Has Your Long-Term Disability Insurance Claim Been Denied?
Ask a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Legal Advice
Long-term disability insurance can be particularly useful for people who work high-risks jobs. In fact, many employers in fields of hazardous occupations now offer long-term disability insurance, though it might be a good idea for a worker to secure their own. Long-term disability can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, and more. It’s important to remember that a disability must be officially evaluated and recognized before someone can begin receiving disability insurance benefits, so it’s important to see a doctor about your injury as soon as possible.
Difficulties can arise when an employer or insurance company denies an injured worker’s request for long-term disability insurance. While some denials may occur due to a disability that has not been officially recognized, it is not uncommon for disability claims to be unjustly denied in an attempt to save the insurance company’s money. If you or a loved one were wrongly denied long-term disability insurance benefits, reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation and learn more about your options for recovery.
Denied Claims for Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits Can Be Appealed
If you or a loved one were wrongly denied long-term disability insurance benefits, this isn’t necessarily the end of the road in your search for compensation. Most policies allow for one or more appeals to be made against the denial. An appeal is essentially a second look at the decision to deny or approve an injured person’s disability claim.
It can be extremely difficult to prove that a disability is officially recognized and is long-term, so it’s a good idea to involve an attorney at this point, especially if you have already been denied once. A worker’s compensation attorney will have the resources and know-how to collect the evidence you need to prove your eligibility for long-term disability benefits.
Let’s go over some important tips to remember when appealing a denied long-term disability insurance claim:
- Request a copy of the official policy. Obtaining a copy of the long-term disability policy itself can allow you to read it in detail and compare it with your situation to assess whether your denial was wrongful or not. If a policy is unclear, reach out to an attorney who will be more familiar with the language and can interpret it for you.
- Read the denial letter. This letter should detail the reasons why someone’s long-term disability claim was denied. If the reasons are inaccurate or fabricated, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- File an appeal quickly. It’s important to file an appeal as soon as possible after the initial denial. There is a time limit after which an appeal cannot be made, so it’s important to be prompt when handling matters like this.
- Obtain the necessary reports. Two reports that are common and necessary to the long-term disability claims process are referred to as a functional capacity evaluation report, and a vocational expert report. These reports can be made by a physical therapist and vocation expert, and can be organized by an attorney if you should choose to involve one, which is highly recommended. It will also be helpful to keep a copy of all medical records, tests, and even witness testimonies on hand to help prove your case.
- Avoid discussing your situation. It’s important to refrain from discussing your situation, including your disability and pursuit of insurance benefits. You never know when your words can be used against you in unexpected ways. This includes refraining from discussing long-term disability insurance with your doctor until it has been secured.
- Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. It’s a good idea to talk to a workers’ compensation before applying for long-term disability insurance benefits, but even if a denial has already occurred it’s not too late. These attorneys know what kind of evidence an insurance provider wants to see before approving a claim and can help you obtain it as quickly as possible. Many of these attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so money shouldn’t be an issue. Don’t try to appeal a denied long-term disability claim on your own.
A Personal Injury Claim May be Viable if the Injury was Caused by Negligence.
Another option to consider when seeking compensation after an injury which led to a long-term disability is that of a personal injury claim. If your disability occurred as a result of your employer’s negligence or was caused by a third party, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim. Damages in a personal injury claim which could be useful in the case of a long-term disability include future predicted expenses, such as future medical bills, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, and even costs related to rehabilitative therapy. If you think you may have a personal injury claim for an injury which caused long-term disability, reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation.
If you or a loved one have filed a long-term disability insurance claim, and that claim has been denied, reach out to a workers’ compensation to discuss appealing the decision. Additionally, if you suspect your disability occurred due to another party’s negligence, explore alternative options for recovery by seeking legal counsel.