The Do's & Don'ts of Navigating Long-Term Disability Claims
The Do’s & Don’ts of Navigating Long Term Disability Claims
Navigating the process of filing a long-term disability (LTD) claim can be a complex and overwhelming task, and it can be hard to know where to start.
In order to help ensure the most successful claims process, claimants must have a good understanding of the “do’s and don’ts” involved in the process – and this is where we can help. Our team has a wealth of experience in handling long term disability claims for residents of Etobicoke and The GTA, and have the skills and expertise to help you increase your chances of a successful claim. Read on for the dos and don’ts for a long-term disability claim, and ensure you have the information you need.
What Is A Long-Term Disability Claim?
Before we take a closer look at the main dos and don’ts, it is essential to have a solid understanding of just what we mean by a long-term disability claim.
A long-term disability claim refers to a specific type of insurance coverage intended to help replace and make up for a lost income if an individual is left unable to work due to a serious injury or illness. This can be the result of a personal injury, a new medical condition, or in some cases, due to a pre-existing condition (provided that this is covered in your policy). Some LTD policies are provided to employees by their employers and in some cases, individuals by their own personal policies. These policies can be taxed or tax free depending upon who owns the policy.
An LTD policy can provide financial assistance for costs such as:
● Medical expenses
● Rehabilitation costs
● Loss of earnings
Other expenses related directly to the disability, such as home adaptations
The exact amount awarded will vary depending on the policy’s nature and the severity of the disability in question.
The Do’s of Navigating Long-Term Disability Claims
When navigating Long Term Disability Claims, there are several things that you should make sure you do to increase your chances of a successful disability claim, and these include:
Do Understand Your Policy
All too often, we take out insurance policies as a matter of formality and fail to really appreciate or understand the small print or what we are really being asked to sign. Take time to familiarize yourself with the smaller details of your long-term disability insurance policy to ensure you know exactly what you are covered for.
Take time to review the terms, conditions, and limitations, including the definition of disability, waiting periods, and benefit duration. Knowing your policy thoroughly will help you understand your rights and obligations as a claimant and enable you to move more quickly if you need to make a claim.
Do Notify Your Insurer And Your Employer
As soon as you become aware that you may need to take a long-term leave of absence from work due to a disability, you should immediately inform both your employer and your insurance company. Take care to comply with any specific notification policies, and make sure these are adhered to.
Do Gather Sufficient Medical Evidence
Ensure you have evidence to hand – strong medical evidence is crucial to support your LTD claim. Obtain detailed medical records from your treating physicians, specialists, and healthcare providers, and make sure that all of your documents and medical data clearly outline the nature of your disability, its impact on your ability to work, and the treatment plan that has been recommended to you by medical professionals.
Always be honest, and provide accurate information. Don’t be tempted to exaggerate or misrepresent your disability, as this can lead to your LTD claim being denied and may damage your trustworthiness in the long run.
Do Follow the Recommended Treatment Plan
Once you are receiving treatment, following the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare professionals to the letter is vital.
Failure to comply with the recommended treatment can raise doubts about the severity of your condition and may negatively impact your claim. You may even end up not receiving any money at all.
Do Seek Legal Advice
When making a claim for LTD, it is imperative that you have access to trustworthy, reliable legal advice, and consulting an experienced disability lawyer is highly recommended when navigating the LTD claims process.
A lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, review your policy, assist with gathering evidence, and advocate for your rights throughout the claims process, including any appeals that may be necessary.
The Don’ts of Navigating Long-Term Disability Claims
Just as there are certain things that you must do when making your claim, there are also things you need to avoid, and these include:
Don’t Delay Filing A Claim
When filling out a claim for long-term disability, time is of the essence, and any unnecessary delays can make the process more difficult, extending the time it takes to receive your money and increasing your stress.
Check your policy carefully: you are likely to have specific deadlines that need to be met. Make sure you stick to these closely, or you may face charges or even have your claim denied.
Don’t Rely On Verbal Communication
When submitting your claim, evidence and paperwork are the keys to success, so never rely on verbal communication alone. Instead, maintain a written record of all communications with your employer, insurance company, healthcare providers, and any other relevant parties.
Verbal agreements or discussions may be subject to misinterpretation or forgotten details, and this is the last thing you need when you are dealing with the stress of a long-term disability. Keeping written records ensures clarity and helps strengthen your claim.
Don’t Rely Solely On Your Insurer
Always remember that your insurance company is there to make a profit; processing claims is just a tiny part of the job. In most cases, insurance companies will look to minimize liability and may look for any reason to deny your claim, leaving you in the cold.
This is why seeking experienced, qualified legal representation is crucial when filing a long term disability claim. At Ristich Law, our team has a wealth of experience in long-term disability claims and will be able to advocate for you if the insurance companies start to refuse to play ball.
Don’t Give Up!
Making a claim for long-term disability can be a real challenge, so it is important to be tenacious and not give up if your claim is rejected the first time. We can help you navigate the appeals process and present a strong case on your behalf to increase your chances of success.
Get In Touch
Successfully navigating a long-term disability claim requires careful attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the process. By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this blog post, you can enhance your chances of obtaining the long-term disability benefits you deserve.
If you are facing the prospect of a long-term disability claim, we are here to help. The team at Ristich Law has a strong background in working with insurance companies, and we can help you navigate the system to increase your chances of success. Get in touch today, to learn how we can help you take your first steps to a successful claim.
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