When you apply for ERISA benefits, you know that you need to be approved and you feel that your case is straightforward. Then the case gets denied. Instead of assuming that’s the end — as some people mistakenly do — you know that the government understands that a denial can be a massive issue for someone in your position. Even a delay can be hugely problematic. You do have the option to appeal the decision.
You may be tempted to go into that appeal on your own. Perhaps you think you can update the files or fix the paperwork and show why your claim should be approved. You recognize that you made a mistake with the initial application and you’re confident you can fix it on your own. But is this a wise move?
You may do more harm than good
The problem here is that you can really harm your own position. You already lost the initial request. If you appeal and then lose the appeal as well — perhaps for similar reasons or new ones entirely — it can seriously damage your case. Once you realize that you have made a mistake, it’s already too late and the appeal has been lost.
Instead, it’s important to learn as much as you can about this legal process. Having an experienced team on your side can help tremendously. You know that you’re not going to accidentally damage your own position.
Things are already not going the way that you planned, but that doesn’t mean you have no hope for the future. Just don’t compound the damage and potentially make it impossible to get the assistance you so desperately need.