Getting disability insurance can be a good way to make certain that you will have financial protection if you ever are disabled and unable to work. State Farm offers disability insurance that is meant to replace a portion of your regular salary while you are suffering from a disabling injury or illness. In some cases, State Farm chooses to deny valid claims for disability benefits. If this happens to you, you have the right to appeal. The experienced team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law is proud to help people with their State Farm claims and appeals.
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A large group of companies offering insurance and financial services, State Farm was founded in 1922 and is ranked at number 44 on the Fortune 500 list. The company has 65,000 employees and 18,000 agents who are located in the U.S. State Farm offers a broad variety of products, including life insurance, health insurance, property and casualty insurance, annuities, mutual funds and disability insurance.
State Farm offers both short- and long-term disability insurance coverage. The short-term disability insurance pays benefits to people who are disabled and unable to work for one to three years, depending on the coverage level in their policies. Long-term disability coverage through State Farm may be paid from terms of five years up to age 67, depending on the coverage level.
The benefits of State Farm’s short-term disability insurance are paid on a monthly basis and range from $300 to a maximum of $3,000, depending on your occupation and income. If you have a short-term disability policy through State Farm, you’re going to want to read it carefully to understand how it works. Pay close attention to the Elimination Period as this will tell you how long you’ll have to wait from the time you become disabled until the time you’re able to start receiving your benefits. Also pay close attention to State Farm’s exclusions and limitations under your policy.
Some insurance companies have exclusions and limitations that limit payment or flat out deny you from qualifying for benefits. State Farm is no exception. For example, the insurance company will not provide benefits for disabilities that were caused by a normal pregnancy or war. The insurance company will also not provide benefits if the disability happened while you were on active duty, engaging in illegal activity, or harming yourself. Also, there are limitations on this policy. This includes disability caused by a mental or nervous disorder, a pre-existing condition, or concurrent disability. If your disability falls under the limitations list, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get benefits at all, but it does mean that certain limitations will be placed to how long you can receive benefits or when you can start receiving benefits. Make sure you read your policy carefully to understand what all of this may mean for your specific situation. If your disability happens to fall under State Farm’s exclusion or limitation definition, the insurance company has the right to deny your claim.
Long-term disability insurance from State Farm also pays on a monthly basis, but at a bigger amount. Maximum benefit amounts under this policy range from $500 – $20,000, based on your income and occupation. Under this policy, you’ll get to choose the Elimination Period and the length of time you need to receive benefits (five years or up to age 67). This insurance company also allows you to customize your coverage so that it best fits your needs. However, keep in mind that this policy also has the same exclusions and limitations that the short-term disability policy has. Make sure to read through your policy carefully as this will help your chances of getting your claim approved.
According to a survey about State Farm, over 50% of customers surveyed chose that they were either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied by the way the insurance company handles claims and settlements. When it comes to disability insurance, it’s very common for insurance companies to try to delay or outright deny a claim based on very little because the companies rely on customers not feeling capable of fighting back. However, you have the right to fight back if an insurance company delays or denies your disability claim. Before you ever find yourself in this situation, though, it’s important that you fill out the claim forms completely and accurately. One of the easiest ways to get an insurance company to justifiably delay or deny your claim is by not submitting all of the required paperwork completely and accurately.
The first thing you’ll want to do is report a claim. This will notify the insurance company that you have a disability and need to start the process to collect the benefits you’re entitled to under your policy. The company will then send you all of the required paperwork. The forms will include documents that you need to complete and documents that your employer and attending physician will need to complete. There may also be authorizations form that will require your signature. You’ll want to make sure that everything is filled out completely. You’ll have to submit all of the paperwork after the Elimination Period has been complete. If your Elimination Period is more than 90 days long, you’ll need to submit the claim at the end of 90 days. Following the instructions provided by the insurance company will further your chances of getting your claim approved.
If you haven’t received a status update on your disability claim and feel like your claim is being delayed, you’re going to want to either call State Farm or check your claim’s status online. If you don’t receive any answers or are asked to submit additional paperwork, it may be time to reach out to an experienced disability lawyer. Our experienced disability lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law know how to identify whether or not your claim is being intentionally delayed and can help move your claim along.
Like other insurance companies, State Farm works to minimize its losses. One way in which it might try to do this is to deny claims. When the company decides to deny a claim, it sends a notice in the mail to the claimant. This notice will include information about the reasons for the denial and how you can appeal it. There will be a deadline for filing your appeal, and it is very important. If you miss the deadline, you will be barred from attempting to seek your benefits again from this insurance company.
Once you receive your letter, contact the company and ask for a copy of your claim file. The contents of this file will include all of the evidence State Farm has amassed about your claim. Bring your file and your letter to Osterhout Berger Disability Law. One of our knowledgeable lawyers will review the information and offer guidance about how to handle your appeal. He or she may ask you to do certain things to help with the process.
When you are waiting on your appeal, make sure to continue seeing your doctor and following all recommended treatments. Your lawyer may also want you to obtain additional medical tests and to secure letters from your doctor and others about the limitations that you have. By taking these steps, you can add evidence to your file that supports your claim, making it likelier that you will ultimately succeed.
Your disability attorney’s goal will be to try to win your appeal while it is still within State Farm’s internal process. If you exhaust the company’s internal appeals, building the evidence in your file is important because you will be limited to your file’s contents if you need to file a lawsuit. You must exhaust the internal remedies before you can sue the company in court. In many cases, our lawyers are able to win the appeals while they are in-house without needing to file lawsuits. To learn more about your rights, contact Osterhout Berger Disability Law today.