In Florida, buying long term disability insurance is one way that some workers protect themselves in case they suffer disabling conditions that leave them unable to return to their jobs. When people are disabled by an injury or illness, it can be very discouraging to receive notices of denial for their claims. It is fairly common for insurance companies to initially deny claims, but denial decisions can be appealed. The experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law proudly represent the residents of West Palm, Florida in their long-term disability appeal cases.
Appealing a Claim Denial
Upon receiving your denial letter, you have the right to appeal. Your appeal must be filed with your insurance company, and you must exhaust its available appeals processes before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit against the company. Most insurance companies have two levels of internal appeals that have to be exhausted. Your letter will contain information about the reasons your claim was denied as well as how you can go about appealing the decision. It will also contain a deadline for appealing. It is important that you don’t miss this deadline. If you do miss it, you will not be able to recover benefits from your company in the future for your disabling condition.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are some mistakes that you should avoid in your appeal as well as some things that you should do. Some people immediately mail off appeals without first asking for their files. Getting your file first is important because it has all of the evidence your company used to support the denial of your claim. Try to only talk to your insurance company about your claim in writing so that you have documentation of what you and the company say about your claim. Make certain that you keep copies of all of the correspondence that you send and receive.
Even if you think that your doctor can’t help your condition, don’t stop seeing your health care professionals while your appeal is pending. Insurance companies commonly use the fact that people are not getting care for their conditions as evidence that their illnesses are not serious enough to be disabling. Keep all of your appointments, and follow your doctor’s recommendations for any additional treatment.
Getting the Benefits you Deserve
In order to get the benefits to which you should be entitled, it is important for you to retain an experienced disability lawyer from Osterhout Berger Disability Law. When you meet with your attorney, bring in your claim file and your denial letter. Your knowledgeable attorney will want to know about your symptoms, and it is very important that you do not exaggerate what you are experiencing either to your attorney, your doctor or the insurance company. People who are not completely honest about how their conditions affect them have more difficulty winning their appeals.
After reviewing your file, your attorney is likely to ask you to do several things to help with your case. Follow his or her advice. Your attorney will want to add evidence and information to your file to help you win your appeal. If your appeals are denied within the company, you will only be able to rely on the information that is contained in your file for any subsequent lawsuit. Your attorney may ask you to get additional medical evaluations or to undergo more objective tests such as MRIs or x-rays. You may also be asked to get statements from your former employer, acquaintances and your doctor about how your illness or injury affects your ability to complete work activities and the activities of your daily life.