Do you need a Standard disability denial lawyer? If The Standard has denied your long-term disability claim, that’s not where the story ends. There are steps you can take to appeal the decision and the long-term disability denial lawyers at Marc Whitehead & Associates can guide you. Insurance companies deny policyholders’ legitimate disability claims more often than you might think. It’s actually part of their business model – paying out fewer claims translates to higher profits. Our lawyers will fight for you to get the full benefits to which you’re entitled.
The U.S. Social Security Administration projects that approximately 25 percent of all individuals older than 20 will suffer a disability at some time before reaching retirement age. Long-term disability insurance from The Standard and other private insurance providers is designed to replace lost income that results from not being able to earn a living due to disability.
Why does The Standard Deny Claims for Long-Term Disability Benefits?
To maximize their profits, insurers like The Standard take a fine-tooth comb to all disability claims, looking for a pretext to deny your claim. The reasons they give to justify this include:
- Missing a deadline: Insurers are usually strict about filing a long-term disability claim within a certain allotted time frame. If you miss a deadline for submitting a claim, you risk being denied benefits or losing your rights all benefits provided under your policy. Ensure that you meet each deadline during the appeals process.
- Exclusions for pre-existing conditions: The Standard and other insurance companies typically will not approve a claim for a medical condition that is found to have existed before the incident that led to your disability claim.
- Not honoring the elimination period: Disability policies usually require you to show you have been continuously disabled during a defined “elimination period” in order to qualify for disability benefits.
- Surveillance via video and social media: The Standard and other companies often use private investigators to document any activities on video that could disprove your disability. In addition, they might search your social media accounts to turn up photos, videos, or text messages that may show you are less impaired than you claim to be. Lots of people on disability have the occasional days when they aren’t confined to their bed or home, but you need to exercise caution about what you post online.
- Inadequate evidence: Although you need medical evidence to support your long-term disability claim, medical records by themselves are not always enough to get your claim approved. You can strengthen your appeal by submitting additional evidence, including medical evaluations from other doctors and vocational specialists who can evaluate you and argue that you lack the ability to perform your responsibilities at work while you’re impaired.
- Reliance on The Standard’s own experts to appraise your disability: If The Standard is able to have you assessed by its own experts, it could undermine your claim. Experts hired by the insurer are likely biased in favor of their employer, resulting in an unfair appraisal of your condition. You can counter these subjective evaluations by having your own personal doctor examine you and by going to an impartial outside expert.
- Transition in how disability is defined: Approval of long-term disability benefits initially depends on meeting disability requirements that apply to your own occupation. But after an initial period of two or more years, the definition of disability might change such that you could have to demonstrate that you are unable to work at any job, not only the one you were trained for. Vocational experts can provide proof that your disability precludes you from any type of work.
If you are appealing The Standard’s denial of your long-term disability claim, you’ll need to address each of the reasons cited in The Standard’s disability insurance denial letter. New evidence – including favorable medical evidence and supporting statements from doctors who are treating you – can be filed only during internal appeals, before your claim goes to court. That’s particularly true for group health plans regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the federal law that sets minimum standards for most retirement and health plans that private companies offer to their employees.
Marc Whitehead & Associates’ long-term disability attorneys have handled many of these cases and can use their experience to help you navigate the tricky appeals terrain.
Our attorneys will meticulously examine your policy and denial letter to ensure you follow all the rules for appeals outlined in your policy and craft the most convincing appeal possible. We will serve as a liaison between you and your insurance provider to make sure all communications are managed properly and that you receive fair treatment from The Standard.
Let an Experienced Standard Disability Denial Lawyer Guide your Appeal
After receiving a long-term disability claim denial letter from The Standard, you have 180 days to file an appeal, which Marc Whitehead & Associates’ lawyers can help you with. Most denial letters outline the reasons a claim was rejected and include a list of documents, medical examinations, and materials that a claimant must submit to overturn the denial. If you are confused by the reasons in the denial letter, contact one of our experienced disability benefits attorneys to help appeal your claim.
Contact an Experienced Disability Attorney
Marc Whitehead & Associates has been fighting for 30 years on behalf of people whose benefits under private long-term disability insurance plans have been wrongfully denied. If you choose us to represent you, our lawyers will promptly review your denial letter, guide you through the process of gathering any requested documents and materials, and explore all available options for filing a successful appeal to get the full benefits you were promised in your insurance contract. We take pride in our track record of helping claimants fight back and win. Call today for a free consultation.