If you’ve recently become disabled and are considering filing a disability insurance claim, or want to appeal the denial of your disability insurance claim, you may be wondering whether you need to hire an attorney. In most cases, a disability insurance policyholder can benefit from representation, as these claims can be complicated and winning an appeal is often an uphill battle. Learn more about when and whether you need a lawyer for your long term disability claim.
The Reasons a Disability Insurance Income Policyholder Will Benefit From Attorney Representation
Some disability insurance claims are approved without an attorney’s involvement – so obviously, not everyone needs an attorney. But this is often the exception, not the rule. Long term disability (LTD) insurance policies can be complicated, and many have exclusions that are tough to understand. By hiring a disability insurance attorney, you’ll be better able to secure your benefits and negotiate with the insurance carrier.
Disability insurance company representatives can be very likable and are trained to be helpful – but at the end of the day, they’re paid by the insurance company. Some LTD insurance claimants may be lulled into a false sense of security and find themselves providing more information than they should. However, insurance representatives will treat disability attorneys much differently than they treat an insured, and are far less likely to play fast and loose with promises of coverage.
What is “Return to Work”?
Disability claims adjusters focus on when a claimant can – or should be able to – return to work. Many medical events or procedures are quantifiable and common enough that insurance companies can simply refer to a chart to see how long, on average, a particular disability claimant’s recovery should last. While insurance providers have some discretion to deviate from these averages, they must be persuaded to use it, and only if you can show that you’re still too disabled to return to work.
Short term disability (STD) insurance is often funded directly through an employer, while long term disability insurance payments come out of the insurer’s pockets. Because of this, companies that administer both the short term and long term disability policies may be more likely to deny a claim for long term disability, even if the short term disability was previously approved.
When Should a Disability Insurance Policyholder Hire an Attorney?
The best time to hire a disability attorney is when you first file a claim – but the second-best time is now. Hiring an attorney at the initial disability claim stage can allow the claim to be shaped in a way that improves your odds of approval. Hiring an attorney for an appeal or to file a lawsuit is even smarter, as these processes can be complex. But at any stage in which you involve an attorney, you’ll be better able to make arguments and present the evidence that supports your disability claims than you were before.
If you could use some help in applying, appealing, or suing to recover your long term disability income benefits, get in touch with Dell & Schaefer today. Our disability attorneys can provide you with a free consultation to evaluate the merits of your claim.