BRYANT LEGAL GROUP
Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits
Understand Your Legal Options With Help From a Chicago Short-Term Disability Insurance Attorney
Disability insurance benefits, short-term and otherwise, are often denied by private insurance carriers, even when the benefits claim is legitimate and reasonably well-supported by the evidence. This can be quite confusing for first-time disability claimants who don’t fully understand why the application for benefits must be so comprehensive and why there is such a significant risk of the third-party claim administrator or insurer choosing to deny a claim for such benefits.
If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Bryant Legal Group, P.C. today to speak with a Chicago short-term disability insurance lawyer.
I can’t thank David and Jennifer enough for going the extra mile to get Guardian to pay my claim, regardless of the fact that my type of claim, although very legitimate, was difficult to gain coverage. They are my heroes for not giving up. I’m very thankful for both of them and their staff.
Why Do Disability Insurance Companies Deny Short-Term Disability Claims?
Third-party claim administrators and insurers are fundamentally incentivized to deny claims that are not so comprehensive and obvious that a denial would simply be unjustifiable. This is particularly true in the short-term disability context, where the timeline for benefits is contracted, and the claimant may be prioritizing their physical recovery over their benefits application.
Instead of granting you the benefits you deserve, these companies often maximize their profits by denying short-term disability benefits claims. Suppose that an insurer denies six different benefits claims, and three of the claimants challenge the denial. In the subsequent disputes, only one claimant receives an award of benefits. Rather than having to pay disability benefits to six claimants, the insurer only has to pay out benefits to a single claimant.
This claim submission and denial dynamic should make it clear just how valuable a solid application for benefits really is. If you can apply for benefits with a comprehensive set of evidence that is sufficiently supportive of your claim, then you might be able to secure disability benefits in the “first round,” avoiding the hassle and cost of having to challenge the third-party administrator or insurer’s decision to deny benefits.
Submitting a Comprehensive Disability Claim Requires Attention to Detail
When applying for benefits to the third-party administrator or insurer, you’ll want to work with a Chicago short-term disability insurance lawyer to identify and gather all the relevant evidence in support of your disability benefits claim.
This evidence includes, but is not necessarily limited, to:
- Statements from healthcare providers
- Statements from co-workers
- Statements from your employer
- Statements from a vocational expert
- Income evidence (i.e., sales data, paystubs, etc.)
- Vocational records (i.e., negative performance reviews)
- Medical records
- Video footage
- Photographic evidence
Insurers must justify their denial, and commonly, insurers use “insufficient evidence” in the application for benefits as a justification for denying such benefits. By taking the time to investigate and include all relevant evidence, you can prevent the third-party administrator or insurer from wrongfully denying your claim and further extending the process for securing your rightful short-term disability benefits.
- Related Article: How to Talk to Your Doctor About Disability
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Consider These 3 Issues Before Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits
There are a several issues that short-term disability claimants must consider before submitting their application for benefits. Failure to adequately consider these issues may lead to an automatic denial.
1. Minimum Waiting Period
You are not eligible to receive benefits until the waiting period expires. Depending on your disability insurance plan, the waiting period may last for a week or two or up to a month or more. Further, you may have to exhaust your remaining sick days to complete the process and become eligible for benefits.
2. Payroll Practice
Many short-term disability plans offered by an employer are considered payroll practices and, although a third party may administer the benefits for your employer, these plans are not provided through an insurance policy.
If your employer offers one of these informal disability systems, you have limited rights to an appeal or causes of action against your employer to challenge a denial.
3. Minimum Employment Duration
If your disability benefits are provided under an employer-sponsored plan, then there’s a good chance that your eligibility is further dependent on you having worked for the employer for a minimum period of time.
For example, if you just started working a few days before submitting a claim for benefits, it’s possible that you will not meet the requirements for minimum employment duration and the claim will be denied.
Consult a Skilled Chicago Short-Term Disability Insurance Lawyer at Bryant Legal Group
Here at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., our disability insurance attorneys have extensive experience helping claimants apply for and secure their rightful benefits — whether their insurance plan is non-ERISA or ERISA-governed. If the claim is denied, delayed, or otherwise mishandled, we are more than capable of assisting you in putting forth a challenge and successfully navigating the internal review and civil litigation processes.
We are a results-oriented firm, and our thorough, aggressive approach to disability claims has brought us significant and favorable case results over the years. We have seen too many would-be benefits recipients give up on their claims prematurely, often bullied into submission by insurers who force them to jump through hoops.
It is our genuine belief that by making an airtight application for benefits and pushing for a challenge in the event of an adverse decision, insurers will be pressured to give your claim due consideration.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced Chicago short-term disability insurance lawyer at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., please contact us at (312) 634-6415 or complete our online form. We will evaluate your disability claim and work with you to develop a strategic map for the road ahead.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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