Aid and attendance benefits could be denied for a number of reasons, but you have legal recourse in Michigan if the benefits are turned down. Contact an attorney for assistance with your benefits, but use the following steps to plan your next steps when you are denied the benefits you believe you deserve.
#1: Collect Your Documents
The documentation you have pertaining to your benefits must be collected prior to a visit to an attorney. Attorneys in Michigan have an ethical obligation to review your case before continuing, and your documentation will help give your attorney an idea of what your case entails. Cases that have no merits must be declined, but a case that has some merit will be pursued vigorously by your attorney.
#2: Attorney Contact
Your attorney will contact the necessary parties for a full explanation of your denial. The aid and attendance benefits you have been denied have a monetary value that your attorney can pinpoint. Your attorney will contact the necessary parties to discuss the details of the case, and the discovery phase of the case will begin immediately.
#3: Filing Suit
Your lawyer is free to file suit on your behalf at any time, and the lawsuit will detail the value of the benefits you are seeking. You may request full coverage, the value of the benefits or specific damages. You have a chance to settle with your employer before the case goes to court.
#4: Settlement Negotiations
Settlement negotiations may begin with your lawyer at any time. A settlement will not be reached without your approval, and your employer will come to an agreement with your attorney. The agreement is legally binding, and you will stay out of court over this matter. Any settlement that you believe is not strong enough can be denied, and your lawyer will take the case to court.
#5: Court Proceedings
Your lawyer can let you know your chances in court, and the court case will be argued before a jury of your peers. The jury will decide the disposition of the case, and the jury will choose to award damages at the close of the case. A court case will take much longer than a settlement, and you will be asked to pay for court costs if you lose your case.
#6: Moving On
You may not want the benefits provided by your employer when the case is over. You may choose to take the cash value of the benefits from your employer, and you may move on from your employer altogether. It is best for both parties to come to a mutual agreement, and your lawyer will ask you to take a settlement when a court case may be too stressful for you.
The benefits you deserve from your employer may be denied initially, but you have a chance to recover those benefits with the help of a lawyer. An attorney who assists you with your benefits can file suit, settle the case and argue your case in court if it comes to that.