and understand what is and is not covered. You will want to understand the long term disability exclusions in your policy. If you are not sure, then you may want to consult with the Herren Law office in Houston, Texas.

What Is An Exclusion?

This is a clause in your policy that you probably agreed to when you purchased it, or you accepted the policy from your employer. An exclusion details a specific situation where the insurance company does not pay you any monthly income. The idea is to exclude coverage for claims that result from or are related to a pre-existing medical condition, or exclude coverage of any claim that could result from any potentially hazardous activities that can lead to the increased risk of potential disability.

Common exclusions include:

Pre-existing conditions, which is a condition you already know you have prior to application. This may include some or all pre-existing conditions, depending on your policy.

Work-related conditions, especially if your occupational injury or illness would otherwise be covered by worker’s compensation benefits.

Specific health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, are detailed in the policy.

Hazardous or high-risk activities, such as injuries and conditions related to things like bungee jumping and other extreme sports

A normal pregnancy and delivery

Acts of war and conflict, such as a riot, insurrection, or another incident of violence

Other criminal activities

• Self-inflicted injuries. Most policies do not cover any injuries that are self-inflicted or related to a suicide attempt.

Policies with more exclusions generally cost less. The more exclusions you reduce, the higher your premiums. Meaning if it covers more conditions, it will be more expensive as the chances of a claim will also increase.

Mental Health Conditions

Many long-term disability policies also limit or exclude mental health or nervous conditions. This means that if your disability is caused by or contributed to by a mental or nervous condition that’s in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), you may have no benefits or strict limitations on the benefits you can receive.

For policies that do allow for mental health condition claims for disability, the standard limitation is 24 months or two years. Depression, anxiety, stress, and even dementia have a strict 2-year limit in most policies for long-term disability benefits. If you are still disabled because of a mental or nervous condition following the two-year period after your benefit period ends, you will unfortunately no longer be eligible to receive benefit payments.

Alcohol And Substance Abuse

Similar to mental health conditions, many long-term disability insurance policies limit or exclude coverage for any disabilities related to alcohol and substance abuse. Some policies do not cover them at all, but other plans include limitations on how long you could receive benefits.

Handling A Denial

If you think your condition is not a long term disability exclusions, then you apply for benefits.  But even if you are confident your condition is covered under your long-term disability policy, you may be surprised to receive a denial letter from your insurance company. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence with long-term disability applicants. The good news is you have the right to appeal, so take advantage of it.

Read the letter carefully, and make sure that you understand why your claim was denied. It may be that you did not submit enough medical evidence, or there was something else missing from your claim application. The denial letter will tell you why, and what you need for your claim. However this may also be time to consult an experienced long term disability attorney like Bill Herren. Herren Law Office is a Houston, Texas-based law firm serving clients throughout the greater Houston area. With almost 30 years of experience, they’ve helped over 4,000 people with their disability claims. If you are trying to obtain SSDLTD, or VA disability benefits, it is beneficial to get help as soon as possible from an experienced disability attorney.

The letter will also let you know about the deadlines for appealing the company’s decision. It is critical to make sure that you meet these deadlines or you’ll lose your right to appeal altogether.

If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, this is also a reason to engage the services of an experienced disability attorney who can help you file your appeal. A good disability attorney understands how insurance companies work, particularly for claims where they will have to pay out money.

Your Houston Long Term Disability Attorney

If you need help filing a long-term disability claim, or are having trouble with the insurer paying your benefits, or need help preparing an appeal to a denial of benefits, we’re here to help.

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians have received the LTD benefits they need. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you through the process, and give you one less thing to worry about. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees. We only collect if we win your case.

Is Anxiety a Long-Term Disability?

Anxiety Can Be a Debilitating Condition That Can Cause Long-Term Disability

After an upsetting life event, such as losing a loved one, going through a divorce, or losing a job, it’s understandable that a person might find themselves feeling anxious or depressed. But if the anxiety continues long after the event, it becomes chronic and may lead to something more complex.

Anxiety Can Be a Debilitating Condition That Can Cause Long-Term Disability

Anxiety and anxiety disorders can be a crippling and disabling medical conditions for some. If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms that are preventing you from working and everyday life, long-term disability may give you a period in which to receive treatment and recover. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, and denials are common.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

While anxiety can visit most people at any time, individuals with chronic anxiety experience symptoms such as insomnia or hypersomnia, chronic fatigue, and cognitive issues such as lack of concentration. For many people, these impediments are temporary, or manageable to the point where they can work without a problem.

