How to Prevent Your Cigna Disability Claim from Being Denied
If you’re like many disability claimants, you may be wondering how to prevent Cigna (or New York Life) from denying your claim for long term disability benefits. At Dell & Schaefer, we’ve handled hundreds of these claims and can explain why you need a certain amount of medical treatment and how you can expect the definition of “disability” to change under your policy. Learn more about how we can help you strengthen your Cigna disability insurance claim.
The Amount of Medical Treatment and Care from an Appropriate Medical Doctor is Essential
Even after you’re approved for long term disability benefits, you haven’t crossed the finish line – to continue to receive these benefits, you’ll need to maintain sufficient, ongoing medical treatment to chart your progress. If you stop seeing your doctor, Cigna may determine you’re no longer disabled and, therefore, no longer entitled to long term disability benefits.
While there may not be a minimum number of doctors or medical professionals a long term disability claimant needs to see to continue to qualify for disability benefits, claimants should make sure they’re regularly consulting with a specialist in the area of their disability – a podiatrist for foot problems, an orthopedist for knee or back problems, or an endocrinologist for diabetes.
There are Traps in the Cigna / NY Life Claim Forms That You Can Avoid
Cigna has designed its disability claim forms to steer claimants (and their physicians) toward certain responses that can hurt them later. One of the claim forms is the claimant questionnaire, which will ask about restrictions and limitations on activity. Once the claimant has committed their abilities to paper, this can provide Cigna with objective evidence to look for when engaging in video surveillance (discussed in further detail below).
Meanwhile, Cigna’s attending physician statements often provide the doctor with a list of options of work the patient can perform, quietly omitting “none” as a listed option. Given the choice between committing the patient to heavy-duty, light-duty, and sedentary jobs, the doctor may opt for “sedentary” as the least physically demanding option, even if the claimant is unable to perform this type of work. Claimants need to work with their physicians to ensure they’re aware they aren’t limited to the pre-printed answers the physician’s statement provides.
Does a Claimant Need to be Fearful of Video Surveillance?
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for Cigna to deny benefits may seem a bit like overkill – covert video surveillance of the claimant. This video surveillance can often be used to show that the claimant is exaggerating their disability based on their previous answers to the claimant questionnaire. Claimants should review their answers to the questionnaire carefully and avoid engaging in any of these activities, as Cigna has a knack for catching claimants on a “good day” performing activities that often are out of their reach.
When is the Best Time to Start Preparing for the Change of Definition for “Disability”?
Under a Cigna / New York Life long term disability insurance policy, the definition of “disability” is designed to change over time. Initially, a claim may be approved if the claimant can show that they can no longer perform their current job (known as the “own occupation” standard). But after a couple of years, depending on the policy, this standard may shift to an “any occupation” standard that will continue benefits only if the claimant can no longer perform any occupation.
Claimants should be cognizant of this shift and be able to support their disability claim under the stricter “any occupation” standard. Dell & Schaefer can help. We’ve handled thousands of Cigna / New York Life claims and are highly familiar with their internal processes and just what they want to see in a claim packet. Give us a call today to set up your FREE consultation with one of our experienced disability attorneys.
Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits
Get Your Cigna Disability Application Approved
Prevent a Cigna Disability Benefit Denial
Negotiate a Cigna Lump-Sum Settlement
Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.
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Very satisfied with the work of this team. Took well care of my case and took all the necessary time to be responsive and attentive when I had questions. Guided me through recovery and returning to normalcy. All thanks to Jason & Tabitha, thank you!
I’m extremely satisfied with the experience I have had with this firm from day one. The lawyer who has handled my case, Alex, is very efficient and attentive to all my questions and concerns. They are always aware of how my case has gone and they care about my health. I feel optimistic with them because they are very attentive during the process of my claim. I would not hesitate to recommend families and friends if in any situation they need their services. Kathleen as well has been very well and assisted me with this case. I highly appreciate everything they have done for me.
It’s unfortunate when disability insurance companies come after older disabled policyholders just to help their bottom line. It can be a living nightmare the damage they can do to a family. Dell Disability Lawyers are polite, understanding and knowledgeable. They call you back and answer any question you have no matter how unimportant it can be. The amount of stress they took off of myself and family was incalculable. I recommend them highly to take care of any disability case whether it be filing for benefits or reversing a claim decision. They are outstanding.
I could not have been happier or more appreciative of the hard work they performed on my behalf. I was well briefed on my case and it was closed in a timely manner with a financially successful resolution.
Mr. Symonds and Sonia as well as everyone else we have worked with throughout this process have been very helpful, professional and caring to our situation. We are very thankful to have this great team on our side.
Without them my LTD company was dropping my plan with me still suffering from my accident, even with doctor’s statements I’m still disabled. The LTD company didn’t want to advance my policy to the next stage of years of pay. Dell Disability Lawyers saved my policy, and helped to enforce the LTD company’s own policy (for its policy holder, me) that I would be covered still under the LTD policy I had paid for at my previous job, when my accident occurred. These lawyers know what they are doing and can help you too. LTD companies will try to drop you when you still need coverage just because they don’t want to pay on your policy anymore. Don’t let them break contract with ya because they are trying to get out of it. Hit em with legal action to ensure the continuation of your policy you paid for. Dell Disability worked very well for me and continue to do so.
I was denied long term disability benefits from The Hartford after being on it for years. I found Dell Disability Lawyers after doing research online. In a matter of days they responded and explained to me everything that would be done. Dell Disability Lawyers were able to settle my suit against The Hartford very quickly and responded to me quickly. I would definitely recommend this team of lawyers for anyone that is fighting for their disability insurance.
I have had nothing but a great experience with Dell Disability Law Firm. Mr. Alex Palamara and his team went above and beyond my expectations. They will respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Thank you once again for taking my case.
This law firm is the best so far. MetLife denied me two times, they appealed two times for me and they won of course. So if you are on disability and want a chance at winning your case use this firm Dell disability lawyers, kind courteous understanding and they get the job done. You won’t be disappointed.