Many workers suffer from disabling conditions at some time during their working years. Long term disability insurance might provide the financial security that workers might need if they are unable to return to work because of a serious illness or accident. Some workers are surprised when they submit their claims only to have them denied. The experienced attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law are available to help residents of Naples, Florida with their long-term disability claims and denials.
Appealing a Claim Denial
If your claim is denied by your company, you will receive notification in the mail. This letter must explain the reasons why the company made its decision as well as inform you about your appeal rights. Insurance companies have internal appeals processes that you can access to appeal your denial. You must go through the company itself before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit in court. Make sure to note the deadline for filing an appeal. If you miss it, you will not be able to seek benefits for your condition from the company again.
What to Do & What to Avoid
Certain errors can make it very difficult for you to win your appeal, so make sure that you understand and avoid them. Sending off your appeal without first obtaining a copy of your claim file is one such error. You have a right to your file, and you should ask for it from the company. Try to keep oral communications with the company to a minimum. Insurance companies may use your own words against you. Instead, insist that everything is sent in writing, and keep copies of everything that you send and receive. If you send in any documents, do so by using return receipt, certified mail. This will help you to prove that you sent items and that you met deadlines if either is challenged later on. Finally, resist the urge to exaggerate how your disability affects you. Insurance companies are able to see through such attempts, and they might be used against you as evidence of malingering. Honesty is key when you are applying for disability benefits as well as when you appeal a denial.
Getting the Benefits you Deserve
When you first meet with one of the experienced attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, it is a good idea for you to bring your denial notice and your claim file. Your attorney will review your documents and make recommendations about how you should proceed. Because it is important to add favorable evidence to your file, your lawyer might ask you to schedule appointments for additional tests and evaluations. Make certain to follow through with these because they might improve your chances of winning your appeal. If you exhaust your company’s internal remedies, you will also be limited to whatever is contained in your file. Adding additional information and medical records can only help you.
Continue keeping regular appointments with your doctor and other professionals who are treating you for your condition. Some people who have permanently disabling conditions stop seeing their doctors because they feel like it won’t help them anyway. If you do this, it can make it more difficult for you to recover benefits. Insurance companies want to see evidence that your condition is disabling, and establishing a clear medical record may make it harder for your company to deny you.