When you file your initial application for LTD insurance benefits, a lot is at stake. Our video explains why disability insurance companies deny so many legitimate claims.
But sometimes a claim is denied because of mistakes and omissions made on the application, by the applicant. Without skilled legal guidance, it is a rare case for a claimant to submit an irrefutable disability claim. One that would stand up in a court of law, if needed.
Yet it is understandable why most people who are dealing with a disability and can no longer work will go ahead and submit the application for LTD insurance benefits on their own. Most have no idea of the deck that is stacked against them.
Mistakes are common for unrepresented claimants, and even for attorneys who do not regularly handle disability claims.
The Two Biggest Mistakes Claimants Make on an Initial Application for LTD Insurance Benefits
1. Do not limit your claim submission to the forms given to you by your insurer.
Typically these forms include the application for benefits, a questionnaire about your medical condition(s) and why you cannot work, and the Attending Physician’s statement form.
The space allowed on these forms have nowhere near the room needed to thoroughly document, explain and prove your disability, and how it has impacted your life.
DO give the insurance company every piece of information you can to support your claim.
Leave no opportunity for the insurance company to misconstrue, twist, hide or overrule the facts of your claim. Knowing this one thing from the start sets the stage for all the other “Do’s and Don’ts” for a successful application for LTD insurance benefits.
The insurance company is counting on the fact that the information you provide will be summary in nature, thus insufficient to prove that they should pay you monthly disability benefits.
A doctor’s diagnosis is not enough. A winning disability application requires supplemental documentation and exhibits to support and completely prove your claim. Your doctor’s statement must go beyond the forms provided. Medical findings need to corroborate all restrictions and limitations you have in the workplace, supporting the conclusion you cannot work.
What should you include on your initial application for LTD insurance benefits?
While every claim is unique, here are the basics:
- detailed medical records
- treating doctor’s opinions
- expert medical reports
- supporting evidence of proof of pain
- supporting evidence of proof of cognitive impairment
- employer’s statements
- affidavits from friends, witness and co-workers
- job description that captures what you truly do
- narrative description of your disability and how it affects your everyday life
- vocational evidence of disability as it pertains to the demands of your occupation
- evaluation by a vocational expert
- relevant technical articles
- evidential photographs
2. Do not submit a claim without reading and understanding your policy.
Before attempting to file an application for LTD insurance benefits, read through your policy to know how your benefits are structured. Everything else hinges on it. The exact terms and language in your disability policy govern how benefits may be awarded or denied.
Here are a few examples to stress the importance of understanding your insurance policy’s terms:
- Know the type of policy you have and the laws that govern it.
- Know how your policy defines “disability.”
- Know the connection between short term and long term disability policies.
- Know the deadlines and the cutoff dates set by the policy.
- Know what medical conditions may be limited or excluded.
Get Expert Help with Your Initial Long Term Disability Insurance Application
Our law firm offers complete initial application preparation and filing services for both individual LTD claims and group (ERISA) disability claims.
If you are preparing to file an initial application for long term disability insurance, we will help you prepare and submit a rock-solid, initial disability claim.
If your claim has already been unfairly denied and you need to appeal, or benefits have been wrongfully terminated, please ask for a free case evaluation with an experienced disability attorney.