15436 North Florida Ave. , Suite 103
Tampa, Florida 33613
813-935-7030

Should I File For Disability

HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I SHOULD FILE FOR DISABILITY? I have a disability policy that I’m paying in to out of my paychecks every week at work. I don’t feel well and I think I would like to stop working and try to open a disability claim. Should I call an attorney to see if I qualify for disability? Do these apply to your situation?  Are you consideri ...

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Social Security and Long Term Disability Catch-22

THAT’S SOME CATCH, THAT CATCH 22 Approved for social security, but denied on your long-term disability claim? Catch-22 is the title of a novel written by Joseph Heller in 1961.  It refers to a paradoxical rule which prevents any successful resolution.  Insurance companies sometimes take this approach to social security disability when it comes to r ...

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Labor Day 2017

September 4, 2017 is Labor Day.  While the United States sits back, relaxes, and remembers the American labor movement and all working people, our office will also be remembering our clients.  All of our clients used to work at one point, and all of them would still be working if they could. So cheers to all those who can still work, and to all of ...

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Solar Eclipse 2017

From Wikipedia: On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in totality within a band across the entire contiguous United States; it will only be visible in other countries as a partial eclipse.  The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse. A so ...

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Pre-Existing Conditions

Understanding the Pre-Existing Conditions Clause  If a person makes a claim within a certain period after obtaining disability coverage (usually within the first year, but every policy is different and has its own language which governs pre-existing conditions) then the insurer will look to see if the person was treated for the same medical conditi ...

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Love and Disability

IT’S NOT EASY Becoming disabled can create untold pressure on people.  Losing one’s ability to work can impact identity, many disabling medical conditions involve chronic daily pain, some impact mobility, many medications have side effects, some disabling medical conditions & medications can impact cognition and memory, and reduced income can s ...

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What Happens On A Final Denial

What happens when the insurance company denies your claim? Clients often come to us while still in the administrative process with the insurance company.  This means the client still has at least one more appeal to the insurance company to review the medical evidence and make a decision to overturn the denial.  With respect to cases governed by the ...

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Working With Disability

Can I Do Some Type of Work While My Appeal Is Considered? This question is best answered in layers.  First and foremost, we get it.  We know that it is difficult to go months with zero income.  We understand that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make ends meet and keep a roof over your head.  On the other hand, often the effect on yo ...

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4th of July 2017

Happy Independence Day from Coffman Law Coffman Law is a litigation law firm in Tampa, Florida that handles cases which usually fall under the ERISA statute for short-term and long-term disability insurance policies.  When someone works for an employer, they are sometimes offered multiple benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, dental in ...

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If You Had One Wish…

You just found a magical genie lamp. If you had one wish, and could have anything you wanted, what would you wish for?  Wealth?  Love?  Fame?  We know the answer to this question for nearly all of our clients and people who contact us.  If they had one wish, it would be for their health.  Be thankful every day for what you have and for your health. ...

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Memorial Day 2017

All Gave Some, Some Gave All. On this Memorial Day, Coffman Law honors the memory of the men and women of the armed forces who laid down their lives in the service and defense of our country, offers our deepest condolences to the families and friends they left behind, and expresses our sincere appreciation to all who served our nation to maintain i ...

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This Storm, Too, Shall Pass

Florida receives a lot of storms. There are seasons when the rain seems to come once a day. The clouds get dark, the thunder rolls in, and the sky begins to pour down rain on everything below. Many of our clients at Coffman Law are dealing with life-long disabling conditions. This BLOG is just a quick note to remind you that, even if it’s pou ...

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FRESH DENIAL LETTERS ARE BEST

With an ERISA denial, most people are afforded 180 days to appeal the denial in the administrative process. While 180 days may seem like a lot, the process of interviewing a potential client, sending and receiving a fee agreement, sending out a letter of representation, obtaining the claim file and reviewing it, and then proceeding to gather all ev ...

