When you suffer from a disease and are forced to stay home without an income, you may be stressed about paying your bills. Long-term disability benefits are there to protect your income and keep you afloat by giving you a monthly benefits paycheck. Unfortunately, these claims can be complex, and a lot of them are denied only to be approved on appeal.
Therefore, the key is not to give up. If your long-term disability claim was rejected, there is no harm in trying for a second time. The best way to ensure your chances of success is to get in touch with an attorney. They can inform you about the medical conditions that qualify for LTD, help you gather evidence, and prevent you from making mistakes.
Steps to take when appealing a denial of long-term disability benefits
Hire an attorney.
If you are not already working with an attorney, the denial of your claim should indicate that you need one. The ERISA appeals can be complicated, and you cannot afford to miss any steps. Although you will work with the insurance company during the appeal, if they deny your claim again, you would need to go against them during the litigation.
You do not want to face the insurance company alone because they will probably have a team of expert legal professionals by their side. The process can be very technical as well, which will require proper legal knowledge and experience.
Gather any missing information.
If your long-term disability claim was denied due to a technical issue, such as a missing form, fill out the form immediately and include it with your appeal. Also, make sure that the insurance company has all of your medical records and objective evidence of your disability, such as diagnostic tests. If you did not include an important piece of documentation in your claim, gather the missing document.
See an independent doctor.
The insurance company may want you to see a doctor of their choice, which is referred to as an “independent doctor.” They want to understand your condition on their own and may not trust what your family doctor might say.
You must cooperate if the insurance company wants to send you to an independent doctor for evaluation. When you fail to cooperate, the insurance company may think you have something to hide and deny your benefits.