What documents must I provide the disability insurance company when filing a claim?

Your private or individual long term disability insurance policy sets out your rights and obligations. When submitting a claim for disability benefits you must look to the policy.

The policy will also explain what “Proof of Loss” you are required to give to prove your disability. This includes the types of documentation required. However, insurance companies are known for constantly requesting additional information. Usually the additional information is not even necessary. It may just be a trick to delay the process.

One common tactic is to request your financial information, including tax returns. This is where your individual long term disability insurance policy language is important. Your tax records and financial information are only relevant if the definition of total disability in your policy includes an earnings qualifier. It may also be relevant if there is some requirement that you actually have a loss of income due to your disability. If there is no such language in your long term disability insurance policy, you may not need to provide your financial documentation.

Obviously, medical records establishing your disability is relevant and must be provided. However, medical records and information not related to your disabling condition may not have to be provided. And these medical records cannot be obtained without your written and express consent.

Insurance companies will also send you various authorization forms. It is important to read them carefully before signing and responding. You can call the insurance company for clarification about the authorization forms. This is important if you do not understand what information and documents you are releasing and why.

For example, there is a big difference between (1) Authorization To Obtain Information and (2) Authorization to Obtain Medical Information. The first authorization may give the disability insurance company full access to all your confidential information, including financials. The second one will only give access to your medical records.

You have to be aware of everything you sign and submit to the disability insurance company. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities under the terms of the disability policy and the law. As well as how to protect your rights when facing repeated requests for information. Especially when the information is not relevant.

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