If you are unable to work, long term disability benefits provided through your employer help offset lost wages. Sadly, due to mistakes during the application process, insurance companies end up denying many claims. Remember, you must persuade the insurer that you meet the standard of disability in your policy or plan in order to obtain long term disability benefits. Typically, you must prove that you can’t perform the material duties of your regular occupation. To make its decision, the insurer will rely heavily on your application and supporting materials. If you would like to know what common mistakes to avoid when filing for long term disability benefits, please read on, then contact one of our experienced nation-wide LTD benefit lawyers today. Here are the mistakes you should avoid making:
Not filing a claim within the required time frames
Most long term disability policies require a claimant to submit a Notice of Claim within twenty or thirty days from the date of disability. The Notice of Claim informs the insurer that you intend to submit a claim. Afterward, the insurer will send you the claim forms. Within ninety days, you must complete and return the forms to the insurer. Failing to do so in a timely manner will cost you your eligibility.
Not properly documenting your disability
The insurer will want to know why you could work one day and could no longer work a day later. If you can still drive, shop and do other activities of daily life, but not the Material Duties of your job, your insurer will require an explanation. You must provide them a narrative with a complete medical history and records that establish your disability. Your insurer will demand objective evidence such as:
- Test results, i.e. MRIs, X-rays, blood tests, et cetera
- Your doctor’s clinical observations
- A functional capacity evaluation by a psychiatrist or physical therapist
- An evaluation from a vocational expert
- Statements from coworkers describing your difficulties at work
- Neuropsychological testing or a SPECT brain scan
- Photos and/or videos of your disabling condition
Not communicating with your insurer
After you file your claim, keep an eye out for any correspondence you receive from the insurer. Open mail immediately and return phone calls promptly. Your insurer may reach out to you to clarify a matter pertaining to your claim, to request additional documentation or to schedule a visit with one of their medical providers. Failing to communicate could result in a denial of your claim
Your disability falls under policy exclusions
Prior to filing a claim, take the time to thoroughly read through all of your policy documents. Your employer must provide free copies at your request. Pay special attention to the Summary of Benefits to verify your condition is covered.
If you have any further questions or would like help filing a claim, please call one of our skilled long term disability insurance attorneys immediately.
Contact our experienced nationwide firm
If you or someone you know is looking to receive long term disability benefits, contact Walker & Hern for a free consultation.