LTD Insurance Basics
If you have been injured or become ill and can’t work, but your long-term disability (LTD) insurance company denied you benefits, you should hire an attorney. Unlike the Social Security Administration, LTD insurers are not impartial. They have an interest in the outcome of LTD claims because the more LTD claims they pay, the more it affects their bottom lines. The fewer LTD cases they approve for payment, the greater their profit margins.
Many commentators say LTD companies use unfair tactics to deny benefits. For example, LTD companies often conduct surveillance on benefit claimants. Company investigators secretly stalk them and take videos of their activities when they haul heavy trash, shop for groceries, even when they bend down to pick something up. Later, they may use this video evidence to justify denial of LTD claims or even to argue that LTD applicants misrepresent their conditions.
Such video footage of claimants is often unfair to them when it doesn’t show the whole picture. It can record an ill or injured worker taking a heavy load of trash to the curb or bending down to pick something up but probably won’t show the worker afterward resting and recuperating from the stressful physical activity. LTD companies are notorious for recording only the evidence that may damage a disability claim, not support it.
Importance Of Representation
Because LTD companies sometimes do not handle claims fairly, legal representation for LTD claims is more important than for those of other insurance claims. In fact, for several reasons, it makes sense for claimants to consult with experienced attorneys before filing for or being denied LTD benefits. At the outset of an LTD claim, the insurance company, ostensibly as a part of regular claim processing procedures, may ask for information that it intends to use against the claimant. The company also may try to have the claimant sign consent forms for release of information, credit information as an example, to facilitate its investigation. Most claimants for LTD benefits comply willingly with every such insurer request for information. Assisted and represented by an attorney from the outset, the claimant has the protection of expert advice about what to do and not to do for best results.
It’s particularly important to retain a disability lawyer before any decision is reached on whether the claim for benefits should be granted. An LTD company probably will not warn the LTD claimant that, at some time before any administrative appeal on the claim, the record will close and receive no more evidence. The insurer doesn’t warn the claimant about this time limit on receipt of evidence because, if it did, there would be less of a likelihood of an incomplete record as the warning would incentivize the claimant to make every effort to adduce medical evidence from doctors supporting the claim while the record remained open to it.
LTD insurers count on claimant ignorance of their rules and procedures and consequently poor chances of fighting successfully for LTD benefits despite dutiful, timely payment of all premiums. To level the playing field with those who play unfairly, hire a knowledgeable New York/New Jersey disability lawyer experienced with LTD claims.
Contact Disability Lawyers That New York And New Jersey Residents Trust
LTD insurance is available in group plans through employers or through individual policies purchased directly through agents and brokers. Many policyholders prefer private plans because they typically offer better benefits than do employer-sponsored plans. LTD insurance replaces earnings if the policyholder becomes unable to work because of an LTD injury or illness, work-related or not; however, the sad fact is that some insurers deny too many initial claims, valid or not.
Even after claimants validate their LTDs and receive benefits, insurance companies look to reduce their obligations by buying out claims and negotiating settlements on terms favorable for them but not for claimants. Claimants need knowledgeable advocates to help them through the complexities of claim procedures and buyout details to make sure they get and keep their fair shares of benefits. Contact our New Jersey disability lawyers today at 201-781-5645 for a free case consultation.