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

Small Business Saturday

Small business Saturday will be on November 24, 2018.  Coffman Law definitely qualifies to take part in the celebration of small business success. Coffman Law is a small firm that started in 2003 and has 5 employees (including the attorney).  This allows us to treat all our clients as individuals and know and address them by name and be familiar wi ...

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Love Your Lawyer Day 2018

Today is Love Your Lawyer Day! To celebrate, and share the love, we’re posting a short piece about our managing partner of Coffman Law, William S. Coffman Jr. Let’s talk about our lawyer, William Coffman.  Mr. Coffman started Coffman Law in 2003 and has practiced disability insurance litigation, primarily under the ERISA statute, since its in ...

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Treasure Hunt

Do You Have Unclaimed Money? Ready for a treasure hunt?  Most of the clients we represent are amidst one of the biggest financial struggles of their lives.  We have made a separate BLOG article with ideas on how to save money and get through the tough times.  But we would also like to direct our Florida clients to a website to check and see if ther ...

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Contingency Based Fee Agreements

Contingent on Contingency A contingency fee agreement means that the attorney only gets paid if they obtain money for you.  When it comes to ERISA disability law, signing a contract with a lawyer willing to work on a contingency basis has certain advantages.   ERISA disability cases are governed by a federal statute that controls the amount of ...

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Duty to Provide Medical Evidence Doesn’t End on Approval

Duty to Provide Medical Evidence Doesn’t End on Approval Some people believe that if they are awarded disability benefits from a private insurance company that their responsibility to continue to prove they cannot work is over.  However, the duty to provide medical evidence doesn’t end on approval.   The insurance company will want continued p ...

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Appealing a Disability Claim

Appealing a Disability Claim Appealing a disability claim should not be just a matter of sending in a letter that says, “I appeal”.  The disability insurance company may render a final denial based on the reasons set forth in the original denial letter.  While you can find a list of reasons we have compiled as to why your claim may have been denied ...

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4th of July 2018

Happy 4th of July 2018! 4th of July 2018 falls on a Wednesday this year.  While you kick back with friends, family, loved ones, or even by yourself, please be careful so there is not a need to open a new disability claim!  The good news is that we’ll be open and ready to help the next day if you need us. Wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day fr ...

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International Women’s Day

Coffman Law Celebrates International Women’s Day March 8 is International Women’s Day.  We are celebrating International Women’s Day and acknowledging all the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. At Coffman Law, our workforce is 60% driven by women, with our paralegal in her final year of law school and ...

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Disability Cases Under the ERISA Statute

DISABILITY CASES UNDER THE ERISA STATUTE ERISA litigation can be challenging. You don’t get a jury – your case is generally heard by a federal judge. There is usually no live witness testimony – your case is generally heard on what is called a closed administrative record, meaning only the documents the administrator has upon making a final decisio ...

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Should I File For Disability

SHOULD I 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 considering applying for ...

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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?  Welcome to the catch-22. 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 dis ...

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Labor Day 2017

Labor Day 2017 will be on September 4, 2017.  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, a ...

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Solar Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse – 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 ...

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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

Love and Disability – It’s Not Easy Love and relationships are challenging enough as it is.  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, while some impact mobility.  Many medications have side effects.   Some di ...

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What Happens On A Final Denial

What happens when the insurance company gives you a final denial on 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 resp ...

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Working With Disability

Is Working Allowed While My Appeal Is Considered? Working while applying for or receiving disability is a topic we are sometimes asked about.  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 ...

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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.  Make a wish! If you 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.  Ou ...

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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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Know Your Doctor, Check the Instructions and Read Your Records

Be sure you are comfortable with the doctor you have chosen.  Read some reviews on the doctor to see if other patients like you have had successful outcomes.  Have a good idea of what to expect after the procedure.  It is usually much easier to prepare for post-procedure instructions before you actually have the procedure.  It is very important to ...

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This Storm, Too, Shall Pass

Quick Word of Encouragement For Those Facing a Storm Florida receives a lot of storms.  There are months when it will storm almost daily. There are seasons when the rain seems to come non-stop. 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 lif ...

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FRESH DENIAL LETTERS ARE BEST

Fresh Denial Letters A fresh denial letter would be a letter that you just received in the mail. 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 o ...

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Cutting Back To Get Through

Ideas From Our Firm To Help During the Financial Struggle 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 benefit ...

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DO I HAVE TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?

Does Applying for or Receiving Disability Benefits From Insurance Company Mean You Have To Apply For Social Security? Some clients ask us, “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 insuranc ...

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Attending Physician Statements

Advice for Attending Physician Statements (APS Forms) 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 Attendin ...

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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

Offsets Explained Before we get in to offsets, let’s talk about your disability benefits that you applied for.  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 ...

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KEEPING IT COOL CAN GO A LONG WAY

Remaining Calm Despite Adversity You may find yourself so furious with the insurance company that you can barely think straight, but you will benefit immeasurably from calming down before you speak to the insurance company representatives and remaining calm during the conversation. Our staff has reviewed many thousands of denied long-term disabilit ...

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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.  It may seem like the insurance company is always making you jump through hoops. This is part of a process which makes many abandon their disability benefits ...

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OVERCOMING THE WORDS

Some people may not want to pursue their disability insurance claim because of the terminology.  “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’.” 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?

How a Remand Can Affect Your Attorney Fees An ERISA judge can remand (or send back) a case to the insurance company for further review. 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’ ...

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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

Things to know about insurance company surveillance 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 o ...

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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”.  Make the doctor aware of and state ...

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Social Media Is Part of the Picture

Social Media and Your Disability Claim What you post on the web can hurt your short or long term 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 ...

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