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Disability Insurance Blog

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During the many years that we have been practicing long-term disability insurance law, we have met a lot of people, in all occupations and from everywhere across the country. The one thing they share in common is being put into a terrible financial position at the same time they are facing a serious, life-changing health crisis.

What advantages do some disability insurance policies offer?

Insurance is a part of life for most people in our nation. One type of insurance that many people do not take out but can be very beneficial is disability insurance. It is important for workers to know what a good disability insurance policy looks like, so they can decide whether to take advantage of this important benefit.

First, a disability insurance policy will provide a definition of what it means to be totally disabled. Some say that a worker is totally disabled only if they are unable to perform any work duties in any job whatsoever. However,other disability insurance policies state that a worker is totally disabled simply if they are unable to perform the job duties of their specific occupation.

Read the fine print even after an ERISA disability appeal victory

If a disability insurance policyholder is denied a claim for benefits, he or she has the right to appeal the denial per the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). While the appeals process can be complex, often necessitating the assistance of an attorney, it is possible to prevail on an appeal of a denied claim. However, such success may be short-lived for some, particularly when it comes to long-term disability insurance.

Once a person is granted disability benefits via an appeal or lawsuit, they may think they are set for life. However, this is not always true. It is important for the person to read the fine print on their disability insurance policies. This is because under many policies, after a person is granted long-term disability benefits for two years straight, their insurer may once again deny their claim for benefits citing a "change in policy."

Short Term Impact of Tax Reform May Be Bad for ERISA Disability Insurance Claims

At first glance, a lowered corporate tax rate would seem to be a boon to large insurance companies. Experts expect that it will, in the long-term, but in the short term, there will be some belt-tightening to occur, and we predict that ERISA disability claimants will be the ones to feel the pinch first.

Don't overlook the benefits of disability insurance

Some employees may recognize that certain benefits offered by their employer are important, but they still may pass them up in favor of other things. For example, according to one survey by an insurance company and financial services organization, 65 percent of respondents did believe that people in general should have disability insurance. However, only 48 percent of respondents stated that they personally should carry such an insurance policy. And, a mere 20 percent of respondents reported that they in fact did have a disability insurance policy.

Disability insurance is important, however, because it provides a source of income to policyholders who cannot work due to a disability. While people may be tempted to opt out of long-term disability insurance, no one can predict whether their health will suddenly take a turn for the worse. Some employers will automatically enroll their employees in a long-term disability insurance policy, which workers can then opt out of. When employers do this, according to one professional, as many as 75 percent of employees will choose to keep the disability insurance policy. If there is no automatic enrollment, that number drops to only approximately 30 percent of employees that will choose to enroll in a disability insurance policy.

A denial of disability benefits need not be the end of the story

No one is guaranteed that they will stay in good health during the course of their career. However, whether it is cancer, a spinal cord injury or even something like arthritis, a person could find themselves in a situation that they never expected -- that they are too injured or ill to go to work for a significant period of time.

Some people may think that they have enough sick leave, or even enough savings, to compensate them if they cannot work. However, some injuries or illnesses are so severe that a person will quickly burn through their sick time and deplete their savings well before they get better. And, unfortunately, some may never regain the health they once had prior to their ailment.

What are some common causes of long term disability?

Sometimes, it is a condition that comes on suddenly, while other times it is a condition that slowly develops, getting worse as time goes on. However, it happens, though, it is not uncommon for a worker to become disabled at some point before retirement. What are some common causes of disabilities that lead to missed work?

Musculoskeletal problems, including arthritis, are the number one cause of long term disability. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately one out of every three individuals reported that arthritis made it difficult to perform their work duties in some capacity. Musculoskeletal problems also include back issues, poorly-healed broken bones and hip issues.

Don't let applying for long-term disability overwhelm you

Sometimes a person suffers from an ailment that will keep them from being able to work for a long time. While that person may ultimately want to go back to work, they will need some way to meet their financial obligations while they are disabled. This is when having a long-term disability insurance policy can be important. The following are some tips for those who are facing the prospect of applying for long-term disability benefits.

First of all, before submitting a claim for benefits, it can help to review one's long-term disability insurance policy. A person will want to make sure they understand all the deadlines they will have to meet. This includes deadlines for submitting the claim, deadlines for providing medical records and deadlines for appealing a denial of benefits if necessary. It is also important to understand how one's policy defines disability. A person will also want to make sure they know what their waiting period is -- that is, the amount of time that must go by before a person can claim benefits. Finally, a person will want to know if there are any exclusions in their policy, such as those for preexisting conditions or substance abuse.

Professionals and Executives Filing Disability Claims

A serious diagnosis of any kind of disease and the prospect of a life-changing chronic condition is a challenge for anyone. But for an executive or professional whose identity is wrapped up in their work, the emotional aspect of becoming disabled can be as tough as the physical aspects. Type "A" personalities who gain a high degree of success because of determination and drive often have different responses to becoming disabled than others.

Insurance coverage and cancer: What women need to know

Everyone has the right to get back to feeling like themselves after a cancer diagnosis or resulting disability, but women, in particular, may face insurance obstacles, including obstacles with disability insurance. Here are a few things you might not know about insurance coverage and cancer.

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