However, GAD may also include symptoms such as:

• Irritability and agitation
• Heart racing
• Restlessness
• Shortness of breath
• Muscle tension
• Grinding of teeth that leads to jaw pain
• Panic, fear, dread, and excessive worrying

These symptoms and others can lead to functional impairment that directly impacts your daily life and employment.

Proving Disability

As with any medical condition, you’ll first have to demonstrate to your insurer that you are, in fact, disabled. Mental conditions such as anxiety will require a more thorough degree of proof.

An evaluator will review all of your medical records, including treatments. This includes things such as weekly visits to a therapist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist, and any prescriptions for your condition.

It’s also important that the evaluator see that not only are you following through with treatment, but your provider is also offering the correct standard of care. This means that although they have prescribed treatment, they must also follow through with monitoring your progress, make adjustments, or even change medication as necessary. If you believe your current provider isn’t offering the correct standard of care, you should seek out another provider, or at least a second opinion.

A strong indicator of disability would be if your doctor suggested you would benefit from hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment. For that period, you would be unavailable for work which shows that your condition is incompatible with regular employment.

Documentation and letters from your treating physician that describe and support your diagnosis should also be included in your case file. This would include medical records and notes from therapy that describe your ability and limitations on employment-related activities. Your doctor should include specific and distinct restrictions and limitations on your abilities that detail your limitations, rather than generalized statements such as “inability to tolerate stress.”

Mental Illness Limitations

Many LTD policies have strict limits on anxiety and other mental illnesses, which are typically 24 months, or two years. After the period ends, your benefits run out. Some policies may specifically exclude mental illnesses entirely. However, some conditions may have an exemption; that’s why it’s important to read your policy carefully to find out.

A disability attorney can help you with record gathering and make sure your application and claim file has everything you need for a successful LTD claim.

Houston’s LTD Disability Attorney

Over 4,000 Houstonians have come to us for help with LTD claims. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals, and through the process. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, no up-front fees, and we only collect if we win your case.

Do I Need a Texas Disability Lawyer?

You may wonder if you need a Texas disability lawyer to apply for disability benefits. Unfortunately, applying for disability is a difficult process that is time-consuming and complex. You may seek the advice of friends or family who may already have a disability But when you apply, you may only to be frustrated by administrative delays—or even a denial. But you don’t have to have the this experience.

One option to consider is to find a well experienced Texas disability lawyer like Bill Herren who can help guide you through this complicated process and make things easier.

Do I Need a Texas Disability Lawyer?
Houston Statistics

Whether you grew up  here in the Bayou City or just in the Lone Star State, you know that everything is “bigger in Texas.” Houston is the largest city in Texas and keeps getting bigger.

Our city is home to about 2.3 million people, just in the city, making it the 4th most populated city in the US. (Harris County is the third-largest county in the country.) Houston saw an increase of over 11% in population from 2010 through the 2020 census. It’s expected that Houston will become the 3rd largest population in the US by 2030.

More than 145 languages are spoken here, with people visiting and moving in from nearly every country in the world. Both domestic and international inbound migration shows no signs of slowing down.

Why A Texas Disability Lawyer Can Help You

You aren’t required to have a lawyer file an application for disability, but it really helps. Dealing with a disability application can be frustrating if you decide to undertake it by yourself.

Something else to consider is that with more Houston and Texas residents, there are more people applying for disability here than ever before. What this also means for you is waiting longer for processing and a greater possibility of a denial of application.

The earlier you begin speaking with a disability lawyer, the better. Look for one that offers a free consultation like Herren Law does! Your case should be evaluated and then you should be told if you have a case upon which you can move to apply.  At Herren, we tell you what the procedure will be to apply.

Getting legal help increases your chances of approval in two ways:

• A  good disability lawyer will make sure that your application is done correctly and has everything you need to meet the criteria, (i.e., medical records) and

• You’re more likely to be approved by Social Security if you are represented by a disability lawyer.

If you haven’t spoken to a disability lawyer, go ahead and make an appointment now. Unless you’ve applied and are waiting for an answer from SSA, nearly anytime is a good time to make that call. Attorney William Herren has been helping Houston and Texas residents cut through red tape and get their disability benefits for more than 30 years.

Can I Afford A Texas Disability Lawyer?

If cost is what’s holding you back from considering legal counsel, don’t let it. Most charge little or no fees upfront, and the benefits of having representation will likely outweigh the costs.

That being said, fees for disability lawyers are set by federal law. A Texas disability lawyer can only charge a maximum of 25% of any back pay you receive, up to $6,000. This figure may be a little higher for an appeal, but the fees are capped at $6,000. You’re only charged fees if the attorney wins your case.

