Long-term disability insurance coverage can offer an important financial safety net if you become disabled and are unable to return to your job. Unfortunately, insurance companies have vested interests in minimizing the number of claims that they approve so that they can increase their profits. If your long-term disability claim is denied, an experienced Florida long-term disability attorney might help you to recover the benefits that you should receive.
Appealing a Denial in Florida
If you receive a notice of denial, it is important for you to appeal it. Many people are only approved for long-term disability benefits after they appeal. Insurance companies have internal appeals processes in place, and some have two layers of appeal. Under federal law, you must exhaust your appeals internally before you can file a lawsuit against the company. In your denial letter, you will have instructions listed for how to appeal the decision, the reasons for the denial and the deadlines for filing your appeal. Read your letter carefully so that you understand why your claim was denied. If you don’t already have a Florida long-term disability attorney helping you with your claim, getting one upon a denial is important. Your attorney can help you to avoid some common errors that could be fatal to your claim.
Do’s and Don’ts for Florida Residents
There are several different things that you should and should not do with your appeal. You should make certain to request a copy of your entire claim file. In it, you will find all of the evidence that the company used in reaching its decision. The contents of your claim file can help to shape your appeal. You should also make certain to continue seeing your doctor and following all of the treatment recommendations. Asking your doctor to write a statement for you giving his or her opinion about your disability and your functional capacity is important. You can also ask for similar statements from your former employer and friends who have witnessed how your disability limits you in your daily life. Insist on communicating only in writing with your insurance company, and make certain to use certified, return-receipt mail for all submissions of documents so that you have a record of the company’s receipts of them.
It is important that you do not send away an appeal without first reading your file and the letter that you received. You should also not miss the deadline that is listed in your letter because you may then waive your ability to further pursue your claim in the future. Avoid talking on the telephone with your insurance carrier as much as possible.
Getting the Benefits You Deserve
Often, people must supplement the contents in their claims files in order to get the benefits that they deserve. You may want to ask the company what additional objective evidence they might need, including such things as MRIs, X-rays, lab work and other tests. You should stack your file with as much favorable evidence as possible. You might want to hire an expert who can give testimony for you at your appeals hearing about the limitations your disability causes you. Finally, you might want to hire an experienced Florida long-term disability lawyer for help with the process.
Working with an Attorney
It is vital that you make certain to be honest with your lawyer at all times. You should not exaggerate your symptoms to your doctor or to your lawyer. Dishonesty can only serve to harm your appeal and might result in your losing it. Make certain to gather all of the documents that your attorney requests, and follow through with all appointments and treatment recommendations. If the insurance company denies your appeal, your lawyer may then file a civil complaint in court to fight for your recovery rights in that forum.
Additional Service Areas
While we work with residents across Florida, and handle cases nationwide, we have particular experience with certain FL cities.