If you have ever been involved in a fender-bender, you know how complicated it can be to file a claim with an insurance company. With a long-term disability claim, the stakes are even higher—and the odds are stacked against you. Arming yourself with the proper knowledge before diving into the application process can help ensure that you achieve the results that you deserve.
Before You Begin: Know the Basics
If you have not done so already, give your long-term disability insurance policy a thorough once-over. Many of these policies, especially ones purchased through your employer, can have very stringent procedures that you must follow to the letter or risk being denied benefits. You can obtain a copy from your human resources department (if you have an employer-provided long-term disability policy) or your insurer (for individually purchased policies).
By familiarizing yourself with your policy, you are taking an important step toward protecting your rights. Nobody prepares for a life-changing disability, but when it arrives, understanding your coverage can put the power back in your hands.
Just like any insurance policy, important deadlines exist not only for the efficiency of your application process, but also as an easy way for insurers to weed out claims that they do not have to pay. Missing a key deadline to submit your application or appeal is a devastating blow, so be sure that you adhere strictly to the timeline set forth by your insurer.
Each policy will have its own strict set of rules regarding disabilities that are covered by the policy. Many conditions, such as those brought on by substance abuse, will not be covered by your policy. Preexisting conditions may have limited coverage, but many policies will only cover them after a certain amount of time, so read your own policy carefully to determine if your condition will be covered.
The Elimination Period
Most long-term disability policies will not be available immediately; you will be required to wait for a few months before you can receive payments. While this sounds like a negative, these months of waiting—known as the elimination period—are typically when your short-term disability benefits are being paid out. When your short-term disability runs out, your long-term disability benefits will begin. Make sure that the elimination period aligns properly with your short-term disability terms.
Your Own Responsibilities
When you apply for long-term disability benefits, the insurer is not going to go out of its way to help you get through your case. Know what you are responsible for—such as applying for Social Security disability benefits and ensuring that your claim file is complete—and make sure that you accomplish these tasks as soon as possible.
Your Own Limitations
Many times, people begin the long-term disability application process only to get bogged down in the legalese or intimidated by their employer. Don’t let your limitations dictate your success—simply let them dictate when it is time to enlist professional assistance. By calling upon the experience and knowledge of a disability attorney, you are strengthening your case and bettering your future.
Whether You are Experiencing Resistance, Delays, or a Denial, Fenner & Boles Can Help
The long-term disability benefit application process can be frustrating, overwhelming, and downright confusing. If you are experiencing problems with your application process or have been denied benefits, seek the guidance of the Philadelphia disability attorneys of Fenner & Boles immediately. Our attorneys can put their decades of experience to work for you; call our office today, or fill out our online contact form to be connected with us now.