Cancer and Long Term Disability Insurance Policies

It seems that instances of cancer are running rampant these days. Almost daily it seems as if there is a new study documenting the rise of certain types of cancers, deaths associated to cancer, and new medical treatment to combat the flowing tide. It would seem that with such a seeming epidemic that securing disability insurance benefits due to a diagnosis of cancer, or due to the lingering effects of treatment would not be difficult. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Diagnosis does not equal Disability

This premise is crucial to understanding how an insurance company is going to review any claim for disability benefits. Typically there are three scenarios that often occur with someone who has/has had cancer and claims for disability benefits:

1) Undergoing intense active treatment that prevents the person from working

In this situation it is more than likely that an insurance company will approve the initial claim for benefits while treatment is being rendered and the person is unable to work. However, as detailed further down in this article, once the treatment is over and the cancer is in remission it can be expected that the insurance company will scrutinize the claim.

2) Undergoing treatment but not experiencing absence from work or a loss of income

If there is no decline in the ability to work – be it time, money or ability on account of your medical condition, then the chances of a claim denial are high. People who are so driven to work, despite the toll it may take on their health while undergoing treatment, often fall into this category. If there is no discernible effect on one’s ability to work the insurance company will likely deny the claim. This scenario is typically one in which we refer to as “working for the insurance company” in the sense that continuing to work, despite the toll it takes on your health, you are saving the insurance company from having to pay you benefits you may be entitled to.

3) Cancer is in remission and the lingering effects of treatment are causing disability.

This scenario is unfortunately all too common. Whether it be “chemo brain” or lingering fatigue from treatment many people continue to suffer symptoms and side effects that impact not only their ability to work but also their day to day functioning. Claims for disability benefits based on these circumstances are often met by the insurance company as completely subjective in nature (akin to how they treat chronic pain or chronic fatigue conditions). What makes this even worse is that the insurance company’s position will frequently be that you are “cured” and since there is no “active cancer” there is no diagnosis and thus no disability.

What do you need to do to enforce your rights under your policy?

Like any claim for disability benefits you must make sure that your doctor is properly documenting your medical problems in a detailed, clear and concise manner. This becomes particularly important if your claim for disability benefits is as a result of scenario 3 above. If you have or had cancer and you are thinking about filing a claim for benefits under a private or group disability please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation to determine how we can assist you in enforcing your rights under your policy.

For more information about this topic please visit our cancer disability claims section of the website.

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Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

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