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.
We find that in these cases, sometimes the emotional wallop of becoming disabled can become problematic for insureds during the claims process. Thus, we share a few recommendations, if you find yourself relating to this personality description:
1 – Any contact with the insurance company needs to contribute to a positive outcome, and not create more problems. That includes conversations with client service employees, which are inevitably recorded. It’s our job to fight with the insurance company for clients. We advise our clients to allow us to handle that.
2- Fighting a disability claim or an appeal that has been denied is not a fast fix or easy solution typically. We work very hard to speed up the process, but insurance companies are large bureaucracies and it never goes quite as fast as you’d like it to. Thus, try to have patience.
3 – Be careful when discussing your emotional state with your treating physician. A single doctor’s note that the claimant seems anxious or depressed can easily be twisted by the long term disability insurance company into a mental/nervous condition. The goal often for the insurance company is to move claimants into this condition, which often has limited benefit periods, versus a long-term physical condition that might require payments for decades from the insurance company.
4 – Keep notes of any contact with the insurance company or, if you are not able to, have a trusted family member or friend keep notes. Print out emails and save them. Better, let your disability attorney take the reins and conduct all contact with the insurance company. This is not always easy to do for high-functioning individuals, but it is often the best way forward to protect yourself from harming your own claim.
5 – Realize the seriousness of your situation. Insurance companies have large teams of attorneys and claims managers who are focused on maintaining the company’s bottom line. The less they have to pay out in claims, the better their reports and earnings (and bonuses). The law is complex -we have represented many attorneys and even insurance company executives who thought they would have an easy time filing for claims, only to be surprised when claims were denied and terminated.
6 – In many cases, time is not on your side. There are strict time limitations for filing a claim, for appealing a claim and for pursuing litigation, if it comes to that.
We invite you to call our office today at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2324) and find out how we help executives and professional clients. You don’t want to do this alone, and you don’t have to.