How DarrasLaw Can Help Bulletproof Your Individual or Group Long-Term Disability Insurance Claim
Disability is a source of anxiety for many families. Even if it’s only a short-term disability, severe consequences can result if a sickness or accident prevents you from earning a living. On top of the loss of income, you may lose the ability to care for those people who depend on you, your job, or both.
Long-term disability is even more worrisome.
Some Americans are fortunate enough to have individual or group long-term disability insurance policies that protect their income in the event of disability. These disability policies certainly should provide peace of mind, but the policy is no good if your individual or group long-term disability insurance company wrongfully delays, denies, or terminates your valid claim. You need to understand how the individual or group long-term disability policy works, how the insurance company handles claims like yours, and what you need to do to get your valid individual or group disability claim paid in a timely, good-faith manner.
Understand Who You Are Dealing With
To stay in business, disability insurance companies need to take in more money in premium payments than they pay out in disability claims. Billion dollar disability insurance companies have powerful incentives to deny as many valid disability claims as they can, including yours, unless you handle your claim very carefully.
Documentation Is Everything
People who get sick or injured may think that they’ll go back to work in a couple of days. Eventually, some find themselves out of sick leave but unable to return to work. At this point, the reality of a lengthy disability begins to set in, which can overwhelm anyone.
If you’re facing a potential disability claim, keep good records and careful notes. Do your best to document the following facets of your disability accurately:
- Take detailed notes of every conversation you have with your insurance company. In particular, make sure to record the date and time of the conversation, whom you spoke with and the content of the conversation.
- To prevent “he said she said” eliminate any miscommunication by requesting your carrier to put all their questions to you in writing.
- Make notes concerning how and when the injury or illness began that led to your disability.
- Document the frequency and intensity of your restrictions and limitations.
- Keep a daily journal regarding the various symptoms—pain, stiffness, effects on sleep, and so on. Make a note of whether you are improving or getting worse.
- As part of your daily journal, keep notes of the treatments and medications you’ve tried and whether it has any effect, positive or negative.
- Keep detailed notes regarding how your condition impairs your ability to reliably perform the important duties of your occupation and how it affects your day-to-day activities of daily living.
Even though you’re suffering now, your memory will surely fade with time, and the daily disability details will become hazy. Careful contemporaneous documentation can help keep your memory fresh and preserve a detailed, accurate picture of your valid individual or group disability claim along with your physical and mental restrictions and limitations.
Your treating physician’s chart notes, complete medical records and testing, pharmacy records, and your treating doctor’s detailed opinion on why you are unable to perform the important duties of your occupation will help a valid individual or group disability claim succeed. Keep all copies in a safe place so that you can easily find and supply them when you need to. Without compelling medical evidence and objective proof, your disability insurance provider will almost certainly deny your valid individual or group disability claim.
Make sure that the medical records reflect how your condition affects your ability to reliably perform the important duties of your occupation. It’s not enough to simply document your injury or illness and the effects on your general health. To prevail on a valid individual or group long-term disability claim, your treating physician needs to document that you are unable to perform the important duties of your occupation. Your treating doctor’s report should include an explicit recommendation that you do not return to work in your occupation or any other work by marrying the physical and mental demands of work with your disabling medical problems.
The top-ranked long-term disability lawyers and skilled national ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw know how to frame your medical issues so your case is as strong as occupationally and medically possible. We can help you and your treating doctors fight wrongful delays, denials, and terminations of individual or group long-term benefits based on the proper presentation of your medical evidence.
Cooperate With Your Insurance Company in Good Faith
At this point, you may wonder whether you should talk to your insurance company at all. Remain wary, but give your full cooperation. Promptly respond to all communications and provide copies of any documents or other information it needs after running any requests by your long-term disability lawyer.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself while dealing with your disability insurance company:
- Whenever possible, communicate with the insurance company in writing. Your carrier will most likely attempt to communicate with you via phone. Politely tell them to send you their questions, and after you have had time and help to review the requests, send your response via email.
- The insurance company can use anything you say to deny your valid individual or group disability claim. As a result, choose your words very carefully. Answer only the question asked, and avoid the temptation to expand on your initial answer or to go into unnecessary details.
- We cannot overemphasize the need for the thorough claim documentation. Keep careful notes concerning all conversations you have with insurance company representatives. Save all emails and other written correspondence.
- Consult DarrasLaw. DarrasLaw can help you and your treating doctors present the proper medical and occupational evidence to your disability carrier. Our top-ranked long-term disability attorneys and nationally recognized ERISA disability lawyers know what your individual or group long-term disability insurance company is looking for.
Disability Insurance Claim Forms: Proceed With Caution
Insurance claim forms are extraordinarily convoluted and incredibly difficult to fill out correctly. Unintentional omissions can often result in your insurer denying your valid individual or group disability claim outright. Provide accurate and complete information to your disability insurance company. Insurance companies will treat omissions or other incomplete information as misinformation, even if you didn’t intend to mislead them.
Getting a stellar long-term disability attorney or nationally preeminent ERISA lawyer from DarrasLaw involved at the claim application stage can lay the groundwork for a successful valid individual or group disability claim.
Consult a Knowledgeable Long-Term Disability Attorney or Skilled National ERISA Lawyer at DarrasLaw for Help
The complicated disability claims process can overwhelm those facing a loss of income. A litigation savvy individual long-term disability insurance lawyer or nationally prominent ERISA attorney at DarrasLaw knows how to compile your documentation, communicate with your insurance company, and timely complete and submit the appropriate forms to get you paid.
The top rated long-term disability attorneys and skilled ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw have more than 100 years of combined litigation and claim experience in fighting for valid individual and group long-term disability insurance claims, both in and out of the courtroom. An award-winning and nationally recognized litigation firm, DarrasLaw knows what you’re up against—and we know how to litigate and win.
To schedule a free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation with one of our stellar long-term individual lawyers or nationally renowned group ERISA attorneys, call us at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.