Long-Term Disability Claims
A long term disability may begin suddenly, starting with a heart attack, car accident or an injury at work. Other long term disabilities become apparent gradually, such as cancer or M.S., perhaps starting with fatigue, unresolved pain and a host of unnamed or invisible symptoms that last for months before being diagnosed.
When Things Get Worse
For people, who are disabled, the stress of illness is magnified by the worry of stacks of bills and no income. A long-term disability often prevents people from doing regular at home chores or errands. Many people report feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. They report inability to sleep yet feeling tired all the time.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Luckily, most people will be eligible for income through long term insurance benefits through their car insurance policy, a group policy at work, a travel plan, a rider on their mortgage or bank loan, or individual disability coverage they have purchased.
Relief Can Be Short Lived
When you are facing a long-term disability it is a huge relief to know you will be able to get disability benefits. Even though you still have the challenge of dealing with the disability, just knowing you can count on an adequate income, provides hope. For many disabled clients and their families, the relief is short lived. While there is no doubt these individuals are disabled and cannot do their job, the insurance company seems to be putting them off…not returning calls…hard to get in touch with…giving vague answers or flat out denying their claim.
While it is frustrating and energy draining to be given the run around by the insurance company, it is a common tactic. If they drag their feet enough or are able to convince you that you do not have the rights to claim, you might give up and go away. They want you to give up. It would be perfect for the insurance company if you did, but do not give up.
It’s hard to be in pain and uncertain of what medical and therapeutic intervention will be required to get you better or long it will take. For some people the prognosis is positive and healing will come over time. For others, there is no cure and the pain and disability must be minimized and managed through medical interventions such as surgeries, medication, therapy and counseling. Insurance companies know that a long-term disability can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and will be more expensive for younger claimants with longer to live.
Even if the insurance company does not deny your claim, they will often take advantage of your vulnerability and try to make a quick, low, settlement with you. They can mitigate their pay-out, that way while giving you the peace of mind of a settlement, that only appears to be fair.
Many of our clients were denied or had their long-term disability benefits minimized by the insurance company, before coming to us for help. We are familiar with the common excuses used by insurance companies to deny long- term disability claims. The conversation between the insurance company and an experienced lawyer is very different from what happens between the insurance professional and the inexperienced, vulnerable claimant. We will not give up
Common grounds for denying a claim:
- Your disability does not fit the criteria for disability coverage under the terms of your policy
- Errors made by the claimant in filling out the original claim
- Errors or omissions in the doctor’s paperwork
- Refusal or late arrival, of the claimant, to Independent Medical Exams, which have been arranged by the insurance company
- Surveillance videos or photos of claimant engaged in activities he stated he was not medically able to do
- Failure to meet time limits
The insurance company may or may not be correct in saying your policy does not cover a particular condition. These policies are usually written in long drawn out legal terms. An experienced disability lawyer could look over your policy and help to sort out any misunderstanding. An experienced lawyer can help you fill out the claim forms and help you avoid common pitfalls. Any forms from your doctor must be correct and complete. Your future income can depend on it. We can help you let your doctor know how important it is to take the time necessary for his complete and detailed notes. Insurance companies commonly hire someone to watch claimants. It is important to be completely honest about your disabilities and the effect on your life. In some cases, innocent photos may be used against you. Even though these photos are often taken out of context, the insurance company hopes they will be damaging to your lawsuit. There are strictly enforced time limits involved. If you fail to meet the time limits as stipulated in your contract, there is usually no recourse.
If you think the insurance company is treating you unfairly, you are not alone. We can help determine whether or not you have a case. There is no fee for the initial meeting and no commitment necessary on your part to hire us. If you have valid rights to claim for your long-term disability we will represent your case with no charge for our services until your case has been settled.