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Erin R. Ronstadt

Erin Ronstadt’s Answers

3 total

  • Hi... I am 34yrs old I have really BAD carpal tunnel in both of my hands and on my right hand the pain has gone up to my forearm

    my carpal tunnel is really bad , at night i cant sleep at all.... i feel like my fingers are going to burst open because they are so numb an I have so much pressure (OUCH)... I can run them under HOT water and and it wont even burn! I drop stuff a...

    Erin’s Answer

    As you are experiencing firsthand, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be a very disabling illness. Does the pain from your carpal tunnel syndrome prevent you from working? If so, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration and/or through any long-term disability benefits with your employer. The definition for disability varies, however, depending on which entity is providing the benefits. My law firm services Tuscon and handles disability benefits. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can answer any further questions for you regarding this issue. Best of luck!

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  • Can I collect private LTD payments as well as SSA simultaneously?

    I am appealing the carrier of my LTD payments as they cancelled my payments without notice. If they reinstate my payments, can I collect the LTD payments as well as the SSA if I am not collecting SSDI without the offset issue?

    Erin’s Answer

    First off, you should contact the administrator of your LTD benefits and find out why your LTD benefits were terminated BEFORE you appeal. You should receive a denial letter explaining the reasons for termination, and if your benefits are governed by the federal statute ERISA, you have the right to request your entire claim file before you file any appeals. It is imperative that you address your LTD termination and complete any necessary appeals within the mandated deadline, which is typically 180 days. I recommend consulting with an LTD attorney on this issue ASAP, and I strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney before submitting any appeals on the LTD matter.

    Secondly, the answer to your question about simultaneously collecting LTD and SSA can most likely be found in the policy documents that govern your LTD benefits. Most LTD policies offset LTD benefits by SSA benefits, but typically, SSA benefits are less than the monthly LTD benefit. Therefore, claimants frequently receive both LTD and SSA payments at the same time. Even if your SSA benefits are MORE than your LTD benefit, many LTD policies have a minimum monthly benefit, so you would still be entitled to LTD benefits each month under the policy.

    Are you not collecting SSDI? Even if you are not, your LTD policy may take an offset for other income benefits, which can include other SSA benefits. If you have not already done so, you should make sure to get a copy of your LTD policy. You can send a written request to your employer for the policy documents; an attorney who specializes in this area can guide you on exactly what to request and how to interpret your policy regarding the offset issue.

    My best advice would be to speak with a lawyer who specializes in ERISA law. Make sure you are exercising all of your rights on appeal, and that you request your policy documents from your employer.

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  • I have an appeal with a private insurance company for depression & chronic fatigue. I don't know what to do.

    I have been out on disability over a year. I am on my last appeal with a private insurance company. When I showed my doctor the denial letters they would tell me either they didn't say what the insurance company said or the insurance company was w...

    Erin’s Answer

    You are wise to look for an attorney at this stage. Although I would need more information, there is a strong likelihood that your claim for benefits is governed by ERISA. If you are in your final stages of appeal, it is important that you exercise your rights under ERISA if you have not already done so. For example, you have the right to request your entire claim file from the insurance company, as well as request important documents from your employer regarding your plan. The appeals stage is your opportunity to build a record in support of your disability, so you should file supplemental documentation along with this appeal. A competent attorney can help you with this process.

    Often, the reasons for the denial are in direct contradiction to your treating physicians’ opinions, fail to consider the side effects of your medication regime, or demand objective evidence where none is available to prove your conditions. The insurance company will frequently “cherry pick” reasons to deny or terminate your claim, even retaining an “independent” medical reviewer to find against you, despite the fact you have never been personally evaluated by that reviewer. Often, these denials are in direct contradiction to the medical evidence and even in violation of the law. It sounds like you are experiencing some of these issues, and an attorney will be able to help you address these issues.

    You are more than welcome to contact my firm for more information. Alternatively, you should search for attorneys who practice disability and ERISA law. I wish you the best of luck and hope this helps.

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