Berkshire Life, a subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, offers disability insurance coverage with policies written specifically for dentists. The purpose of this coverage is to provide a fixed monthly disability payment should you become disabled under the disability insurance policy.
How Does the Policy Define Total Disability?
Under the typical policy, you are disabled and entitled to benefits if, due to sickness or injury, you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of Your Occupation as a dentist. With some policies, “You will [still] be [considered] Totally Disabled even if You are Gainfully Employed in another occupation so long as, solely due to Injury or Sickness, You are not able to work in Your Occupation.”
In other words, as long as your conditions prevent you from practicing as a dentist, you are entitled to benefits – even if you are able to earn money by working in another occupation.
How Long Can I Receive Disability Benefits Under the Policy?
Unless you are provided with the option of selecting a different benefit period, the default maximum benefit period is usually up to age 65. More specifically, this typically means that:
The Claims Process
If you are no longer able to continue working as a dentist, you should pursue a claim for disability benefits as soon as possible. First, notify Berkshire-Guardian of your intent to initiate your claim within 30 days after any loss covered by the Policy occurs, “or as soon after that as is reasonably possible.” Berkshire-Guardian will then provide you with the claim forms necessary to complete your claim. Importantly, one of the forms will be for your doctor(s) to complete. It is critical that your doctors support your claim for disability benefits.
Our disability lawyers are familiar with dentist-specific disability insurance policies underwritten by Berkshire-Guardian. We recommend submitting more than just the claim forms and medical records - and can help guide you through gathering as much evidence of your disability as possible. The goal is to overwhelm Berkshire-Guardian with evidence of your disability in addition to the standard forms requested.
Most people have disability insurance coverage through group policies provided by their employers. These claims are generally governed by a federal statute – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). This law is complicated and favors insurance companies.
But your policy through Berkshire-Guardian is not provided through your employer. And so, ERISA does not apply to your claim. This levels the playing field for you and affords you more leverage in your individual disability insurance claim against Berkshire-Guardian.
Our attorneys know how to best position your case due to experience and familiarity with these policies. We have successfully obtained benefits for clients with Berkshire-Guardian policies for dentists.
Help from a Lawyer with Expertise in Disability Insurance
Disability insurance law is complex. Hiring an experienced disability attorney is important. Because all disability lawyers at this law firm focuses on disability insurance claims, we have expertise in disability insurance law.
- We have experience with every major disability insurance company;
- We have a proven track record of success by winning major disability lawsuits;
- We have recovered millions of dollars in disability benefits for clients;
- We never charge fees or costs unless our clients get paid.
The firm can help at any stage of your disability insurance claim, including:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim,
- Appealing a long-term disability denial,
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement, and
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, our lawyers are able to represent clients across the country.
Call (800) 969-0488 or send us a message online to speak with an experienced disability attorney. Pay no fees or costs unless you get paid.