The decision to file for disability benefits is never an easy one. The uncertainty surrounding your income and health can be overwhelming. If you work for a company, your human resources department might assist you in this process. But your employer might alternatively take a hands-off approach to disability insurance altogether, passing off your application to the insurance carrier. Not only that, but if you are like many, you probably have not thoroughly read your disability insurance policy, placing you at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with your insurance company. This could result in the denial or devaluation of your claim. Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts when filing your application for employer-provided disability insurance benefits.
Insurance policies are contracts. As with any contract, the parties are bound to its terms and conditions. When filing for disability insurance benefits, the first step is to obtain your insurance policy from your employer or insurance company and then review the terms and conditions of your policy. Notably, the policy will outline the conditions in which you are entitled to short-term or long-term disability payments. It should also detail the circumstances in which the insurance company can deny your claim.
Your disability insurance policy probably contains terms and phrases that you might be unfamiliar with and find hard to understand, which is normal. Your human resources representative may offer to assist here, but in all likelihood, you will be on your own when trying to decipher the legal language contained within your policy. Moreover, your HR department is likely not experienced in handling disability claims. After you have reviewed your policy and submitted your application, the insurance company will investigate whether you are eligible for disability payments under your policy. This investigation will likely include a review of your employment records, medical documents, interviews with your co-workers and immediate superiors, and potentially an examination by an independent third-party doctor or medical professional. Once the investigation is complete, the insurance company will either approve or deny your claim. In the event of a denial, you are entitled to an appeal.