Disability Insurance Blog

Can I Use an Online Legal Service for Long Term Disability Insurance Claims?


Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Maybe the better question is not “can you use an online legal website for an LTD claim,” but “should you?”

As experienced disability lawyers with more than thirty years of combined experience, we have witnessed many changes to the legal environment, including the increasing use of online legal services. Today you can use a legal website for business contracts, estate plans, employment contracts, and all kinds of legal services for documents that once were accessible only to attorneys.

Frankel & Newfield does not believe that long term disability insurance law lends itself to online law. Here’s why.

LTD insurance policies are complex contracts. Maybe IBM’s Watson AI system can discern the difference between “own” and “any” occupation, the deadlines when the policies change from “own” to “any,” and the relationship between residual claims and professional disciplinary actions. As far as we know, Watson isn’t yet working for claimants. More likely it will be harnessed by insurance companies to continue the tradition of denial and delay for disability claims. Until then, you need an experienced disability attorney.

Let’s face it: disability insurance is document intensive and it’s personal. The information that is requested by the disability insurance company spans from medical records going back many years to tax returns to your physician’s office notes, business and financial records (if you are a business owner) and many other personal documents. How much of that information do you want to load up into a portal, and how much do you trust that the portal of the online legal service company to be secure?

We acknowledge that if the Pentagon can be hacked, any portal can be hacked, but we have a concern about handing sensitive documents to a web-driven company. Who is behind that company? Do they have local offices? And what is your recourse if they mishandle documents or don’t handle your matter properly?

Experience really counts in Long Term Disability insurance claims disputes. Not only are long term disability claims complex, there are differences in how the different LTD insurance companies approach claims. Frankel & Newfield has worked with all of the insurance companies and won the respect of their legal teams, both in-house counsel and outside defense attorneys. We would not want to be in the room when a attorney representing an LTD insurance company received legal documents from an app.

Have questions about your disability claim? Call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) and find out how we help clients, on a person-to-person basis.