Long term disability insurance is a type of coverage that is meant to protect people who are injured or who are ill when their conditions prevent them from returning to their jobs. Workers purchase this type of coverage in order to protect themselves. When people are injured and submit claims to their insurance carriers for long-term disability benefits, some are shocked when their companies deny them. The experienced legal team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law frequently assists people in Miami, Florida with appealing their denials of benefits.
Appealing a Denied Claim
When a company denies a claim for long-term disability benefits, it will notify the claimant. If you receive a notice of denial, you have the right to appeal the decision. In your denial letter, there will be information about how to appeal the decision, the deadline for filing your appeal and the company’s reasons it used to deny your claim. It is very important that you read this denial letter carefully and observe the deadline and instructions for filing your appeal. Courts require you to exhaust your remedies within the company’s internal appeals process before allowing you to file a lawsuit. If you fail to meet the deadline for the internal appeals process, you will be barred from later trying to recover your benefits for your condition.
Do and Don’t
Make certain to avoid some common errors that people tend to make with their disability claims. Some people simply immediately mail off their appeals without first reviewing all of the evidence in their claim files. Your file will contain documents and other evidence that the company used to deny your claim, so it is vital that you know what it contains. When you receive your denial, contact your company and request a complete copy of your claim file. If you request it, the company has to send it to you.
Make sure to get legal help from an experienced attorney at Osterhout Berger Disability law. Your chances of recovering your benefits might be higher if you have legal help with your appeal. While your claim and appeal are pending, continue seeing your doctor. Some people get discouraged about their conditions and stop seeing their doctors. If you do this, then the company may use the fact that you are not receiving treatment as evidence that your condition is not truly disabling. Try to avoid talking on the phone to the company as much as possible. Instead, insist that the company only communicates with you in writing so that you have documentation of what you are told about your claim. Make sure to keep copies of everything, and only send documents to the company via return receipt, certified mail.
Getting the Benefits you Deserve
When you first meet with the experienced attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law, make sure to bring in your denial letter, your file and copies of all correspondence between you and the company. Upon reviewing everything, your lawyer is likely to ask you to take some additional steps to help with your appeal. Listen to the advice that you are given.
Your lawyer may want you to submit to more medical exams and tests. He or she might ask this because he or she might want to add favorable evidence to your file. This improves your chances of winning your appeal within the company before it ever heads to court. If you are forced to later file a lawsuit, you will only be able to rely on the evidence in your file. Adding as much favorable information to it as possible might help you to ultimately be successful.