If you're facing the prospect of being unable to perform your job, you're facing a life-altering proposition. Fortunately, long-term disability (LTD) insurance was created for these circumstances.
Here are some of the details you must pay attention to when you file an LTD claim.
Any Job vs. Current Job?
Not all LTD insurance plans are written with the same language. One tiny phrase change can spell a completely different outcome for your LTD claim.
Any vs. Current
Does the LTD policy carried by your employer specify that LTD benefits will be paid out to an employee if they are no longer able to perform their current job or any job? Although most policies don't require applicants to prove their inability to perform their current job, a policy specifying any job will likely force you to consult an occupational specialist. If you're forced to seek an outside opinion to prove the extent of your disability and long-term prognosis for your condition, you should always consult an attorney to help you build your case to the insurance company. Not only will a long-term disability attorney ensure that your claim is strong, but they will also have connections with an occupational therapist that you can trust to be independent and objective. Under no circumstances should you seek the opinion of the practitioner recommended by your employer and/or their insurance company alone. The relationship between the employer/insurance company and the practitioner can create an obvious conflict of interest.
Meet Your Deadlines
LTD claims are often denied on the basis of missed deadlines. Because there are likely to be several deadlines that pertain to an LTD claim, you'll need to be organized and maintain meticulous records related to your claim.
Your window for filing a claim after you stop working because of a disability can be quite narrow. This is particularly true in the event that your employment is terminated before you're able to submit your LTD claim. In the event that this occurs, it's critical to retain the services of an LTD lawyer. They will not only ensure that you meet your deadline for filing, but they can also help you file a claim for wrongful termination if you feel like your employer terminated you principally because of your disability.
A major component of filing your claim will be your medical records related to your long-term disability. For instance, if you suffer from an overuse injury that renders you unable to perform your job for more than 90 days, you may need to submit medical records to demonstrate the nature of your injury and the costs associated with caring for it. Because sharing your medical records can sometimes be complicated and fraught with privacy concerns, be sure to get a copy of everything you submit with your claim. Never put yourself in a position where you trust the insurance company to get your medical records without confirmation. In the event that they claim that you didn't supply them with the records they needed to complete your claim, you need to be sure that you can provide timestamped proof.
Many LTD applications are initially denied. These denials can be frustrating to deal with and complicated to understand. If your LTD claim is denied, you must ensure that you meet your appeal deadline or the LTD claim can be permanently closed. Consulting with a long-term disability lawyer to ensure that your appeal meets the requirements set forth by the insurance company and/or your employer can sometimes save you from struggling to get the appeal in before the resubmission window shuts on you.