Disabling illnesses and injuries can strike from all manner of angles, and not even those who treat them are fully immune. But whether it forces you out of work temporarily or permanently, you’ll still need to find ways to sustain yourself (and likely other loved ones) through that time.
Find out why disability insurance is your best bet for that, and what you should do in the event that your claim is delayed or denied. If you work at a mid-to-larger-sized practice, then it’s likely that you already receive some disability insurance benefits from being employed there. If you don’t receive those employer-provided benefits, then you may want to consider getting them through an independent insurance agent or directly from the insurer. Before committing to any one option, though, consider the following factors carefully.
Will the plan be accommodating to your situation? Will its definition of “disability” include yours? How long will you have to wait (during the pre-benefit elimination period) before receiving benefits? Is the plan’s benefit period too long (or too short) for the duration you would actually need those benefits? You don’t want to spend money on income protection when you’re actually able to earn an income because obviously, what’s the point? Moreover, you don’t want to invest in income protection that wouldn’t actually protect you. If the plan is “all occupation,” then you would only be able to receive benefits from it if the disabling condition prevented you from working any profession, not just orthopedics.
Always read over the fine print carefully before signing up for a plan and submitting a claim, and consider consulting a trustworthy disability insurance attorney in the event that the fine print misled you. When everything goes smoothly, and benefits are given timely, disability insurance is absolutely worth it. Your career might be placed on hold, but your expenditures, such as bills, loans and rent, won’t. It’s a lot to get a handle on, even on the good days, which is why it’s crucial to have a backup plan to handle it on your worst days. But what do you do if that backup plan falls through?
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)
Bartolic Law has helped over 2,000 Chicagoans fight for the benefits they need and the peace and closure they deserve. If you or someone you know is a local orthopedist who got sidelined by a disabling condition, only to be sidelined by unfair insurance practices – we can settle your ERISA disputes once and for all.
Get in touch with our firm today to learn more and arrange a free initial consultation!