Long-term disabilities can make everyday activities like going to work exhausting or even impossible. When you’re unable to work for an extended period of time, you can apply for long-term disability to supplement or replace income.
You might be asking yourself… “How do I know if I have Long-Term Disability coverage?” Deductions for coverage are usually noted on your pay stub or you can inquire of your Human Resources Department or Benefits Administrator.
Unfortunately, accessing long-term disability benefits isn’t a simple process. Insurers have application processes to prevent fraudulent or exaggerated claims from having access to funds they don’t need.
Consulting a Philadelphia long-term disability attorney can help your chances of a successful claim. It’s valuable to know the process, and an attorney can help you avoid common mistakes during the application process.
What Are Long-Term Disability Benefits?
Long-term disability (LTD) benefits are benefits that employers offer, providing a percentage of your salary while you are disabled and unable to work. They may cover up to 100% of your salary depending on your policy, which is generally more than what social security disability insurance offers.
To qualify for long-term disability benefits, you must fill out an extensive application to prove your inability to work. Working with a law firm with experience in long-term disability claims will help you understand the rules and procedures of the application process and what benefits you can expect.
Six Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Long-Term Disability
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re unfamiliar with how to file disability claims. Don’t worry — we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid when filling out your long-term disability claim.
#1 Being Late
Timing is everything. In most cases, you must first submit a Notice of Claim between 20 and 30 days from your date of disability. From there, policies typically require you to wait 180 days in the “elimination period.” When this period is over, you can officially make a claim for benefits.
Make sure that you make your claim no more than 270 days past your date of disability. Many insurers won’t accept applications past that deadline.
While these are general numbers, many policies will have more specific deadlines. Go over your policy with a Philadelphia long-term disability attorney to avoid missing important deadlines.
#2 Relying Solely on the Claim Forms
When you’re describing your disability on the claim form, don’t simply rely on the forms provided by your insurance. The form’s layout benefits insurers, not your case. Attaching additional materials is always a good idea to show how the disability affects your life.
#3 Being Too Vague
Anyone could fill out a form that claims they can no longer work. Insurers are more likely to approve your application if you provide a detailed narrative of your disability. How did you become disabled? How does it specifically prevent you from completing daily tasks? How does it prevent you from working?
Don’t be afraid to go into “too much” detail or answer questions that weren’t asked. Be as thorough as possible.
#4 Excluding Medical Evidence
Including any records that objectively prove your disability will help your case immensely. A written opinion from your doctor, advocating for you, is also a necessity. If they can describe exactly why you can’t work, you are more likely to qualify for LTD benefits.
#5 Excluding Vocational Evidence
Your LTD claim isn’t simply proving that you’re disabled. You’re proving that your disability prevents you from working. Maintain a focus on your job, its demands, and what you did as an employee.
Remember to consider not only physical demands but also cognitive demands. Some disabilities make it difficult to maintain the focus required in the workplace.
Include detailed descriptions of your duties, hours, and work history. If you can prove, for example, that you’re unable to stand for the hours your job demands, you’re more likely to have your application approved.
#6 Not Following Up
You don’t want insurers to lose your application after all of that hard work. Following up with your insurer keeps you at the forefront of their mind and ensures they consider your application. Keep a record of all communication between you and an insurer to prove that you’ve made this effort.
Filing for Long-Term Disability Benefits? Contact a Philadelphia Attorney Today
If you’re unable to work due to a disability and are looking to file for long-term benefits, you don’t have to face the process alone.
Even when you do everything right and avoid all the mistakes we mentioned above — things can still go wrong. Having a Philadelphia long-term disability can guide you through disability law and combat wrongful denials.
Contact our attorneys at the Law offices of Eric A. Shore at 1-800-CANT-WORK to schedule a free consultation today.