Unable to work due to injury or illness? Accidents, injuries, and life-changing medical diagnoses can happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared. To be safe, it is necessary to apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits to ensure that you are properly compensated.
However, there are many common mistakes made during the application process that can impact your entitlement to benefits.
This article outlines six common mistakes involved with the process, how to avoid them, and how to be mindful of them when applying, so you can get the assistance you need.
1. Not Making the Claim Your Priority
A mistake many people make early on in the process is putting the claim on the back burner after filing. Once you put in a claim with your insurance provider, it is crucial to stay on top of the status of your claim and provide any additional information when necessary. Like any other process, there are multiple steps and procedures to follow. Missing any messages from insurance providers can slow your claim's timing, which can result in delays in processing and approving the claim if any mistakes need to be addressed.
2. Not Being Mindful of Timing When Filing Your Claim
Another common mistake is to file the claim while you are still working. These benefits are intended to provide income when you cannot work, and conflicting with this intention will result in the denial of your application. Your application's timing is essential to provide a reasonable chronology of events and to receive your benefits when you need them. You need to prove that your disability is impacting your ability to work in the present, not in the distant future.
3. Filing an Inaccurate or Incomplete Claim
Another mistake is failing to properly disclose your medical history. Regardless of whether this was by accident or on purpose, this will almost guarantee a denied claim. For this reason, you must take all the precautions to ensure this part of the claim is submitted correctly. Work with your doctor to gather as much evidence as possible to provide proof of your disability. Documentation of medical tests, procedures, prescribed treatments, etc., all qualify as solid evidence.
Even non-medical information is vital to your claim, such as examples of how your illness or injury is impacting your activities of daily living. This includes things like housekeeping or recreational activities that have been negatively affected. Make sure you fill out the application in its entirety and seek assistance if you have any questions or are unable to do it yourself.
4. Not Properly Following Your Road to Recovery
If you do not engage in the prescribed treatment for your illness or injury, then your LTD claim can be rejected. This mistake applies to the pre-filing of the claim and the period within which you are receiving long-term disability benefits. Failure to follow your treatment plan can be used as evidence against the severity of your condition, and insurance companies will be sure to point that out. Of course, if there is a valid reason for missing a part of your treatment, be sure to document it for reference.
Benefits remain as long as you are eligible for them under the terms of your policy, but you must follow through on treatment recommended by your doctors and other rehabilitation professionals.
5. Being Too Active on Social Media
One of the most common mistakes when applying for LTD benefits is posting on social media. While social media is a convenient way to connect with others, it can be used as evidence against you.
The public nature of social media posts makes the information accessible to anyone, including those who handle your long-term disability benefits claim. Even if you are rightfully in need of these benefits, social media evidence can be used against your claim. This mistake includes posting about your recovery journey, as it can be used against you in some instances.
For these reasons, it's best to avoid making posts about your condition.
6. Giving Up
Applying for LTD benefits can feel overwhelming, especially if your application is denied. Fortunately, if you acquire new medical information that further supports your disability and its impact on your ability to work, you can launch an appeal in the hopes of overturning the decision.
If your insurance company continues to deny your claim, lawyers at Findlay Law can provide a free consultation to discuss your claim and learn how we can help you obtain your benefits.
Have further questions about the LTD process, or want to fight your LTD claim denial? Contact Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers for a free legal consultation today.
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