Arnett & Arnett, PC
Common Mistakes When Filing a Long-Term Disability Claim
When faced with a serious injury or illness, several issues begin to take priority, including your treatment plan, surgeries, recovery, and the well-being of your family. While it may not take immediate priority, filing a long-term disability claim can be vital as you begin the long road to recovery. Indeed, while most people have long-term disability coverage, they never plan on using it. Mistakes when filing claims are therefore common, often making the process even more complicated than it already is.
Our team at Arnett & Arnett, PC, possesses a wealth of experience in long-term disability claims, so we know just how to navigate this complicated process. Our experienced long-term disability attorneys can give you peace of mind and let you focus on recovery. We proudly assist clients in Chandler, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, and the state of Arizona.
Long-Term Disability Claims
Long-term disability (LTD) insurance is either offered by an employer or purchased separately. Oftentimes, individuals assume that their long-term disability benefits will kick in immediately if they become disabled. People also assume the benefits will automatically continue as long as they are unable to work. However, you need to be prepared for a denial, even though your claim is perfectly valid.
In these cases, providers will claim that you may not be eligible for the benefits you have applied for. In other situations, the plan administrator may simply need more information to decide on LTD benefits. Other reasons why a long term disability claim may have been denied include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lack of medical records
- Insufficient evidence of the disability
- Self-reported symptoms (not hard records)
- Failing to meet the definition of “disabled” under the policy’s terms
- Having an excluded or preexisting condition
- The insurance company’s doctors disagree with the physician
- Evidence of the person doing things the disability would prevent them from doing
Common Mistakes When Filing
a Long-Term Disability Claim
Again, it’s worth noting that a significant number of long-term disability claims are denied, despite being valid. Coupling that with a serious injury can be demoralizing, and it’s crucial to prevent mistakes when filing your claim.
Not Going to Your Doctor Regularly
Long-term disabilities often result due to chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal conditions, and respiratory issues. Regular doctor visits help manage your condition and provide critical documentation and records for your LTD claim.
Furthermore, not following the doctor’s recommendations regarding your care and any work or activity restriction is a common reason for a denial of a claim. Thus, regular doctor visits, following their recommendations regarding referrals to specialists, diagnostic testing, treatments or rehabilitative therapy, and prescribed medication is essential. You must adhere to any work or activity restrictions as well.
Not Getting an Official Disability Diagnosis
Unfortunately, doctors and patients can sometimes struggle to communicate effectively. Try to visit a different doctor if you feel that your current one does not take your condition seriously or fails to diagnose your disability.
Not Journaling How Your Disability
Impacts Areas of Your Life
In addition to medical records, it’s important that you create your own documentation of your disability for your claim. You should also keep a daily journal, chronicling your condition, medical care, and impacts you suffer at home or on the job.
Not Filing Your Claim as Soon as You are Disabled
Insurers generally have up to 90 days to approve or deny your claim. Requests for additional information could extend this time further. Filing an LTD benefits claim the first day you are unable to work can decrease wait times for your benefits.
Your Attorney’s Role in Helping with Your Claim
The help of an experienced long-term disability attorney is vital when filing a claim. If nothing else, they know what to expect and how to navigate this complicated process. Specifically, your attorney’s role in helping with your claim will involve the following actions:
- Preparing your claims to file a lawsuit
- Hiring vocational experts
- Acting as your representative in negotiations and appeals
Getting Experienced Legal Representation You Need
There’s no denying that long-term disability is a difficult proposition. Our experienced, skilled long-term disability attorneys at Arnett & Arnett, PC, can help you avoid mistakes that might cost you your benefits. It can only help you and your claim to enlist our assistance. Contact our Chandler office today for a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, and throughout Arizona.