Long Term Disability Insurance and Your Company’s HR Department
Thursday, March 10th, 2016
Let’s start with the premise that you are working for a good company with an HR department made up of professionals who are concerned about the well-being of their employees and the company in general. We know there are some companies who do not meet this basic standard, but we also know that there are many companies with genuinely good professionals in the HR department.
You have been taking sick days here and there, sometimes using vacation days to fill the gaps when your illness/injury simply does allow you to get to work. Even working from home is taxing, and you know that there are days when you just cannot manage.
What would happen if you had to go out on disability?
Does your situation fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows you to take a certain number of weeks off per year for medical or family emergencies? FMLA is time without pay but the law is strict on protecting worker’s jobs.
Your next step is educating yourself about your options for disability.
Start by pulling out the paperwork or printing out the pdf, if you never received a printed copy.
If you do not have a copy of your policy, you’ll need to contact the HR department or the insurance agent who sold you the policy. Give them the exact date (or as close as you can get) to the date that the policy was issued. You want the original policy, and you’ll want to be extremely careful about this.
Over time, provisions in long term disability insurance policy change. If you purchased your policy in the 1980s, for instance you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a good policy that will allow your family to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
If your policy was purchased more recently, it is likely to be more restrictive than those issued in the 1980s.
Either way, getting up to speed on the disability insurance claims process is your next big project. If you’ve surfed the web at all you know that there are many potential pitfalls in the claims process. They are spring-loaded with challenges.
The only certainty is the box that asks for your name and date of birth. Everything else is open to challenge.
Bear in mind that the information that you are providing throughout the claims process is not necessarily being reviewed by an insurance company employee. Many insurance companies contract out their claims reviews, often to third party companies who are more inclined than not to deny your claim.
We have seen tremendous abuses of the claims process, so we recommend that anyone filing a claim expect and be prepared to have their claim denied, no matter how ill or injured they are.
Many of our clients come to us early in the claims process, before they have even filed a claim. They rely on our experience with the many different insurance companies and the many third-party claims processing companies. We work closely with primary treating physicians to make sure that your medical records properly reflect the impact that your disability is having on your ability to perform the tasks and duties of your job. We also know the players on the insurance company side, so we will be able to assist you as you go through this process.
We invite you to visit our testimonials page to get a sense of how the firm takes care of its clients.
If you have questions about filing a disability claim, or if your claim has been denied, call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524).