A large number of workers suffer disabling illnesses or injuries at some time during their careers. Disability insurance from Northwestern Mutual may offer you the financial security that you need if you are disabled and unable to return to work for a short time or a long period. If your claim is denied, you may feel disheartened and unsure of what to do. The experienced disability team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law is here to help you with appealing your denial.
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Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857. The company has more than 5,500 employees and enjoys annual revenues of more than $28 billion. Northwestern Mutual sells a variety of investment and insurance products, including disability insurance.
Northwestern Mutual offers supplemental disability insurance to workers so that they can supplement their coverage from their group plans. They also sell disability insurance for doctors and dentists only. Their plans are customizable, allowing you to pick the coverage options that you want. The company offers both short- and long-term disability insurance coverage. Your benefits will not start until you exhaust the listed elimination period in your policy. The average elimination policy for the short-term benefits is one week, while it is longer for long-term disability benefits. Workers who have both types of coverage may exhaust their short-term benefits during their long-term waiting period, and their long-term benefits can then kick in following it.
Short-term disability insurance from Northwestern Mutual helps policyholders cover a percentage of their income in the event they become disabled and unable to work. If your employer offers short-term disability insurance from Northwestern Mutual, you may have to go through an elimination period before you can begin collecting benefits. This just means that there will be a time between the moment you become disabled until the time you’re able to start collecting your benefits. This can last anywhere between 30-90 days depending on what your employer chose for the group’s plan. Your employer may even choose to set a waiting period when employees first get hired. The waiting period can also last 30-90 days from the day you get hired. Once you get through all these periods, the short-term disability insurance may cover 50-60% of your gross income. Benefits can last anywhere between six weeks to a year.
Long-term disability insurance is very similar to short-term disability insurance, except the durations and the benefit percentages. The durations are longer and the percentages are bigger. Other than those two items, both types of disability insurance are the same.
Understanding how to fill out a disability claim form is extremely important once you’re ready to file a claim. Leaving anything out from any of the forms could result in delay or denial of your benefits. You’ll be able to file an appeal to reverse the insurance company’s decision, but you may be able to avoid all of this by properly submitting all of the information Northwestern Mutual will need to start sending you your benefits.
Before you can file a disability claim with Northwestern Mutual, you must first notify the insurance company that you are unable to work due to a disability or illness. You may notify the insurance company online or you can call the insurance company. Once the insurance company receives your notice of disability, you’ll receive a claim kit in the mail within two business days. This kit will include all of the forms that will need to be completed as well as instructions on how to file the disability claim.
Typically, disability claim forms require the employee’s statement, the employer’s statement, and the attending physician’s statement of the disabled and the disability. There may also be authorization forms that need to be signed and returned with the rest of the paperwork. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully and have all of the information filled out completely and accurately before you submit the disability claim to Northwestern Mutual.
If you believe that your disability claim is being delayed, reach out to Northwestern Mutual to try and get an update on your claim. If you feel like you’re either not getting a straight answer or if the insurance company comes back with more paperwork for you to submit, it may be time to reach out to an experienced disability lawyer. Our experienced disability lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law know the tactics that insurance companies use to delay benefits and can help you move the process along.
When Northwestern Mutual receives your claim, it will investigate it before making its decision. The company notifies people that it has chosen to deny their claims by sending them letters in the mail. If you receive a denial notice, take the time to carefully read it. You will see the reasons that the company used to deny your claim, and it will also tell you how to appeal. The instructions for appealing your denial will include a deadline that is highly important. If you miss the deadline, you will be barred from seeking the recovery of your benefits in the future.
Request that Northwestern Mutual sends you a copy of your file. Inside, you will find all of the evidence that the company relied on when it denied your claim. Make sure that you keep all of this information in a safe place.
If you need to appeal your denial in court, your experienced lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law will want you to bring your letter and your file with you to your appointment. He or she will then review it and make recommendations for your appeal.
Your attorney will ask you to help with your appeal by continuing to see your doctor, following all treatment recommendations and getting additional medical exams and objective tests. He or she may also ask you to request letters from your physician and your former employer about your disability and how it affects your ability to perform the daily tasks of your job and of living. It is very important for you to follow through with everything that you are asked to do. The reason why you will be asked to do these things is that doing so builds additional favorable evidence that might help you to win your claim.
Under the law, you will first have to exhaust Northwestern Mutual’s internal appeals process before you can file a lawsuit. If you do exhaust the internal appeals, you will only be able to rely on the evidence in your file. It makes sense for you to add as much information as possible to your file that supports your claim. In many cases, the experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law are able to win their clients’ appeals while they are still within the company. To learn more, schedule your consultation today with Osterhout Berger Disability Law.