Many employers offer group disability insurance from Sun Life Financial as a part of their benefits packages. Choosing disability coverage through your employer may help you if you ever suffer a disabling condition that prevents you from returning to work for a short time or for a longer period. The company sometimes denies claims when they are first made. If this happens, the professional team of disability lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law are ready to help you with your appeal.
In This Article
One of the biggest life insurance companies in the world, Sun Life Financial is based in Toronto, Ontario. The company was founded in 1865, and it has around 30,000 employees. It offers a broad variety of products, including life, health, dental and disability insurance along with a suite of retirement and financial planning services.
Sun Life Financial offers short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance through employers. These group plans are customizable so that employers can choose the features of the disability benefits that they offer to their employees.
Short-term disability through Sun Life offers benefits for up to 26 weeks to employees who are unable to return to work for a few weeks or months. There’s typically an elimination period that you’ll have to go through before you can start collecting benefits. Sun Life Financial provides different types of plans that have different types of elimination periods. Depending on your plan, the elimination period can be one week, two weeks, or one month. The elimination period starts the day you become disabled and unable to work. The benefits also depend on your plan. You will either have the option to choose a set dollar amount or a percentage of your income. If your plan allows you to receive a percentage of your income, Sun Life Financial will multiply your monthly income by the percentage amount to get your benefit amount.
Long-term disability coverage offers benefits to employees who are unable to return to work for long periods of time. For the most part, long-term disability works the same as short-term disability, but covers a longer period of time. The elimination period will last a few months rather than a week to a month. You will still have the option to choose a set amount for your benefits or a percentage of your income. If you choose a percentage, Sun Life Financial uses the same formula as they do with their short-term disability.
Sun Life Financial has been known to delay or deny claims so that they can avoid paying out benefits to insured individuals. Often times they’ll try to get the insured individual to settle for an amount that is less than the benefit they were promised in their plan. If this happens to you, it’s in your best interest to seek help from a disability lawyer who is experienced in handling these situations. If this hasn’t happened to you, and you’re in the process of filing a disability claim through Sun Life Financial, make sure that you fill out the form completely and accurately to potentially avoid any delay or denial.
You can file a claim online through Sun Life Financial’s Plan Member portal. Prior to filing your disability claim, make sure you completely fill out the form as accurately as possible. The forms for short-term and long-term disability are the same. The both require your employer’s statement, your statement as the employee, and your attending physician’s statement. You’ll also need to sign a couple of authorization forms so that Sun Life Financial can retrieve your medical records.
Once you submit these forms, the company will review your paperwork and will send you a letter letting you know whether or not you’re approved for benefits. While this is a waiting period, it doesn’t mean that you have sit idly. You can check the status of your claim by entering your claim number and social security number.
If you feel like your claim is being delayed, reach out to Sun Life Financial to find out the reason for the delay. If they’re not providing you with sufficient information regarding the delay of your claim, the next step may be to reach out to a lawyer to help move the claim along. An experienced disability lawyer can often get the process moving by knowing what to look for and asking the right questions.
Sun Life Financial sometimes denies claims for disability benefits. When it decides to deny a claim, it notifies the claimant by mail. If you receive a notice of denial, read it carefully. It should explain why the company made its decision and how you can appeal.
Your appeal must be filed with the company within the specified deadline, or you will be prevented from later trying to recover benefits for your disability from Sun Life. You also cannot skip the company’s internal appeals process but instead must exhaust the process it offers before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit in court.
Request that Sun Life Financial sends you a copy of your claim file. It will have all of the evidence and information that the company used to reach its decision to deny your claim. Bring your file and your denial notice to Osterhout Berger Disability Law. Our experienced lawyers will review the information that you bring so that they can advise you on the best approach to take. Your lawyer will also work to help you to file your appeal within the required time frame.
It is important for you to continue seeing your doctor while your claim and appeal are pending. Some people stop seeing their doctors because they think that doing so won’t help them. By keeping all of your medical appointments, you will be building a strong medical record that supports the basis for your disability claim. Your attorney may also ask that you undergo additional tests and evaluations in order to add more favorable evidence to your file.
When you work with a disability lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, your attorney will be trying to make your appeal as strong as possible so that you are likelier to succeed without ever having to file a lawsuit. If you do exhaust your remedies within Sun Life’s internal appeals process, your lawyer will use the additional evidence that you have added to your file to help with your subsequent lawsuit. To learn more about your claim and appeal, call Osterhout Berger Disability Law and schedule your consultation.