Tips to Protect Your Northwestern Mutual Long Term Disability Benefits

Whether you’re considering filing a long term disability insurance claim with Northwestern Mutual, have recently received a denial letter, or are just hoping to keep your current monthly disability benefits, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you contact Northwestern. This disability insurance carrier has a reputation for being fair – especially when compared to some of the other biggest names in disability insurance – but is also incredibly thorough when reviewing disability insurance claims, which can make it tough to qualify for benefits. Below, you’ll find some tips that the attorneys at Dell & Schaefer have learned while helping claimants recover disability income benefits from Northwestern Mutual.

Northwestern is typically one of the more reasonable disability companies, but their attention to detail can make claim approval challenging at times for claimants.

Some disability insurers tend to deny claims as a matter of course, digging more deeply into the claim form only after the claimant has filed an appeal. Northwestern Mutual isn’t one of these companies – it will carefully consider a claim, but this careful consideration can sometimes make it tougher to get a disability insurance claim approved. Before submitting your claim to Northwestern, you’ll want to make sure that your claim form, medical records, and attending physician statement are as comprehensive and detailed as possible, as this will improve your odds of approval.

How does a claimant make sure that their medical records are meeting the requirements expected by Northwestern Mutual?

Simply visiting your doctor more often isn’t the end of the application process. It’s important to not only have accurate and up-to-date medical records but also to have medical records (or doctor’s written statements) that specify the physical and mental limitations you’re facing. If you’re unable to stand for long periods of time, lift more than a certain amount of weight, or perform other duties that are essential to your job, your medical records need to spell this out in detail to prove to Northwestern Mutual that you’re entitled to disability benefits under the terms of your long term disability policy.

A symptom log or a pain journal and sharing it with your doctor is a great way to make sure your medical records remain strong.

Another way to supplement your medical records is to complete a symptom log, pain journal, or another contemporaneous record of what you’re experiencing. Many disabling conditions tend to wax and wane, and you don’t want your abilities and limitations to be judged by your best day when your normal level of functioning tends to fall a bit below that.

Attending physician statements must be completed strategically and with detail.

One of the most important components of a disability application is the attending physician statement. This is a statement from your main doctor that details your medical history, current condition and symptoms, and the limitations your disability has created. An attending physician’s statement can often read like a story, giving Northwestern a comprehensive overview of how your disability developed and how it impacts your daily life.

Going beyond the limited space in a Northwestern Mutual claim form can be very helpful, but you must have a reason for any expanded answers – and you must be balanced in your answers.

Like many disability insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual offers a pre-printed attending physician statement; however, this document often doesn’t include enough room for the physician to explain in detail how your disability impacts you. If you’re finding this to be the case, don’t be afraid to type or write up more information in an addendum – just make sure you don’t exaggerate, as a well-balanced answer can provide you with better odds of disability insurance claim approval.

At Dell & Schaefer, our experienced attorneys handle every step of a long term disability claimant’s claim with Northwestern Mutual, helping claimants secure and maintain their disability benefits over the long haul. If you’re ready to get started or have questions about your claim, give us a call today to set up your FREE consultation with a member of our legal team.


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Northwestern Mutual Reviews
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Showing 8 of 642 Reviews
Sedgwick

AT&T Was Great and Sedgwick Horrible

Reviewed by From a great job to a complete nightmare on March 20th 2024   Verified Policyholder | March 2024 date of disability
My Physician recommended that I take some time from a toxic environment after several deaths in my family coupled with AT&T trying to run tenured employees out of the door... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern thinks I can walk even though my left leg is paralyzed

Reviewed by Dave B on July 7th 2019   Verified Policyholder
My Northwestern Disability policy has a presumptive total clause which pays lifetime benefits for loss of use of one hand and one foot. They Have claimed I do not fulfill ... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern is the Quiet Company that silently screws its policy holders but is too big to fail

Reviewed by Magda S. on August 8th 2018   Verified Policyholder
I am a board certified cardiologist with severe diabetic comorbidities. I have had occupation specific DI policies with NML since 1980. I am now legally blind, have no fee... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

My claim was handled so unprofessionally – almost no written communication from NW Mutual

Reviewed by B.J. Robinson on April 19th 2015   Verified Policyholder
While waiting for NW Mutual’s decision on my claim for LTD benefits, I was terminated. The following week, NW Mutual sent me a letter denying my claim. Denial was seemin... read more >
Reply
Sent on April 19th 2015 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

BJ, you will have rights to appeal this denial. If you have not already done so please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can assist you.

