If you’ve been injured as a result of your work, whether in the short term or the long term, you may be overwhelmed as you contemplate how to move forward. You may be wondering how to even just stay afloat through one of the most difficult curveballs that life can throw at you. You’ll want to seek prompt help and prompt disability benefits to make up for the loss in income.
Ideally, those benefits should be equivalent to 60-80% of your pretax income, or what would’ve been your take-home pay if you were able to continue working. Even if an injury didn’t cause your affliction, you may still want to consider claiming disability benefits. Even though they aren’t quite as physically apparent to the naked eye, mental health issues, fatigue, and eye strain can all detrimentally impact your job performance. Most plans will consider those detriments to be valid qualifications for disability benefits.
Ideally, your plan’s benefit period should cover the full duration of the time you’re unable to work, not exceedingly more and not an awful lot less. Furthermore, it should offer you benefits, regardless of whether or not the disabling incident actually happened on the job. Regardless of whether you obtained your policy through your employer or totally independently, the same steps will generally apply when filing a disability claim. Contact your disability insurance provider to file the claim, submit a claim packet accordingly and wait for the claim to process. Once the claim is approved, you may have to wait through an elimination period before receiving benefit payments. This usually lasts for up to 90 days after the initial disabling incident.
If your claim is rejected, it may be because you didn’t meet the policy’s definition of “disability.” That’s why it’s critical to substantiate your claim packet with detailed statements from your employer, your attending physician, as well as you, the claimant. There’s also a chance that your rejection could be motivated by unfair discrimination. If you suspect that’s likely the case, then you’ll want to take that case up to an experienced, focused disability insurance attorney. Moreover, if you suspect that your plan misled you in any way, you should take it up to a focused disability insurance attorney.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
Our firm has helped many Chicago-area professionals, blue-collar and white-collar alike, receive the fair support and treatment they deserve. No matter what type of ERISA litigation issues you have to deal with, we have experience in facing all of them head-on. If you or someone you know was a recently disabled civil engineer, don’t wait to fight for the help you need and the support you deserve. Don’t let yourself be disregarded through your most vulnerable time of need. Contact us today to schedule your consultation online and learn more about how we can help!