Three Tips For ER Technicians Filing Disability Claims
ER Technicians have historically been in high demand due to many hospitals and healthcare providers reaching maximum capacity. This need has intensified amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and as previously discussed, ER Techs have consequently been at higher risk for disabling injuries and illness since their presence is required to support nurses and doctors.
Should an injury or illness prevent an ER Tech from working, here are some basic tips for filing short-term and long-term disability claims while the United States is battling rising COVID-19 cases.
Tip 1: Know What Type Of Disability Coverage You Have
Talk to your human resources department and confirm your short and/or long-term disability insurance coverage.
The majority of American workers who are covered by short and long-term disability insurance have a group policy through an employer or professional organization. These policies are generally linked to your job or organizational membership.
Individual, and group short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) insurance are designed to protect a portion of your income, as defined in your policy, if you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work after a short waiting period.
Tip 2: LTD and ERISA Filing Deadlines Have Been Extended
There is good news for ER Techs and healthcare workers who filed a claim with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) or whose injury or illness coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19: The Department Of Labor (DOL) has extended some policy filing deadlines.
These efforts may protect you from the possibility of losing benefits if you were unable to meet the claim submission, proof of loss or appeals deadlines during the pandemic.
The Department of Labor followed the federal government’s National Emergency proclamation in March 2020 with regard to some group employer sponsored disability claims. The U.S. remains in the Outbreak Period as of the end of July 2020.
These deadlines seriously impact policy holders because typical claim or appeal deadlines under ERISA may have been tolled or paused. If your employer sponsored group disability claim documention, proof of loss or appeal was due on, or after March 1, 2020, that deadline may have been frozen during this Outbreak Period. According to the DOL, the deadline freeze will continue until 60 days after the COVID-19 National Emergency ends. Don’t risk fatal claim submission by failing to timely submit your proof of loss or timely filing your administrative appeal. If possible, contact an experienced long-term disability lawyer for help.
Tip 3: You Can Appeal A Denied Group Disability Claim, Even During The Current National Emergency
An LTD insurance policy administrator has a legal obligation to provide a detailed explanation of why a group employer sponsored disability claim was denied.
Under ERISA, you generally have a minimum of 180 days from the date of an LTD claim denial to submit a timely and comprehensive administrative appeal. You may need all of that time to prepare an effective administrative appeal, due to the complexity of your claim and the need for medical, vocational and financial evidence to properly support your claim..
As mentioned, ER Techs are in high demand and you may be working extra shifts to meet your employer’s needs. But do not procrastinate. If you were disabled, then denied and returned to work or remain disabled, submit your appeal within the insurance company’s deadline. You can learn more about employer sponsored group disability deadline extensions here.
Whether you are trying to establish your new deadline date or need guidance with a
pending appeal or denial, your long-term disability lawyer should be able to help you during any
part of the claims process, especially amid the COVID-19 Outbreak Period.
The award-winning individual and nationally renowned group long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw will always offer a free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation to determine whether your individual, group or association related policy entitles you to short and/or long-term disability benefits. If you are suffering from any type of mental or physical injury or illness that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation, or any other occupation, call us today at (866) 276-3054 or contact us online.