Northwestern Mutual

NWM refused to have a hematologist review my claim since my "numbers are currently normal." They ignored my primary concern of relapsing

Reviewed by JP on March 27th 2015   Verified Policyholder
Hi there. I have a chronic autoimmune disease that has temporarily placed me on LTD 5 times over the last 18 years. I currently am in remission although I remain on severa... read more >
Reply
Sent on March 27th 2015 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

JP, I think your claim could be in a grey area if the issue is not a current flare up causing disability as defined under the policy, but merely the risk of relapse. Ne... read more >

Northwestern Mutual

NW said my relatives' claim was "not justified" and double the premium for no reason

Reviewed by Lyn N. on May 28th 2013   Verified Policyholder
Northwestern claims examiner automatically ruled against my relatives’ claim “not justified.” We had one doctor who told us all he could do for my relatives pain was... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

BAD FAITH

Reviewed by Pamela Cherry on September 25th 2011   Verified Policyholder
I have two words for each of you: “BAD FAITH”. Sue Northwestern Mutual, ask for a jury trial and let justice prevail. There is no reason why your legitimate claims hav... read more >
Reply
Sent on September 25th 2011 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Pam, Thanks for your comment. Bad Faith can be a very powerful tool, however ERISA governed disability insurance policy holders have no right to a jury trial and no rig... read more >

Northwestern Mutual

NML says I have no limitarion and is refusing my benefits

Reviewed by Cynthia on May 15th 2011   Verified Policyholder
I am a litigation attorney with a paralyzed right vocal cord. My treating physician has placed me on vocal rest and said after the 7 years since my condition I can no long... read more >
Reply
Sent on May 15th 2011 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Cynthia, I am sorry to hear about your situation. In order to determine if we can assist you, we need to review your denial letter and a copy of your policy. Please con... read more >

Answered Questions by Our Lawyers
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Showing 8 of 11 Answered Questions

Q: Do you help with negotiating lump sum settlements of policies?

Answered on August 11th 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Marcella, yes, we do assist in negotiating lump sum settlements of policies. Northwestern Mutual is very selec... Read More >

Q: Are there successful arguments to appeal Northwestern Mutual’s offset of claimant’s LTB by the amount of SSD benefits awarded?

Answered on April 23rd 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Carol, in almost all cases, no. If the policy explicitly allows for the offset, the offset is enforceable. Read More >

Q: Why does Northwestern ask the questions they do in the "Request for Continuation of Disability Benefits" form?

Answered on August 5th 2019 by Attorney Cesar Gavidia
A: Daniel, disability insurers ask these questions in order to obtain information relating to your level of activ... Read More >

Q: What exactly does Northwestern mean by “not gainfully employed in any occupation”? 

Answered on April 5th 2018 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: Carol, Gainful work would imply you are performing steady work for payment and getting paid $20 for baby sitti... Read More >

Q: Why is NWM reviewing my claim when my condition hasn't changed? Is it strange that they requested an in-person review?

Answered on October 25th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Jim, first and foremost, NWM is one of the most reputable insurance carriers in the industry. Although your co... Read More >

Q: Can I refuse to sign NWM's authoritization form?

Answered on March 31st 2016 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: David, you do have the ability to limit the authority granted, or to refuse it- but you will be responsible fo... Read More >

Q: Can NWM rescind my policy because I forgot to disclose an illness I had 20 years ago (that I no longer have)? Do I have to sign their release to access everything about me?

Answered on January 6th 2015 by Attorney Alex Palamara
A: Christine, If you failed to disclose a medical condition on an application to purchase a disability insurance ... Read More >

Q: Can you explain why NWM is still paying me while my claim is being reviewed? They said if they don't approve it, their accomodation payment is not owed back to them.

Answered on May 21st 2014 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Frustrated, Northwestern Mutual is providing benefits under what is commonly known as a “Reservation of Righ... Read More >
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Northwestern Mutual Approves Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits for Veterinarian

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A Colorado court recently brought down a very harsh ruling against Northwestern for blatantly abusing its discretion in denying long-term disa... Read More >

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Northwestern Mutual rescinds disability policy after claimant paid premiums for 15 years

When you apply for a disability policy, it is very important to answer all questions as truthfully as you can. The courts generally will not r... Read More >

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5 Ways We Help Get Your Benefits Paid

Get Your Disability Application Approved

Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.

Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.

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If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.

Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.

Sue Your Disability Company

98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.

We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.

Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.

In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.

Who do you help?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.

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 phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting 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 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers 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.