The likelihood of suffering from a disabling accident or illness is greater than most workers might think. The Social Security Administration reports that up to 25 percent of today’s workers who are in their 20s will suffer such an event at some time during their working years. Savvy workers hedge against this possibility by purchasing long term disability coverage, which pays monthly benefits to disabled workers as long as they are unable to return to their jobs. It can be devastating if you apply for long-term disability benefits and are denied. The experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law proudly assist residents of Williamsport, Pennsylvania with their disability claims and appeals.
Appealing a Denial
If you file a claim and your company decides to deny it, you will be sent a denial notice in the mail. Read this letter carefully. It will tell you why your claim was denied and explain your right to appeal. Most companies have their own in-house appeals processes, and you must exhaust the internal remedies that are available to you within the company before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit against it. Your letter will also give you the deadline for filing your appeal. Make certain not to miss it because if you do, you will be barred from later trying to recover benefits for your disabling condition under your long term disability policy.
Common Issues & Recommendations
Make sure to avoid the mistakes that can prove to be fatal for your claim. First, don’t lie about the extent of your pain and the functional limitations that your disability causes to you. Insurance companies use exaggerations as evidence that you are malingering, making it very difficult for you to win your appeal. When you receive your denial letter, don’t send in your appeal until you have requested and reviewed the contents of your claim file. Reviewing your file will let you know if the company has collected negative evidence against you or if your claim was denied because of insufficient information.
Try to limit how much you discuss your claim over the telephone with the insurance company. The company may ask you to make a recorded statement. The purpose of it doing so is to try to get statements from you that it can use against you. Instead, ask that all communication about your claim is conducted in writing, and save copies of everything that is sent to you as well as of what you send to the company. Use return receipt, certified mail so that you can prove when you sent different documents as well as when they were received.
Getting the Benefits you Deserve
Getting help from one of the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law may make the difference in the ultimate success of your claim and appeal. At your first appointment, bring in your claim file, denial letter and all correspondence that you have. Your lawyer will review the information and then provide you with guidance about what to do next. Make sure that you listen to your attorney. He or she will have a goal of winning your appeal, and what you will be asked to do is meant to help with achieving that goal.
Keep all of your medical appointments and submit to any additional evaluations or tests that your attorney recommends. Let your lawyer talk to your insurance company for you.