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Appealing a Denial of Disability Benefits from The Hartford

Osterhout Berger Daley > Insurance Companies > Appealing a Denial of Disability Benefits from The Hartford

Background on Hartford

If you get injured while you’re working or become disabled, and your company offers disability insurance through Hartford, you should be qualified to take advantage of the benefits of the plan. If you’ve filed a claim and it was delayed or denied, don’t give up and accept the outcome. There are ways to fight back to ensure you’re sufficiently covered while you’re out of work.

What is Hartford insurance?

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. is a large, publicly traded company that made over $18 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. They offer a wide range of insurance products covering everything from auto to disability insurance.

Understanding disability insurance from Hartford

Hartford offers employers both short-term and long-term disability insurance to help protect their employees from losing any portion of their income while they’re unable to work. Hartford’s disability insurance plans can either be an individual plan or a group plan and can be offered as short-term insurance, long-term insurance, or a combination of the two.

Hartford short-term disability

In the event that an employee can’t work for a period of time, Hartford offers short-term disability insurance. With Hartford, a portion of an employee’s income could be covered if the disability is associated with some of the following:

  • Recovery from surgery
  • Broken bones
  • Extended maternity leave
  • Rehabilitation
  • Other accident related injuries

The benefits associated with Hartford’s short-term disability plan include:

  • 50%-60% of the income that could be lost during the absence from work
  • Coverage for up to 52 weeks
  • Flexible start dates for coverage, including any injuries that occured on the first day

In order to take advantage of these benefits, employees must file a claim with the insurance company. They must also meet all of the proof of loss requirements in order for the claim to be approved. Unfortunately, insurance companies like Hartford have historically delayed or denied claims for questionable reasons. If this happens, disability lawyers at Osterhout Disability Disability Law can help.

Hartford long-term disability

Long-term disability insurance may be necessary if an employee has to be away from work for an extended period of time due to a disability. Most regular health insurance policies will only cover medical expenses, but Hartford’s long-term disability insurance is supposed to cover everything outside of that. This means that all an employee’s regular bills could be taken care of with the funds from this type of plan. However, in order to receive those funds, the employee’s disability must be on Hartford’s list of covered disabilities. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack, stroke, or coronary heart disease
  • Complications from pregnancy
  • Back pain or scoliosis
  • Sprains and strains

The benefits of Hartford’s long-term disability plan includes up to 67% of the income that could be lost as a result of the leave of absence. Similar to the short-term disability plan, employees will need to file a claim and have that claim approved prior to receiving funds.

What you need to know about Hartford claims

Hartford alleges that one of the benefits of getting disability insurance through them is that they have a claims management system that allows the right people to pay quick attention to the claims that come through. However, they have been known to delay claims by making the insured person jump through many hoops and have even denied claims for no apparent reason. If this happens, it’s best to discuss next steps with a disability lawyer. First, understanding how to properly submit a claim is important.

How do I submit a claim to Hartford?

Depending on the type of disability plan, the form that’s required to submit a claim may differ.

Hartford short-term disability claim

The form required to submit a claim for Hartford’s short-term disability has four sections that need to be completely filled out:

  • Employer’s Statement: This section is to be completed by the employer or the employer’s authorized representative. The first part will ask the employer or representative to disclose the employee’s work information including their hire date, salary, work week schedule, and the physical aspects of the employee’s job. There will also be another part that will ask for information about the current short-term disability plan and whether the employee participated in a prior disability plan provided by the employer. Information about the claim will need to be filled out by the employer or representative, which will ask questions about the employee’s last working day, whether the employee’s condition was work related, whether a Worker’s Compensation claim was filed, and when the employee is expected to return to work.
  • Employee’s Statement: This section is to be filled out by the employee. The first part will ask for personal information. The next parts will ask questions about whether the reason for the claim is due to an injury, illness, or pregnancy. More questions about whether the employee is receiving, or will be receiving, additional disability income will be asked. The employee will then have to answer questions regarding the claimed disability.
  • Authorization to Obtain and Release Information: This section will ask the employee to authorize physicians, medical practitioners, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and any other medical facilities or providers to release the employee’s records and send it to the Hartford companies listed in the form. Although this section discloses the exact documentation Hartford will be requesting, this release is fairly broad.
  • Attending Physician’s Statement: This section is to be filled out by the doctor who treated the employee’s condition. Questions include the employee’s history with the condition, diagnosis, treatment, and the limitations and restrictions associated with the condition.

The employee should be sure to scroll past the actual form and take a look at the example Hartford provides. The example has the form completely filled out along with comments on the side.

When the employee is ready to submit the claim, they can do so by submitting it through The Hartford At Work portal.

Hartford long-term disability claim

This form also has four sections, but it also has one subsection. Most of the information that Hartford’s long-term disability claim for requests is the same as the short-term form. They include:

  • Employer’s Statement: This section must be filled out by the employer and will ask questions about the employee and the claim just like the short-term form does. However, there are some differences. The long-term form also asks the employer or representative to provide information about whether the employer has a pension plan and whether the employer has a return-to-work policy or if they’ll rehire the disabled employee.
  • Information for Group Life Premium Waiver Benefits: This section is also to be filled out by the employee or representative. This section asks whether the employer has a pension plan with Hartford. If they do, the form asks for further information.
  • Employee’s Statement: This section is similar to the one found in the short-term form, but it’s a little more extensive. This section asks for information about the employee, about the employee’s family, about the condition causing the disability, about the actual disability, about the employee’s physicians and hospitals, and other income.
  • Authorization to Obtain and Release Information: This section is exactly the same as that of the short-term form. Again, while they disclose the documents they’ll be requesting, the actual release is broad.
  • Attending Physician’s Statement of Disability: In this section, questions about the employee, diagnosis, treatment, and impairment will need to be answered.

Employees can submit the long-term disability claim through The Hartford At Work portal, as well. If assistance is needed to fill out an application, this can be done with the help of one our lawyers.

What do I do if Hartford delays my claim?

If Hartford delays a disability insurance claim, you should reach out to disability lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law. One of our highly capable lawyers can review your Hartford plan and file any necessary appeals.

What do I do if Hartford denies my claim?

If one of your Hartford insurance claims were denied and you were interviewed by a Hartford representative regarding your disability or were sent to a doctor under Hartford’s request or had your medical records sent to a doctor under Hartford’s request, there’s a good chance that you need the help of a disability lawyer. There may be other methods that Hartford employed to justify their denial of your claim, but those methods will typically not hold up in a court of law. This is why the help of a disability lawyer is essential when it comes to helping you appeal the denied claim.

Appealing a claim that was denied by Hartford

If your claim was denied, Hartford should have sent you a denial letter explaining the reasons for the denial. You’ll want to pay attention to the postmark date as you’ll have a certain amount of days from that date to file the appeal. The denial letter may include the deadline to appeal the denial. You’ll want to make sure the appeal is extensive and meticulously written. If you’d like assistance with appealing your denied claim, our lawyers can assist you from beginning to end.

Our team of experienced attorneys.

To learn more about your rights, contact the experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law today to schedule your consultation.

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