Long-term disability insurance can offer disabled workers a lifeline if they are unable to return to their former jobs. Unfortunately, many people receive denials of their initial claims, leaving them to struggle. It is possible to appeal a denial of your long-term disability claim, and many people who are initially denied are later approved during the appeals process. The experienced disability team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law proudly represents residents of Key West, Florida with their disability claims and appeals.
Appealing a Denial
When an insurance company denies a claim for long-term disability benefits, the company will mail a notice of denial to the claimant. If you receive a denial notice, you should review it carefully. It will explain why the company chose to deny you and give you information about how to appeal. Make sure to note the deadline for filing your appeal. If you let it pass by, you will not be able to file a new claim with the company for benefits based on your disability. The experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law will review your notice and help you to gather the documents that you need to submit with your appeal.
Do’s and Don’ts
There are some mistakes that you need to avoid with your appeal and some things that you should make certain to do. When you first get your denial in the mail, don’t immediately fire off a letter to appeal it. Instead, contact the company and ask for a complete copy of your file. Your file will include all of the documents and evidence that the company used to make its decision to deny your claim. Bring your letter and your file copy to your experienced lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law so that he or she can review it.
While your appeal is pending, don’t stop going to your doctor and other medical professionals. If you do, the company is likely to use the fact that you are not receiving medical care as a reason to claim that you are not disabled. Continuing to receive care will also provide more documentation for your file that is beneficial to you. You must exhaust the appeals process that your company has established internally before you can file a lawsuit in court. If you do exhaust your in-house appeals, you will only be able to use whatever is in your file as evidence in your lawsuit. Seeing your doctor regularly can give you important additional information to add to your file.
Getting the Benefits you Deserve
Getting help from an experienced lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law with your appeal may make the difference in whether you are ultimately successful. Your knowledgeable attorney will likely tell you to try to limit your communication with your company. You should only communicate in writing, taking care to send documents in by return receipt, certified mail and to keep copies of everything. It is important that you listen to the advice that you are given by your lawyer and that you are always honest about your condition.
Some people make the mistake of exaggerating their symptoms. This can backfire because the company may find that the exaggerations are evidence of malingering, making it more difficult to win your claim. Your attorney might want you to submit to extra exams and tests so that he or she can add more favorable information to your file. You may also be asked to get letters from your family members, former employer and your doctor about how your condition affects you and your ability to perform the tasks of your daily life and of your former job. To learn more about handling your appeal, contact the experienced disability lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law to schedule your consultation.