5 mistakes long-term disability applicants make

Countless ill, injured or disabled workers submit long-term disability claims every day. In fact, 20-year-olds today have a one in four chance of experiencing a disabling health event before retirement. Wisconsin workers should know that a long-term disability application is a complex process.

You need to fill out your application carefully, thoroughly and in a timely manner. It is crucial that your application demonstrates the true extent of your illness, injury or disability to the recipient who will either decide in favor or against awarding you benefits.

Avoid these common pitfalls

To ensure that you receive the proper benefits while you recuperate or move on with your life, you must prove that you cannot perform your regular job duties in your current condition. Here’s what NOT to do throughout the application process:

  • Never miss a deadline. Filing your application in a timely manner is one of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth process. Failing to file on time could mean an automatic dismissal of your request. With most private insurers, you only have a limited amount of time from the date of disability to initiate your claim.
  • Don’t rely solely on the insurance forms to make your case. Insurance claim forms often don’t give you enough space to describe your condition, which can prevent you from expanding on your medical needs and ultimately proving your case. If necessary, supplement your forms with the appropriate documentation and relevant paperwork.
  • Failing to inform of your change in circumstances or ability. Your claim should tell a story. Why is this date of injury or disability so definitive? What can’t you do today that you could previously do without fail? An experienced attorney can help you create an authentic, factual narrative that also generates an appropriate level of sympathy.
  • Not providing the necessary medical evidence. One note from your doctor is not going to be enough for a long-term disability application. The insurance company will need to see your complete medical records to evaluate your application. Comply with all requests for more information.
  • Being too vague about your capabilities. If you are an office worker who sits most of the day, you need to explain why you can no longer perform your duties. You may need to educate your insurer on the secondary demands of your job, including stress, travel or more.

In general, always err on the side of too much information. The outcome of your long-term disability claim will greatly affect both your finances and your health. An attorney with experience in long-term disability claims can help you with the filing process and support you in your time of need.


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