A number of factors go into an insurance company’s decision to approve or deny a claim for long-term disability. Hardly any of those factors consider your best interests. Insurance companies are allowed by law to deny claims for certain reasons. Often, even the hint of one of those reasons is enough for an insurance company to deny a claim. In those cases, it’s important to have an attorney who will advocate for your interests against the insurance company.
The disability attorneys at Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C. have successfully helped our clients with the process of appealing a long-term disability insurance denial. Just because you’ve been denied doesn’t mean the fight is over. In fact, it’s just begun. Call us today. We can hold the insurance companies to task, as well as help you get the settlement that you deserve.
How to Appeal a Long-Term Disability Insurance Denial
If you’re doing this on your own, there are some steps that you can take without the aid of an attorney. Those who attempt to negotiate with an insurance company are considered low-hanging fruit by the adjusters. Nonetheless, you can determine if you have cause to sue simply by taking a few easy steps.
Get a Copy of the Policy
Your company’s HR department should have a copy of the long-term disability policy. You can also get this information directly from the insurer. If neither complies with your request you should send a demand letter via certified mail directly to the insurer. They are required by law to furnish you with a copy of the policy. This may also be a good time to get a lawyer involved in the process.
Read Through the Denial Letter
Make sure that you keep the denial letter handy and read through it. The insurance company will list the reasons for denying your claim. It will also inform you when and how you can file an appeal. You cannot miss these deadlines. Doing so will summarily kill your claim.
Track Down the Evidence You Need
Insurance companies will commonly cite a lack of evidence for denying a claim. It’s important, then, to get the evidence you need to make your case courtroom-ready. Insurance companies don’t like jury trials and they don’t like juries. They’ll avoid them when they can. But you need to give the appearance that you’re ready for a jury trial and have the evidence you need to back up your claims. What kind of evidence is that?
Any Medical Records That Bolster Your Claim
Neither insurance adjusters nor plan administrators are going to make a concerted effort to track down your medical records. You must take the initiative. If they cite lack of evidence, and you provide them with evidence, it forces them into the position of citing a new reason for denying your claim or honoring it.
Relevant Medical Tests and Asking Your Doctors for Written Opinions
In some situations, the evidence needed to support your claim might not yet be available. In that case, you will need to order tests or ask doctors to write written reports that corroborate your claim.
Letters and Expert Testimony
There will be some situations where non-medical evidence can prove beneficial. This includes vocational experts. Vocational experts specialize in determining what kinds of jobs those with certain disabilities or impairments can or cannot do. Their testimony can be pivotal toward proving your claim.
When to Get a Lawyer Involved
When you file a claim and receive a long-term disability insurance denial, it’s important to remember that it’s only the first step in an ongoing negotiation. Insurance companies will force you to prove any claim that you make. The earlier you hire an attorney, the easier it will be to anticipate the insurance adjuster’s moves and the faster your claim will be processed.
Contact a New Jersey Long-Term Disability Attorney Today
The New Jersey disability attorneys at Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C. can ensure that you procure all the evidence you will need to force the insurance company to honor your claim. Receiving a long-term disability insurance denial is to be expected. However, an attorney can help leverage the evidence you need to force the insurance company to pay out.