Filing for long term disability insurance benefits can be daunting. Estimates indicate that approximately 70% of long term disability insurance claims are denied. In addition, those that are approved stand a good chance of being denied down the road.
For those individuals who need to apply for long term disability insurance benefits, below are some tips to follow:
- Read your complete long term disability insurance policy, from cover to cover, including any riders or endorsements.
- Determine if your long term disability insurance policy is an individual policy or an employer group plan governed by ERISA.
- Organize and gather all medical records, including lab tests, physician reports and opinions supporting your disability.
- Know and understand why your disability prevents you from doing your job or any other job.
- Promptly file your disability claim. Fill out the disability application completely and truthfully. Add additional sheets if necessary. Follow all insurance company requests.
- Be prepared to file all supporting evidence initially, not later as an amendment.
- Understand that you may be placed under secret video surveillance.
- Follow up after filing your claim. Follow up your telephone communications with a written letter. Keep detailed communication records, including person spoken to, date, time, matter discussed, and conclusion of conversation.
- If your claim is denied, know and understand your appeal rights, including important timeframes and deadlines.
- Know your insurance company's or employer group plan administrator's deadlines.