Long term disability coverage is supposed to provide you with a safety net if you are disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. In practice, however, getting your claim for benefits approved may be difficult. It is common for insurance companies to try to deny claims as frequently as possible so that they can reduce their losses. If that happens to you, the experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law are ready to represent residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with their claims and appeals.
Appealing a Denial
Companies notify claimants of denials by sending them letters. If you receive a letter, you will see the reasons for the denial listed. The letter will also tell you that you have a right to appeal within a certain time period. It is important that you do not ignore your deadline. If you miss it, you will not be able to later come back to try to get benefits later. You also may not skip the company’s in-house appeals process. Court rules forbid you from filing a lawsuit until you have exhausted the remedies you have available to you through the company. Most companies have at least one internal appeals level, and some have two.
What to Do & What to Avoid
In addition to not ignoring your right to appeal, you should also not just fire off an appeal without first getting a copy of the record from your company. Your record will contain all of the evidence that the company used in issuing its denial. This can help you to determine what you need to add to it in your appeal. Try to keep all of your communication with your company about your claim in writing. When you send in documents, make certain that you use return receipt, certified delivery so that you have a record of it. Keep copies of everything that you send and all correspondence that you send and receive.
Don’t try to exaggerate the degree of pain that you experience as a result of your condition. Some people wrongly believe that this will help them to win their claims. Instead, it can have the opposite effect, and the company may use it as evidence that you are malingering. Don’t stop seeing your doctor for treatment of your condition, and make sure to contact an experienced Pittsburgh long term disability attorney at Osterhout Berger Disability Law to improve your chances of getting the benefits that you deserve.
Getting the Benefits You Deserve
After scheduling your appointment, collect all of your documents and your policy. Bring everything with you to your consultation. This will help us to determine how to approach your appeal and what additional steps we might need you to take. Some examples of things we might ask you to do include getting an independent medical examination, securing copies of objective tests, including MRIs, x-rays, labs and others, and getting statements from your treating physician about the limitations that are posed by your condition. If you currently receive SSDI or workers’ compensation disability benefits, we will want you to submit copies of your award letters. This is terrific evidence that your company should grant your appeal.
Our goal is to help you to get benefits from your company by winning your appeal. We will try to add as much favorable evidence to your file as we can. If the company denies your claim through its internal appeals process, we may file a lawsuit in court on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and to talk about your claim.