MESSA Long-Term Disability Denied? Here’s What You Can Do.
Teachers, administrators, curriculum consultants, school psychologists and other education professionals in Michigan public schools are fortunate in many ways to be able to get long-term disability insurance (LTD) through MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association).
When health problems force you off of work and into financially shaky territory, this kind of insurance—with regular checks to replace a significant portion of your income—helps you maintain the lifestyle you worked so hard to build.
And Michigan educators who get their long-term disability through MESSA even have some special legal rights above what employees in other fields get with their LTD through work.
But you can still get your long-term disability denied under MESSA. In fact, it happens a lot.
And the Michigan long-term disability lawyers at Levine Benjamin Law Firm have extensive experience helping school employees appeal these denials.
When you work in Michigan schools, your contributions to the success of our communities and our state are like no other.
If you were supposed to have coverage for medical interruptions to your livelihood through MESSA, and got your long-term disability claim denied, Levine Benjamin long-term disability attorneys are proud to fight for you to get the best possible result.
Getting Your Maximum Benefits
Get Help with MESSA Long-Term Disability Denials and Terminations
The Levine Benjamin long-term disability lawyers help in two major situations that educators face with insurance policies through MESSA:
- You made your initial claim for benefits, and they denied you.
- You were already receiving benefits, and they prematurely terminated them.
While MESSA is not an insurance company itself, it typically provides long-term disability coverage to Michigan educators through a well-known long-term disability insurance company, New York Life.
And New York Life, like other insurance companies, works to keep its expenses as low as possible, which means resisting granting claims.
Common long-term disability insurance company tactics include disputing your course of medical treatment, shifting the standard for what it considers a qualifying “disability” after a period of time, and making you think you can appeal a benefits denial just by writing a letter.
This is important: Don’t appeal your long-term disability denial on your own.
If you just write a letter back protesting your denial, you may miss the chance in the insurance company’s administrative process to add stronger medical evidence or make other moves to increase your chances of the insurer granting benefits.
Get an attorney who knows how best to respond.
An experienced attorney will also know what options you may have if the insurance carrier says, usually after 24 months, that you now must be unable to work any job in the world to keep getting benefits—instead of simply being unable to continue in the same job in the schools that you held before.
Do you need to learn more before deciding how to proceed?
You can have an initial conversation with a Levine Benjamin Michigan long-term disability lawyer at no obligation or costs to you.
Michigan Educators Denied Long-Term Disability Under MESSA Have Special Rights
Good news: As a professional in Michigan public schools, you have more legal options when your long-term disability benefits are denied than many other kinds of workers.
That’s because most people who get this kind of insurance through their jobs have policies that fall under a federal law called ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act).
When people with ERISA policies need to take their insurance denials to court, they are limited to filing paperwork with a judge. They don’t get the avenues of hearings, trials and even juries.
But long-term-disability policies for educators in Michigan, provided through MESSA, are not subject to the rules of ERISA.
That means you have similar rights as anyone in a civil legal action. You could take the insurance company to court, and to a trial in front of a jury, if that becomes necessary.
Often, cases involving coverage through MESSA settle for more than other long-term disability cases.
The three main goals of most appeals of long-term disability benefits are usually reversal of an initial denial, reinstatement of ongoing benefits and cash settlements.
The complexity of determining the best course for you is another reason not to appeal your long-term disability denial on your own.
Experienced disability attorneys know this landscape. And you pay no fee for an attorney until you win your claim.
Getting a Levine Benjamin Long-Term Disability Lawyer for Your MESSA Insurance Denial
Levine Benjamin disability lawyers live and work in Michigan, too.
Long-term disability cases involving MESSA are special to Michigan.
You want an attorney with the right experience for your claim. Our long-term disability lawyer, Don Busta has seen plenty of MESSA cases.
Overall, he’s helped thousands of people in a two-decade legal career.
When you’re trying to secure your long-term disability insurance benefits, you may also apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is a complicated process all on its own.
Our Social Security Disability law firm is one of the largest in Michigan and the country.
You can work with our disability lawyers on both kinds of disability income support (LTD and SSDI), and coordinating the two.
We’re here for people in Detroit, Warren, Oakland County, Flint, Saginaw, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and all of Michigan.
If you’re an educator who got your job-based long-term disability coverage through MESSA, and now you find your career disrupted by health impairments, let us help you protect your rights to a more secure financial future.