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Cutting Back To Get Through

The majority of our clients begin the process amidst a financial struggle. By the time someone comes to Coffman Law, it usually means they have been out of work, applied for disability benefits, and been denied. This means that some time has gone by since they received a pay check or benefits of any kind. Our firm does our best to get our clients m ...

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DO I HAVE TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?

For people applying for disability insurance benefits, there is no easy answer to this question. As a general rule, employer-disability insurance benefits (those governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or Federal “ERISA” statute) usually provide for what are called “Other Income Offsets”. This means ...

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Attending Physician Statements

ERISA Disability Insurance Applications generally come in three parts: Employee Statements, Employer Statements, and Attending Physician Statements. The Employee (you) completes the Employee Statement. Your employer completes the Employer Statement. Your treating physician completes the Attending Physician Statement. But there is a simple, non-obvi ...

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Obtaining ERISA Plan Documents

It’s hard to know your rights under a disability insurance contract without a copy of the contract. Fortunately, if you have a disability insurance contract through your employment, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) provides you with access to what is called a Summary Plan Description of the contract, w ...

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Don’t Be Surprised By Other Income Offsets

You finally made it! You gathered all medical evidence and doctor support to show you are disabled and the insurance company agreed and has decided to pay. When the day finally arrives, you walk to your mailbox, and there it is. The envelope with the insurance company’s name on the outside, which holds your big check on the inside. Now, when ...

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KEEPING IT COOL CAN GO A LONG WAY

Our staff has reviewed many thousands of denied long-term disability insurance claims over the years, and while calling an attorney is one of the best things you can do once you have received a denial letter from a long-term disability insurer, there is another thing you can do on your own that runs a close second. It is exactly the opposite of wha ...

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ERISA PRE-EMPTION JUST GOT BROADER

ERISA has one of the broadest pre-emption clauses of any Federal statute. This means that any state law seeking to regulate an employee benefit plan is likely, with very narrow exceptions, to be pushed aside by the federal statute which governs employee benefit plans, the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 “ERISA.” In Gobeille v L ...

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HOOPS AND HELP

Navigating through the process of private disability insurance can be disconcerting. The constant barrage of requests from the insurance company and steps you must complete can seem daunting. This is part of a process which makes many abandon their disability benefits claims. If you are in your initial application phase, do the best you can to keep ...

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OVERCOMING THE WORDS

“I don’t want to be considered disabled. I worked hard all my life and I don’t like the stigma that comes with the word ‘disability’.” Some people may not want to pursue their disability insurance claim because of the terminology. Keep in mind that policies typically specify a length of time that qualifies as ...

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WHEN IS A WIN A WIN FOR ERISA ATTORNEYS’ FEES?

In Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., 560 U. S. 242, 251 (2010), the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that an ERISA claimant need not be a prevailing party in order to qualify for attorney’s fees under ERISA. Instead, the Court in Hardt held that it was sufficient for the ERISA claimant to obtain “some success on the ...

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Don’t Weather The Storm Alone

As Tropical Storm Colin moves in on Florida, it makes one think of how life can be while dealing with a disability and the insurance companies. Everything can be going fine one day, and then suddenly the rain is pouring, the winds are blowing, and everything seems dark and grey. Local agencies in our area offer sandbags and resources to help with t ...

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Assume Big Brother is Watching

From time to time, insurance companies may use the services of a private investigator to conduct surveillance on a claimant. While this isn’t something to live in fear of, it is something to recognize. Surveillance may result in subjective video that could cause your benefits to be denied or terminated. While you might reasonably assume that ...

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Always Make Sure the Doctor Knows Everything

If you are seeking disability due to a number of ailments, you are probably seeing specialists for your issues. Always keep in mind that just because you go to your PCP for a common cold, doesn’t mean that your answer, when asked about the reason for your visit, should stop at “I have a cold”. State everything you are suffering fr ...

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Social Media Is Part of the Picture

What you post on the web can hurt your disability insurance claim. Many people overlook the impact of photos. Not only can current photos hurt your claim, but photos from past life events can hurt your chances of obtaining benefits. Remember, a claim manager may not notice the date stamp on a profile picture depicting you white water rafting, taken ...

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