If you have long-term disability (LTD) insurance and recently had an accident that left you disabled, you’ll need to file an application to recover your benefit amount. The sooner that you start preparing for your application, the more ready you’ll be when it’s time to file. To help you get started, here are some tips for prepping for an LTD application:
- Notify Your Employer
The very first step, following your disability and seeking medical care, is to notify your employer of the fact that you’ll be unable to return to work (either temporarily or permanently) due to the disability. You also should inform your employer that you plan to file an LTD application. Some insurance companies require employers to submit an employer statement. If your insurance company requires this, make sure you ask your employer to submit one.
- Review Your Policy’s Time Limits
The second thing that you’ll want to do is to review your insurance policy’s time limits for filing an application for long-term disability insurance. If you don’t file your application within the required time frame, then there’s a chance that your benefits will be denied.
- Review Your Policy’s Definition of a Disability
The third item of business to take care of is reading through your policy thoroughly to learn your insurance company’s definition of disability. Some policies may require a person to be fully disabled before LTD benefits can be paid. Others will require the applicant to be only partially disabled. Learn exactly what your policy says about how it defines disability and make sure that your disability meets that criteria.
- Filing an Employee Statement
The application process for LTD benefits will vary slightly, depending upon your insurance company. However, most insurance companies will require you to file an employee statement. The employee statement will include the basis of your information, place of work, primary care physician, medical information, any workers’ compensation information and more. It is important that you file your employee statement within the time limits discussed above.
- Seek Medical Care and Gather Medical Evidence
You should apply for LTD benefits as soon as you and your doctor determine your disability to be severe enough to prevent you from working. Usually, this is within three months or less of your work discontinuation.
Gathering medical evidence is one of the most important parts of your LTD application. If the medical evidence is not sufficient enough to substantiate your disability, then it is highly likely that your application will be denied.
When meeting with your medical professional, explain your situation to him or her. Your doctor will need to submit evidence that not only speaks to the severity of your condition, but also details why your condition prevents you from returning to work.
- Think About Your Other Benefit Options
Long-term disability insurance is not your only benefit option. In fact, the insurance company may require you to apply for other sources of disability income. Two sources that you should start thinking about now are Social Security disability benefits (either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income) and workers’ compensation insurance. The latter only applies if your disability was caused by a work-related activity.
- Hire an Attorney
Finally, you should understand that having an attorney on your side who can guide you through the application process improves your chances of your claim being approved. While this step is listed last, you should consider hiring an attorney the minute when you become disabled. An attorney can walk you through your application step-by-step and ensure that you have all of the documentation and evidence required.
The attorneys at ARM Lawyers, understand LTD insurance and how the application process works. For help in applying today, call us at 570-257-4509.