We often tell people that if they are denied their long-term disability claim to appeal the decision. Denial of an initial claim is not all that uncommon—in fact, most claims are denied upon the initial application. However, being denied once is normal; being denied twice can mean the death of your case entirely. Because of that, you do not want to make errors on your long-term disability claim appeal. At Bartolic Law, our Chicago long-term disability attorneys devote one-on-one attention to each and every case that we take on. We have to. Without undivided attention, a long-term disability claim can slip through the cracks, thereby leaving the insurance company to (rightfully) assume that the claim was forgotten about. And if they think that you forgot about your case, they will assume that you do not really need the benefits after all.
Working with an experienced attorney whose job it is to ensure the best possible outcome to your case is the best way to approach the appeal process. When you work with our law firm, we will ensure that you do not make these costliest of mistakes:
When working with insurance companies, you need to remain vigilant of every piece of mail that comes through your mailbox, every phone call from a number you do not recognize, and every email that drops into your inbox. When an insurance company requests information, they generally give you an impossibly tight deadline to get it to them by—sometimes as little as seven to 10 days from receipt of the notice. They do the same for appeals. If you want to appeal the company’s decision to deny you benefits, you must do so within the timeframe allotted by your insurance provider. In most cases, you have 180 days from receiving your denial notice to gather more and new evidence and file your appeal. If you miss the deadline, you will not be allowed to submit new evidence for your case.
Your appeal is your chance to really drive home the fact that you are disabled, and that your disability keeps you from performing your essential job functions. Medical records are not enough to prove this. The judge may look at a doctor’s note regarding your back pain, but in his or her opinion, back pain is something you can work through. On the other hand, if an independent expert were to provide a functional capacity evaluation report that shows how your back pain hinders your ability to perform a majority of job-related functions – such as lifting, pulling, pushing, standing, or even sitting – the judge will be forced to view your back pain as an actual hindrance to your job performance.
Doctors are extremely well-educated, well-trained individuals, but their job is to diagnose and heal—not to provide expert testimony for claims cases. Unfortunately, many doctors fail to articulate their patients’ medical limitations in a clear, concise, and convincing manner to insurance company doctors. This failure often results in the denial of a claim. Before you even file your long-term disability claim, make sure that you inform your doctor of your intentions. Let them know that a representative from the insurance company will be contacting them, and when they do, you would like him or her to explain your restrictions in the same way he or she explained them to you.
The biggest mistake that an individual can make in the appeals process is not employing the help of an experienced long-term disability lawyer. At Bartolic Law, our Chicago long-term disability attorneys know exactly how insurance companies operate. A seasoned attorney can anticipate an insurance provider’s every move and make sure that they are always one step ahead.
When you work with the long-term disability attorneys at Bartolic Law, you are increasing your odds of winning and securing the disability benefits you need to live comfortably until you recover. To speak with a member of our Chicago law firm today, call us today.