I Received A Letter Saying My Long-Term Disability Benefits Were Denied. What Should I Do?
Written by Stephen Fields on March 6, 2016
You’ve been waiting for this letter for some time, and your bills are starting to pile up. When it finally arrives, the shock of learning that you’ve been denied can certainly take it’s toll. Now you have to decide what you need to do to ensure your family is taken care of while you focus on getting better and returning to work.
At Fields Disability, our long-term disability attorneys are here to help you understand what your legal options are and what you need to do in order to get your disability benefits.
First, read the letter.
It might be difficult to get past the language, “you have been denied“, but the remainder of the letter contains important information about how the insurance company made their decision to deny your claim and what documents they relied on in doing so. Reading the entire letter is critical because you may be able to identify whether or not the insurance company was relying on incomplete information, or whether or not they failed to obtain or consider pertinent records.
The letter will also explain important information about the insurance policy. The letter should lay out exactly which parts of the insurance policy that they claim exclude you from coverage. Even if you do not understand the legal jargon, read it to get a basic understanding of your insurance policy.
The letter will also indicate procedures for appealing the insurance company’s decision to deny benefits. An appeal is a request to have the insurance company take a second look at the information that they obtained in processing your claim. Additionally, you can submit new evidence to the insurance company in support of your claim. You will want to appeal the long-term disability denial. If you do not appeal, you will not receive benefits.
The denial letter will also indicate how much time you have to appeal the insurance company’s decision. Most letters will indicate you have 180 days (six months) from the date you receive the denial letter to appeal the decision. If you let the letter sit on your counter without doing anything, you could be wasting precious time that could be used to appeal and hopefully overturn the insurance company’s decision.
Next, hang on to the letter.
It is important to keep track of this letter because it is the first thing that an attorney will want to see. The long-term disability denial letter is essentially the starting point for your appeal. An attorney needs to see the denial letter so they can understand who to request information form, and what deadlines they need to be mindful of.
Finally, call an attorney.
Appealing the insurance company’s decision can be hard to do on your own. An attorney knows and understands the deadlines involved. Attorneys know how to speak with the insurance companies, and know how to request information necessary for the appeal. Most importantly, an attorney can help put your mind at ease during the appeal process. The attorney can deal with the insurance company, so you don’t have to.