Issues to Consider in Your Disability Claim
There are many things you should consider when filing for long-term disability benefits. If you have questions about your rights or your benefits, do not hesitate to contact the Patricia S. Bellac Law Firm. With more than 25 years of experience, Patricia Bellac can provide the personalized legal counsel and dedicated representation you need.
When filing a long-term disability claim, it is important that you remember the following:
- Your Employer’s Insurance Policy May Classify Disabilities Differently: In some cases, a person may be considered disabled if they can no longer perform their current or most recent occupation; in other instances, a person may only be considered disabled if they can no longer obtain any form of gainful employment. Additionally, your employer’s insurance policy may determine a length of time at which its definition of what constitutes a disability may change. It is important that you understand the language of your employer’s insurance policy and how this can affect your eligibility for long-term disability benefits.
- Your Individual Policy Affects the Duration of Your Benefits: Another important reason to understand the specific language of your employer’s insurance policy: it can affect the length of time for which you can receive benefits. In some cases, you may be eligible to continue receiving benefits until retirement. Other policies may limit benefits to a certain period of time, typically a specified number of years. Our Boulder employee benefits attorney can help you review your policy and determine how long your benefits could/should last.
- Long-Term Disability Benefits Do Not Cover Your Full Former Salary: You should be prepared to receive only a portion of your former salary, not the entire thing, through your insurance benefits. In most cases, long-term disability benefits only cover around 60% of your former salary; short-term disability benefits may cover a little more, but they also will not typically equate to your entire past salary. Once again, the exact language of your policy will detail the amount you are entitled to receive.
- The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side: Although it may seem that the insurance company is there to help you should you become disabled and need to obtain the benefits owed to you via your policy, this is not necessarily the case. Indeed, the insurance company has a legal responsibility to honor your policy—but they will often make every effort to undervalue, dispute, or deny your claim. This is because insurance companies are businesses and, like any other business, their goal is to limit financial loss. For these companies, this means limiting payouts and denying claims.
- If the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim, You Can Appeal: You are entitled to appeal a denied claim for long-term disability, but you must act quickly. Additionally, you may also be prohibited from submitting new evidence in support of your claim. One of the main reasons that benefits are denied is “lack of objective medical evidence,” but ERISA and other policies may limit your ability to provide new evidence during an appeal. It is important that you work with an experienced attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for your rightful benefits.
At the Patricia S. Bellac Law Firm, we can assist you with your short- or long-term disability benefits claim, including appealing denied claims. We encourage you to reach out to us today to discuss your situation with Attorney Bellac.