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What Is Long-Term Disability?
Perhaps you have long-term disability insurance that is meant to help financially support you when you have a long-term disability and are unable to work. Unfortunately, what you might expect to be a straightforward process may end up frustrating, stressful, and anxiety-inducing. Even though you have faithfully paid your premiums, your insurer could deny your legitimate claim. In fact, some major disability insurers have been fined millions of dollars for wrongfully denying claims. Long-term disability claim insurance covers a variety of illnesses and injuries, such as cancers, mental illnesses, degenerative diseases, neurological disorders, chronic illnesses, and much more.
If you are struggling with a serious injury or illness, dealing with the paperwork involved in a long-term disability claim can feel overwhelming. Perhaps you’ve filed a claim for long-term disability and have not heard back from your insurer. If this is the case, you may need to have an experienced, nationwide, long-term disability claim denial lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group step in. If you’ve yet to be provided with a decision, you are not able to appeal and move the process forward. Some insurers deliberately delay a claim decision, hoping you won’t follow up until it’s too late. However, if you have received a denial letter, it’s important to understand that this is not the end of the process.
The length of time you can remain on long-term disability depends on your plan. Many policies pay out for a specific, limited amount of time—two years, five years, ten years, or more—while others offer disability payments that last until you reach retirement age. Under SSDI, you could receive disability benefits for as long as you remain unable to work, so it is important that you speak to your nationwide long-term disability claim denial lawyer to explore your options.
Why Should You Choose a Long-term Disability Claim Denial Lawyer from Carmichael Law Group?
If you are disabled and unable to work, you could be feeling extremely stressed about your personal and financial future. Even though you purchased a long-term disability insurance policy, and dutifully paid your premiums, the process for obtaining benefits can be long and complex. When you choose the Carmichael Law Group, you receive a free initial consultation to help us determine whether you should have been approved for benefits. Having our highly experienced attorneys advocating for you is the best way to ensure a positive outcome in your case.
We serve clients nationwide and have 300-plus positive Google reviews from satisfied clients. We work hard to ensure that our disabled clients receive the disability benefits they need and deserve, whether through SSDI or long-term disability. We know that you have worked hard throughout your life and made plans for your future, yet now that you are unable to work and make a living, your insurer may be refusing to approve your benefits. We also understand that the process for obtaining long-term disability benefits can be complex and overwhelming—especially when your application for benefits is denied. Having the experienced Carmichael Law Group on your side can make all the difference when you are struggling to secure long-term disability benefits.
Why Do Long-term Disability Claims Get Denied?
There are any number of reasons that a long-term disability claim can be denied. Remember, claim administrators often work for your insurance company, resulting in a conflict of interest. While the denial reasons are sometimes legitimate, other times there is no reasonable foundation for a denial. Your long-term disability claim could have been denied for one of the following reasons:
- You have an error in your application for long-term disability benefits. Make sure your application is complete and that all the information is correct.
- There is missing or insufficient medical evidence. It will be necessary to provide your complete medical records as they pertain to your disability, along with a statement from your physician.
- You fail to meet your insurer’s policy definition for having a long-term disability. Your policy should include a list of excluded conditions—conditions that will not qualify you for long-term disability.
- A video that contradicts your claim of a long-term disability exists. Insurers often work with investigators who may surveil your daily activities to determine whether you are being truthful about your disability.
- Your social media accounts show that your disability is not nearly as limiting as you have claimed. It is wise to stay off of social media when you are attempting to be approved for long-term disability or SSDI, for the same reasons as mentioned above.
At the Carmichael Law Group, our attorneys have years of experience fighting for hardworking Americans who have had their long-term disability claims denied.
What Is the Appeals Process Following a Long-term Disability Claim Denial?
There is an appeals process you can follow if your long-term disability claim is denied. You may first be required to file an internal appeal with your insurer before you take steps to challenge the denial in court. You usually have 180 days from the date of your denial in which to file an appeal. This is a non-negotiable deadline, and if you miss it, you could lose your chance to secure long-term disability benefits. You should have received either an electronic or a physical letter of denial that includes a reason why your claim was denied.
Once you have filed an appeal you are no longer able to submit new evidence should your case be heard in federal court, where a judge will review both your initial claim and your appeal before rendering a decision. Because of this, your appeal must be comprehensive and robust, containing all the information that you would want to introduce into evidence in the event that your appeal is denied and you end up filing a federal case. Be sure and read your plan thoroughly or speak to a knowledgeable long-term disability claim denial lawyer since some insurers require two appeals within your insurance company prior to being able to file a lawsuit.
A long-term disability claim denial lawyer from Carmichael Law Group can assist you whether you are applying for benefits, appealing a claim denial, appealing termination of your benefits, or considering litigation. Since long-term disability claim denials are handled on a contingency fee, you pay nothing unless we successfully secure the long-term disability benefits you need.
What Type of Disability Allows Me to Qualify for Long-term Disability Benefits?
Whether your illness or injury qualifies as a long-term disability will depend on your specific plan. Some medical conditions that may qualify for long-term disability benefits include the following:
- Certain types of cancers
- Mental disorders, like bipolar disorder
- Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or chronic fatigue syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease, or other gastrointestinal disorders
- Serious neck and back injuries or degenerative disc disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- The combined effects of multiple disabilities
Are There Deadlines When Making a Claim for Long-term Disability Benefits?
While you should refer to your specific long-term insurance policy, generally you must apply for long-term disability benefits within 30-90 days of the date when your disability rendered you unable to work and make a living. Your insurance plan may contain a “statute of limitations” that governs claims under the plan in your specific state. Once you have filed a claim for long-term disability benefits, your insurer will usually have 45 days to approve or deny your claim, although the insurer may be able to obtain extensions if they were unable to complete a thorough investigation.
If you are asked for additional information, you typically have 45 days to provide it. Usually, you will have 180 days from the date of your denial to submit an internal appeal through your insurance company. Once your appeal is submitted, the insurer must provide a decision within 45-90 days. If you receive another denial, you will have another 180 days to challenge the denial in federal court. As you can see, there are many deadlines, and many intricacies associated with a long-term disability claim. A nationwide long-term disability claim denial lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group can help you sort through these complexities, with the goal of getting you the benefits you need and deserve.
Do You Really Need a Long-Term Disability Claim Denial Lawyer?
While many people try to handle their long-term disability claims on their own, these claims can virtually always benefit from having an experienced long-term disability claim denial lawyer as an advocate. A knowledgeable nationwide long-term disability attorney from Carmichael Law Group can ensure that there is sufficient evidence to properly support your initial claim. We can also take care of filing an appeal on your behalf and litigate your case in the event that it goes to federal court.
Getting the Help You Need from the Carmichael Law Group
Finding yourself in the position of being unable to work and make a living can be frustrating, stressful, and overwhelming. You may be unsure of what you need to do in order to protect your future and seek the benefits for your long-term disability that you need and deserve. A legal advocate from the Carmichael Law Group is ready to assist you and your family in securing the benefits you are entitled to receive. Contact the Carmichael Law Group for a free, comprehensive assessment of your situation.