Disability Insurance Lawyers Helping Claimants in Tampa, FL
Dabdoub Law Firm Is Here for All Tampa Residents
When you need short-term or long-term disability benefits from your insurance company, Dabdoub Law Firm can help you get them. Our law firm is focused on helping claimants like you file disability claims, appeal denials and terminations, and even sue insurance companies should the need arise.
We have worked across the country with nearly every major insurer, so we know their tactics, and we know how to win. We are so confident in our abilities that we will not charge you any legal fees unless and until you win your case.
If you are facing a debilitating medical condition, we can help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 to get started today.
What is Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection to individuals who become unable to work due to a disability. A disability insurance claim is the process by which a policyholder seeks to receive benefits from their disability insurance policy when they are unable to work and earn income because of a covered disability.
Here's how the process typically works:
- Disability Occurrence: The first step in making a disability insurance claim is the occurrence of a qualifying disability. This disability must meet the criteria outlined in the insurance policy. Disabilities can be caused by accidents, illnesses, or other medical conditions, and they should be severe enough to prevent the policyholder from performing their occupation.
- Notification: The policyholder must notify their insurance company of the disability as soon as possible. Some policies have specific time limits for reporting disabilities, so prompt notification is essential.
- Claim Forms: The insurance company will provide the policyholder with the necessary claim forms. These forms will require information about the nature of the disability, the medical treatment received, and any other relevant details. The policyholder or their healthcare provider may need to complete these forms.
- Medical Documentation: It is crucial to provide medical documentation to support the disability claim. This often includes medical records, doctor's statements, and other evidence of the disability's impact on the policyholder's ability to work.
- Evaluation: The insurance company will review the claim and assess whether the disability qualifies for benefits based on the policy terms and conditions. They may also consider the policyholder's occupation and how the disability affects their ability to perform their job.
- Approval or Denial: After evaluating the claim, the insurance company will either approve or deny it. If approved, the policyholder will start receiving disability benefits, typically a percentage of their pre-disability income. If denied, the insurance company will provide reasons for the denial, and the policyholder may have the option to appeal the decision.
- Benefit Payment: If the claim is approved, the policyholder will receive regular disability benefit payments according to the terms of the policy. These payments are designed to replace a portion of the income that the policyholder has lost due to the disability.
- Ongoing Review: In some cases, disability insurance policies require ongoing reviews to confirm that the policyholder continues to meet the disability criteria. These reviews may involve periodic medical examinations or updates on the policyholder's medical condition.
It's important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your disability insurance policy to understand what disabilities are covered, how benefits are calculated, and any waiting periods or elimination periods before benefits are payable. The process for making a disability insurance claim can vary depending on the specific insurance policy and the insurance company, so policyholders should work closely with their insurance provider to ensure a smooth claims process.
Why Was My Benefits Denied?
Disability insurance claims can be denied for various reasons. While the specific criteria for denial may vary depending on the insurance policy and the insurance company, there are common reasons why disability insurance claims are often denied:
- Lack of Sufficient Medical Evidence: Disability insurance claims typically require strong medical evidence to support the disability. If the documentation provided by the claimant is insufficient or does not clearly demonstrate the severity and impact of the disability on their ability to work, the claim may be denied.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Some disability insurance policies may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions for a certain period after the policy is initiated. If the disability is related to a condition that existed before the policy's effective date or during this exclusion period, the claim may be denied.
- Waiting or Elimination Period: Many disability insurance policies have a waiting or elimination period, which is a specific period of time the policyholder must be disabled before they are eligible for benefits. If the claim is filed during this waiting period, it will likely be denied.
- Failure to Meet the Policy's Definition of Disability: Insurance policies often define what qualifies as a disability. If the claimant's condition does not meet this definition, the claim may be denied. Some policies require that the policyholder be unable to perform their own occupation, while others may require an inability to perform any occupation.
- Non-Disclosure or Misrepresentation: If the policyholder failed to disclose relevant information or misrepresented their health or medical history when applying for the policy, the insurance company may deny the claim based on material misrepresentation.
- Not Under the Care of a Physician: Many disability insurance policies require the policyholder to be under the regular care of a physician. If the claimant is not following prescribed medical treatment or is not actively seeking medical care, the claim may be denied.
- Inconsistent Information: Inconsistencies in the information provided by the claimant, medical records, or the claimant's statements may raise red flags and result in a denial. It's important to be consistent and truthful throughout the claims process.
- Disability Caused by Exclusions: Some insurance policies have specific exclusions for certain types of disabilities or injuries, such as self-inflicted injuries, war-related injuries, or injuries sustained while engaging in high-risk activities. If the disability falls under one of these exclusions, the claim will likely be denied.
- Failure to Meet the Policy's Waiting Period: Apart from the elimination period mentioned earlier, disability insurance policies may have waiting periods that need to be satisfied. If the claimant returns to work before this period is over, the claim may be denied.
- Procedural Errors: Failing to adhere to the claims process, missing deadlines, or not providing required documentation can lead to a denial. It's important to follow the insurer's procedures carefully.
If your disability insurance claim is denied, you typically have the right to appeal the decision. It may involve providing additional evidence, clarifying information, or addressing the reasons for the denial. Seeking legal advice or assistance from our team at Dabdoub Law Firm can be helpful in this situation.
Disability Claims in Tampa, Florida
With a population of about 392,800, Tampa is the 3rd largest city in Florida and the 53rd largest city in the United States. Tampa is a port city, and its economy is based on shipping, tourism, agriculture, construction, finance, health care, government, and technology.
Top employers in Tampa include:
- Publix Super Markets Inc.
- BayCare Health Care Systems
- Verizon Communications Inc.
- TECO Energy Inc.
- Times Publishing Co.
- Lakeland Regional Medical Center
- Caspers Co. (McDonald’s)
- OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC
- KnowBe4, Inc.
- Power Design
- Progressive Insurance
- Capital One
- J.P. Morgan
Many of the businesses listed above provide disability insurance to their employees through top insurance companies like Aetna, CIGNA, Hartford, and more. Tampa is also home to countless doctors, lawyers, and self-employed professionals, who often purchase private disability insurance from the same companies. If you pay for disability insurance via your employer or a private plan, you are entitled to benefits if a qualifying medical condition prevents you from working.
This rule and several others are established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Because ERISA is a federal law, your claim could make it all the way to the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, Florida. Nevertheless, our team will likely resolve your claim before it even reaches litigation, saving you the trip out of town.
Lawyers Specializing in Disability Insurance Claims
Disability insurance law is complicated, so you need to get legal help from a lawyer who focuses exclusively on disability claims.
As a law firm built to focus on disability insurance, Dabdoub Law Firm specializes in disability insurance. We spend every day working to get our clients’ long-term disability benefits approved.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we do not have to be located in your state to help.
If your claim for long-term disability benefits was denied or an insurance company is delaying your claim, contact us to speak with a disability insurance attorney today.
We represent clients across the U.S. while they:
- Submit disability insurance claims
- Appeal long-term disability denials and terminations
- Negotiate lump-sum settlements
- File lawsuits against their disability insurance companies