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Many employers offer their workers the option to select disability insurance from Mutual of Omaha as a part of their benefits packages. This type of coverage offers employees who are disabled because of an illness or injury benefits to replace a portion of their prior incomes as long as they are unable to return to their jobs. Many disabled workers are shocked when Mutual of Omaha denies their initial disability claims. If this happens to you, the professional disability team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law might be able to help you with your appeal.
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Founded in 1909 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 company that offers a broad suite of insurance products. The company sells life insurance, Medicare supplement insurance, retirement and annuity plans, dental and health insurance, disability insurance and other products. Mutual of Omaha employs nearly 5,000 people and had an annual revenue of $7.9 billion in 2016.
Mutual of Omaha offers both group and individual disability insurance plans. The group plans are available through participating employers and include short-term disability, long-term disability or both. Workers are able to sign up for disability insurance through their employers and pay their premiums by payroll deductions from their checks. Individuals who choose to purchase individual disability policies other than through their employers can have portable policies that can remain in effect even when they change jobs. Many workers choose to purchase both short- and long-term disability coverage.
Mutual of Omaha’s short-term disability benefit covers a percentage of your current income. The base monthly income benefit has a maximum of $5,000. Before the short-term disability benefits will begin, the workers must first be disabled for longer than the elimination periods. The short-term elimination period is much shorter than the long-term elimination period. When workers have both types, they may exhaust their short-term benefits with their long-term benefits kicking in once those short-term benefits have ended. With Mutual of Omaha, the benefit period can last 3, 6, 12, or 24 months. If you’re still not able to perform more than 50% of your day-to-day tasks at work, the insurance company may be willing to cover 50% of the total monthly disability benefit for an additional six months.
While long-term disability insurance has a longer elimination period than short-term disability insurance, the payout is significantly bigger. The long-term disability benefit with Mutual of Omaha can be up to $12,000 per month. The benefit period can last 2, 5, or 10 years and you’ll have the option to collect proportionate disability. Proportionate disability allows you to collect a percentage of your income if performing day-to-day tasks is still extremely difficult and leads you to lose at least 20% of your monthly income. This additional benefit can last as long as two years.
Mutual of Omaha has a financial interest in minimizing its losses, so it routinely denies and delays initial disability claims. For this reason, you must make sure that you fill out the claim form completely and accurately. If the insurance company happens to deny or delay the claim after accurately filling out the form, the next best step is to contact a disability lawyer to help you fight the delay or denial.
The form will have three sections: an employee statement, employer’s statement, and attending physician’s statement. The employee statement will ask for personal information as well as information about when disability began and when you initially received treatment for the disability. There will also be a page that will ask for your authorization to retrieve the medical records from the doctor who treated you for the disability. The employer’s statement will need to be filled out and signed by your employer. This section will ask for information about the plan as well as information about additional salary benefits you may be entitled to outside of Mutual of Omaha’s disability insurance, paid time off, or vacation. The final section will need to be completed and signed by the physician you saw after the injury or sickness first happened. Once the form is completely and accurately filled out, you can either submit the form online or mail in a paper copy.
If Mutual of Omaha denies your claim, the insurance company will notify you of its denial decision in a letter. This notice will tell you why the company made its denial decision and give you information about how to appeal and the deadline for appealing. If you receive this letter, contact the company immediately and request a copy of your claim file. It will have all of the evidence that Mutual of Omaha used to deny your claim. Once you have a copy of your claim file, you’ll want to being the process of appealing the denial.
Keep all of your communication with the company in writing, and keep copies of all of the correspondence that you send and receive. Don’t fail to meet the appeals deadline or you will be prevented from ever recovering the disability benefits that you might otherwise recover for your disability. If you’re not sure how to go about the appeal process, be sure to contact a disability lawyer as they will not only know how to efficiently go through the process, they’ll also know how to provide sufficient evidence against the wrongful denial.
Bring your letter, your claim file and any correspondence with Mutual of Omaha into the office of Osterhout Berger Disability Law. Our experienced attorneys will review the information and offer you a legal opinion about the approach that you should take. They may ask you to help them with your claim by keeping all of your medical appointments, continuing to see your doctor, completing all follow-up appointments and recommendations, submitting to additional tests and exams and securing written statements about your condition from your former employer, friends and medical professionals. It is important that you listen to and follow the guidance provided to you by your disability lawyer because it is meant to strengthen your claim by adding as much favorable evidence to your file as possible. This may help you to win your appeal while it is still with Mutual of Omaha rather than later having to sue the company after exhausting your internal appeals. To learn more about your potential recovery rights, schedule a consultation with the professional disability lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law today.