Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Frequently Asked Questions

faq-img1. What type of services does The Cherry Firm offer?
2. When should I contact The Cherry Firm for representation in my disability case?
3. What is the advantage in having The Cherry Firm represent me now rather than waiting to see if my claim gets approved?
4. How do I know if I have a case?
5. How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my disability case? What if I can’t afford it?
6. What is ERISA and how does it affect my claim for benefits?
7. How could my claim be denied when I am unable to work?
8. What are the next steps after my claim for disability benefits is denied?
9. Do I have to go to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) that the insurance company is requesting I have done?

1. What type of services does The Cherry Firm offer?

Our firm has handled many ERISA and individual disability benefits and other issues that may arise in connection with these types of claims. We are capable of handling all aspects of your disability claim, from filing the initial application, handling appeals, and litigating your case in federal or state court.

2. When should I contact The Cherry Firm for representation in my disability case?

You should contact our firm right away if you intend on filing a disability claim, have already filed a claim and it was denied, are currently in the appeal process, or you are waiting on a decision from the insurance carrier. It is in your best interest to have an experienced attorney involved as early as possible in order to protect your rights against the disability insurance carrier. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not pay money out. Our firm is able to assist you during every step of the disability claims review and appeals process. Contact us for a free consultation.

3. What is the advantage in having The Cherry Firm represent me now rather than waiting to see if my claim gets approved?

We have successfully handled hundreds of disability cases and have the experience to ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire claims review process. By us being involved early, we are able to guide you through the claims review process with the insurance carrier and strengthening the chances of your claim being approved. We also help by keeping an organized, complete claims file in the event you have to file a lawsuit to recover your disability benefits. This is especially important in the case of an ERISA disability benefits lawsuit since the evidence before the court is usually limited to the claims file/administrative records.

4. How do I know if I have a case?

If your claim for benefits has been denied, our firm will review relevant documentation and make a determination of whether your case has merit. In cases concerning disability benefits, we will need to review the insurance policy at issue, medical records regarding your disabling condition, and any correspondence between you and the insurance carrier. Our attorneys will review your case free of charge. Should we determine your case has merit, our attorneys will aggressively move forward to protect your rights by filing an appeal with the insurance carrier or by filing suit in state or federal court.

5. How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my disability case? What if I can’t afford it?

Our firm handles cases on a contingency fee basis. Simply said, we only get paid when you get paid. Speak to one of our attorneys about the various options to structure a fee agreement that best suits your financial situation.

6. What is ERISA and how does it affect my claim for benefits?

ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act and it is a federal statute that governs the administration of employee benefit plans and the rights of the beneficiaries under the plan. If your policy (disability, life, etc.) is through your employer, then chances are it is governed by ERISA. Under ERISA, a participant or beneficiary may recover denied employee benefits through a civil action, but only after first exhausting the procedures, as found in the employee plan, by filing appeals with the insurance company.

7. How could my claim be denied when I am unable to work?

Insurance companies deny claims for disability benefits for a variety of reasons. However, they most often deny claims on the basis that the insured has not met the definition of “disability” as defined in the policy. A large number of claims are denied at the time when there is a change in the definition of disability from “your occupation” to “any occupation”.

8. What are the next steps after my claim for disability benefits is denied?

Once your claim has been denied, you must “exhaust all administrative remedies” with the insurance company before you are able to file a law suit. In other words, you must file a written appeal to the insurance company requesting your claim be reviewed. There are, however, exceptions to this requirement. For instance, exhaustion is not necessary where it would be futile for you to file an appeal. It is advisable to file an appeal to avoid the possibility of not being able to file a law suit against the insurance company. It also gives you an opportunity to provide updated medical information for the insurance company to consider.

9. Do I have to go to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) that the insurance company is requesting I ­have done?

Many long term disability policies have a provision that allows the insurer the right to have you examined by a physician of their choosing. If your policy has such a provision, then they have the right to have you examined. Insurance companies often attempt to expand upon that by trying to have you submit to a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) even though the policy only allows them to conduct an IME. While it is preferable to assist with the review of your claim, you do not have to submit to examinations or evaluations that may be painful or harmful to your well-being.