Our ability to work is very important to us. It allows us to feed and clothe ourselves and our families, but sometimes bad things happen, like an illness or an accident, that force us to go off on sick leave. When that happens, some of us are lucky to have access to claim long term disability. Unfortunately many people who are off sick because of an illness or injury find themselves fighting their disability insurer. Sometimes insurers deny claims and sometimes they cut people off after a certain period of time. When that happens, many claimants feel helpless. They feel trapped. They feel powerless. They don’t know where to turn.
It is important to know what mistakes to avoid if you or someone you know find themselves in a dispute with a long term disability insurer. In my practice, I often find myself dispelling myths about long term disability. That’s why after speaking with someone who has been cut off or denied long term disability, I immediately sense their immense relief and resurging confidence. They now have information which means that they have the power to make choices that can affect themselves and their families.
Below are the most common myths I deal with in my long term disability practice.
1. If I am denied or cut off Long Term Disability, there is nothing I can do. I am powerless.
Nonsense. You have a LOT more power than you think you do. Insurance companies often play a game of chicken. It’s despicable but it happens all the time. They are betting that by denying or cutting off disability claims, the majority of claimants will simply raise up their hands and walk away from money that is rightfully owed to them and their families. Unfortunately they are right that many people give up. Don’t be one of those people. If you are legitimately disabled and your doctors support you being off work because of your disability, then you likely have a case. It would take me only a few minutes to explain what your options are.
2. I don’t need an insurance lawyer to help me with my Long Term Disability dispute.
Yes, you do. Unless of course you deal with insurance companies daily and know your way around our legal system. Put it this way – if you have a dispute with a long term disability insurer and are dealing with the insurer on your own without the necessary expertise, ask yourself if you would do the same if you were facing a serious medical issue. Talk to us if you or someone you know is in a dispute with an LTD insurer. It costs nothing to talk. At least know all your options.
3. The insurer says that I have insufficient medical support for my LTD claim so I guess I’m out of luck.
If I had a nickel for every time I hear this I’d be sun-tanning 365 days a year on a beach in Hawaii. “Insufficient medical information” is one of the most common “excuses” insurers use to deny or cut off a disabled person from their legitimate disability claim. The reality is this: if you have doctors on your side that have provided reports in support of your disability, then you likely have sufficient medical support for your long term disability claim. The question is whether we can provide stronger support. Talk to me about this and I will give you my opinion (free of charge) in minutes.
4. I have to try to go back to work or else the insurer will be right in denying or cutting me off Long Term Disability.
This is a common myth and often forces disabled people to try and get back to work before they are ready. The common result is that the person fails in their attempts to go back to work (because they are disabled) and only aggravate their illness or injury that was the cause of their disability in the first place. If you are unable to return to work and your doctors agree that you are unable to return at this time, then you do NOT have to try to go back to work at this time. Period. Insurers will push and push and push until you relent. Don’t. Call me and I’ll deal with them on your behalf. Focus on your health instead of on arguing with the insurance adjuster.
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5. I can’t hire an insurance lawyer to help me with my LTD claim because I don’t have money to pay the lawyer.
Wrong again. You don’t have to pay a cent until the case is resolved. We cover everything. We work on a percentage of any amounts recovered. So if I tell you that you have a case, I have to really believe it because my team and I will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes. I wouldn’t do that unless I thought you had a good case. So again, you have NOTHING to lose by talking to us about your case. Get the information you need. Know your options.
Last words… you may not need this information now, but keep this email or flip it to a friend or family member who may benefit from it. We all need help sometimes. There’s no shame in that. There is shame in not helping others.
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