Making sure you get long-term disability benefits

Long-term disability insurance is in place to protect workers and provide the financial support they need to pay for medical costs and living expenses if unable to work due to serious ailments. A medical emergency such as heart surgery, a traumatic brain injury from an accident or long-term sickness such as cancer, asthma, multiple sclerosis and depression qualify you for long-term disability insurance.

Many scenarios exist that qualify you for obtaining long-term disability from a private insurance company. And many complicated steps take place in order to successfully obtain these benefits, which has rules governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Because of such rules, employers and insurers think they have advantages and the swift ability to deny disability insurance claims. Do not let this happen to you.

Complicated details, appeals and litigation

It is a good idea to have a legal advocate working with you to secure long-term disability benefits. Here are some of the steps to understand in the ERISA process:

  • Your employer must work with and educate you. Employers must explain what type of injuries are and are not covered. They also instruct you on how to file a claim and provide information about the appeals process if the insurer denies your claim.
  • Make sure to have all medical documents ready for submission.
  • Insurers have 45 days to accept or deny your claim. If the insurance company denies your claim, file an appeal right away.
  • If a judge denies your appeal, file a lawsuit. However, remember that litigation often proves lengthy.

Battling insurance companies and your employer is not something you expect to do. But you must protect your rights and obtain the disability benefits that belong to you. Appeals can be physically, emotionally and financially taxing. If you find yourself facing a legal battle with your employer’s insurance company, Alan C. Olson and Associates has the employment law skills to successfully represent you.


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