If you’re wondering, “where am I going to get $6,000?,”  we’ll explain. The lawyer’s payment comes from something called “back pay.” That’s the lump sum you’ll receive when your benefits begin. The amount will vary based on your monthly payments and the amount you would have received from the date of your application to the date that your monthly benefit payments begin.

For instance: If you apply for disability on January 1, but you aren’t approved to receive benefits until September 1, that’s nine months of benefits. Let’s say your benefits will amount to $700 a month. When you begin receiving your $700 per month benefits, you’ll also receive a lump-sum “backpay” of $6,300, or nine months of $700 monthly benefits from the day you applied.

Your attorney’s fee will be 25% of that back pay, or $1,575 for assistance with the application. You’ll still have $4,725 in backpay and then receive your $700 per month benefits every month.

If your backpay amount is higher, your fee will be higher, but generally not more than $6,000. Your lawyer should  explain this payment process in greater detail during your consultation.

Texas Disability Lawyer William Herren

Applying for a disability is not easy and, given the large population in Houston and Texas, getting it is even more difficult. At Herren Law, we’ve helped more than 4,000 people get the benefits they need. Mr. Herren and his staff are ready to help you with your initial application and ensure that your application is done correctly. If you have already been denied, discuss with us the appeal process.

Remember, call the Herren Law Firm today at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 to schedule your free consultation. We are very experienced in helping people successfully navigate through the disability application and appeals process, and we can help you too. Our contingency fee means you won’t have to pay until you start receiving benefits.

Is There an Age Limit for Long-Term Disability?

People wonder is there an age limit for long-term disability? Long-term disability is an insurance policy designed to replace your income so that you can pay your living expenses while you’re unable to work. Generally, the payments are about 60% of your income. They provide cash directly to you to pay your bills as you would if you were still working. You may also use it to cover new occupational training or other assistance you may need if you believe you will return to work later.

Is There an Age Limit for Long Term Disability?

This means that you can avoid burning through your savings for your retirement, your children’s education funds, or other future goals.

But is there an age limit for long-term disability? Will it last year, two years, or longer, or will you age out of your policy? There are several factors involved in any LTD policy, including an age limit.

How It Works

Most people have a long-term disability policy through their employer. Others, such as self-employed individuals, may purchase a policy on their own. In many cases, they are accompanied by short-term disability policies. Generally, when the short-term disability policy ends, usually within three to six months, or as long as twelve months, the long-term disability policy begins.

Long-term disability policies usually have a six-month waiting period before payments begin. This is because most people have a short-term disability policy already in place. Long-term disability policies are written to accommodate short-term policies.

Once the waiting period is over, your long-term disability benefits should begin. The benefits are supposed to be paid for as long as you are disabled. Of course, the length of your benefits will also depend on the type of disability you have, how long it’s expected to last, and how disabled you are. A policy that’s written so that you could perform any type of work is different from one that only pays when you are unable to work in your own occupation.

For someone who has a much longer disability, that either keeps them out long term or prevents them from returning to work permanently, the long-term disability policy generally pays for the rest of your disability.

The End Of The Policy

For the person who is disabled for the rest of their working life, a long-term disability policy will continue to pay until the individual is eligible for retirement. Once the individual reaches the point at which they would normally retire, the policy will end, and the status changes to “retired.” The now-former policyholder then begins receiving Social Security and other retirement funds. This can include a pension, a 401K, or other retirement supplements.

However, the age limit for the long-term disability policy will also depend on the policy itself. Some policies end at age 65 or 67 when most people are expected to retire. However, it is possible to purchase a long-term disability policy with an age limit of 70.

Some policies may change their benefit payment schedule if you are disabled after the age of 62. Benefits may be reduced, or given a limited number of months until you are eligible to retire. You can also voluntarily retire before you reach the end of your long-term disability benefits.

Other policies will indicate the number of months for which benefits are payable if you become disabled at or after the age of 65, such as 18 months. Again, this all depends on the individual policy. It’s important to review your policy to see if the insurer will consider your age when determining if you meet their definition of “disability.”

Your age may impact your ability to learn a new occupation or skills, especially if you have only worked in one field for most of your professional career. This may limit the alternative occupations that you may be able to perform after becoming disabled.

Your Houston LTD Disability Attorney

If you’re facing an absence from work due to a long-term disability but are having trouble with the insurer paying your benefits, we’re here to help. We can help with all facets including questions about  the age limit for long-term disability.

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians have received the LTD benefits they need. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you through the process, and give you one less thing to worry about. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees. We only collect if we win your case.

Call Now Button