After many years of school and practice, there are many reasons why a disability might keep a dentist from working. Find out how disability insurance benefits could help you with that, and why you should work with a trusted disability insurance attorney to make the most of those benefits. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but aging will inevitably leave us more vulnerable to suffering illnesses, injury, and subsequent disability as a result.
Of course, we all want to do everything in our power to minimize how hard life’s curveballs hit us, but they’ll inevitably be thrown at some point. And before they’re thrown, it’s best to be prepared and have your catcher’s mitt ready to brace for impact. Dental healthcare is a profession that requires very precise, very careful, and very impeccable handiwork. Suppose an illness or injury prevents you from performing that kind of physical handiwork. In that case, it’s helpful to have a contingency plan implemented that will keep you afloat, even if you lose wages that you would’ve been able to make otherwise.
Disability insurance premiums might seem to add up in the long term, but you’ll end up getting a lot in return if you suffer a disabling medical condition. Total disability coverage means that you’ll be eligible to receive about 60% of your pre-tax income (equivalent to the take-home pay you would’ve made had you been able to work) for the duration you’re out of work. However, before committing to any one policy, read the fine print to ensure that it offers “own-occupation” coverage. If a plan only offers “any occupation” coverage, then that means you can only receive benefits if you’ve ended up too disabled to work any job.
Since dentistry is an extremely niche field of health and wellness that people go through years of rigorous schooling to perform, it’s doubtful that you’d want to move into a vastly different career from the one you had before the disability. That’s why own-occupation coverage is the ideal option here. But what do you do if you go with a disability plan that you thought was good, only to receive a raw deal regardless? Are delays, negligence, detailed paperwork, and long lines keeping you from receiving the benefits you deserve?
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)
If you or someone you know is a Chicago-area dentist who was misled by a poor disability policy, then let us lead you on the right path. Bartolic Law has worked tirelessly to serve Chicago workers dealing with ERISA § 502(a)(1)(B)1 matters, helping over 2,000 of them fight to obtain the benefits they deserve. If you want to stop stressing and finally start smiling with some peace of mind, contact us today to begin building your case!