Long Term Disability Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for long term disability benefits?
Most of the time, you must first apply for short term disability benefits. After short term disability benefits end, you can apply for long term disability benefits. The Long Term Disability insurance company has application forms you must submit.The application generally asks for demographic information, information about your disabling conditions, and information about your healthcare providers. The insurance company will also obtain information from your employer and your doctor. Finally, the insurance company will likely have you sign an authorization for release of information.
How will the insurance company decide if I am entitled to long term disability benefits?
The long term disability insurance company will consider medical records, vocational information, information provided by your doctor, expert reports provided by individuals employed with the long term disability insurance company, and almost any other information that you submit to the insurance company in support of your claim.
Does the insurance company have to give me information about my long term disability insurance plan?
Yes. The long term disability lawyers at Fields Law Firm can help you obtain information about your long term disability plan from the insurance company.
What is the approval process for long term disability benefits?
There are three stages in the long term disability benefits claim process:
- Initial Application: You submit your claim to the insurance company.
- Appeal: If your initial application is denied, you can appeal the decision.
- Legal Action: If your appeal is denied, you can pursue arbitration or a lawsuit.
What should I do if get a denial letter from the insurance company?
In most instances, you have 180 days from the date of the denial letter to appeal the insurance company’s decision. This isn’t a lot of time, so if you want help appealing the denial, you should contact an attorney soon after you receive your letter stating your long term disability benefits have been denied.
At Fields Law Firm, our long term disability attorneys have helped thousands of injured and disabled clients throughout the United States. We can file an appeal after receiving your denial letter. We can answer your questions and walk you through the process. If you received a denial letter from your long term disability insurance company, call us at 1-888-343-5375 or fill out our contact form and we’ll help you understand what to do next.
What if a mental illness keeps me from working?
If you have a mental health condition that prevents you from working, you should talk to a mental health professional about how your condition affects your ability to work. Many long term disability policies cover mental illness, including disorders, abnormalities, disturbances, dysfunctions, and syndromes that are:
Be aware that many long term disability plans limit the number of months that benefits can be paid for mental conditions.
Am I still an employee of the company while I’m on long term disability?
It depends. Under some plans, a person on leave for long term disability is still considered an employee of the company and entitled to employee benefits. Under other plans, a person on leave for long term disability is not considered an employee of the company. If you need help determining which of these categories you fall into, give us a call.
Can the long term disability insurance company spy on me?
Sometimes insurance companies conduct surveillance or use other investigative tools in an attempt to prove you’re not really disabled. If you think the insurance company is spying on you, call us. We can investigate and help determine if they’ve violated your rights.
If I can no longer work, should I quit or use FMLA or PTO?
Each employer and insurance company has different policies when it comes to not being able to return to work. Sometimes, you may risk losing eligibility for benefits if you quit your job or agree to any severance terms. Get advice from an attorney before you make any important decisions or agree to a severance package.
Can my employer fire me for applying for long term disability benefits?
No. Your employer, or any other person, can’t discharge, fine, suspend, expel, discipline, discriminate against, or otherwise harass you for applying for long term disability benefits. This is known as employer retaliation, and it is illegal. If you experience this kind of treatment from your employer after applying for long term disability benefits, contact Fields Law – we can help protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly.