Avoid These Mistakes After a Long-Term Disability Insurance Denial
Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974 to protect a wide range of employee benefits, including long-term disability insurance policies. If you suffer from an illness or injury that renders you unable to work, you can file a claim to obtain essential financial support during difficult times. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently deny benefits despite solid evidence that you qualify. ERISA is an extremely complex area of law, so mistakes are common regardless of proof.
Because errors can lead to delays or a denial of a claim for long-term disability benefits, it is essential that you avoid them at all costs. Success starts by working with a Maryland long term disability lawyer who will ensure none of the following mistakes affects your rights.
Mistake #1: Ignoring Critical Deadlines. Perhaps the biggest error you can make after a denial of your long-term disability claim is not complying with important time limitations. Generally, you have 180 days to appeal the insurance company’s rejection of your claim. During this internal appeal process, you have the opportunity to provide additional evidence and medical records. Missing a deadline could mean that this important information will not be considered as part of your official insurance record.
Mistake #2: Not Retaining Experts. Approving a long-term disability insurance claim is an important financial decision, so you can be sure the insurance company will not make its decision on your word alone. You will need to work with independent experts who will examine you and prepare two important reports:
- A functional capacity report prepared by a physical therapist who will test your ability to perform job-related tasks; and,
- A vocational expert report, which is commonly used to counter the findings by a vocational expert hired by the insurance company.
Mistake #3: Failing to Obtain Your Insurance File. When you are appealing the insurer’s denial of your long-term disability claim, you must request a copy of all records that the company used in coming to this decision. The letter notifying you of the denial may not contain all details, but the minutiae will be included in the administrative file maintained by the insurer. Once you have these key records, you can pinpoint areas of factual dispute.
Mistake #4: Neglecting to Discuss Your Claim with Your Doctor. It is essential to make your treating physician aware that you are appealing a denial of long-term disability insurance benefits. This does not affect your treatment, but having these discussions ensures that information about your physical limitations makes its way into your medical records – and to the insurance company from there.
Mistake #5: Not Getting Help from a Maryland Long-Term Disability Attorney
You can avoid all of the above errors by retaining experienced legal counsel for assistance with long-term disability insurance appeals. If your claim was denied or you encounter other hurdles in the process, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a no-cost consultation at our offices.