When filing a disability insurance claim there are common mistakes you want to avoid. This will give you the best possible chance of getting your benefits approved from the beginning.
1. Waiting too long to submit your claim - All disability insurance policies have what is called a proof of loss provision. This is what is required of you to prove your disability. This often has a time frame under which you have to file a claim. Sometimes it is 30 days or 90 days from your date of the disability. You want to be sure to get your claim in time to avoid further issues.
2. Failing to submit medical records with the claim - Your insurance company will likely ask you for authorization to obtain medical records. However, it is best to submit your medical records with your claim and continue to update the records as they become available. Remember, it is your responsibility to prove your disability. You shouldn’t rely on the insurance company to request the records for you.
3. Failing to have your doctor identify specific restrictions and limitations - We often see doctors write an “out of work” note that does not detail why the claimant cannot work. That is not sufficient. It is best if you have your doctor write out specifically what restrictions and limitations prevent you from working. This of course depends on the type of job you have and what is required of that job. Examples of restrictions and limitations can include:
- Cannot sit for more than 4 hours
- Cannot lift more than 5 pounds
4. Failing to follow up with the insurer - It is important to stay on top of your claim. Do not assume the insurance company is doing what they are supposed to do. It is also important to document everything in writing. You should write down who you spoke with and when, and what was said. Also, in many types of disability insurance claims, the insurance company is under statutory deadlines to make a determination. You want to be sure they are following those deadlines and be able to hold them accountable.
5. Trust your instincts and get advice - If you feel like something is off, it probably is. If you have any questions or concerns about your claim, reach out to a disability insurance attorney for advice and guidance. This is the only area of law we handle and we are experts in knowing how and when an insurance company has violated the law.