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When Is The Best Time To File A Disability Claim?

Monday, May 18th, 2020

Before they have the experience of becoming disabled, most people assume that a disability claim occurs through a natural progression: you get sick, your doctors say you can’t work, you file for short term disability and then transition to long term disability.

It’s rarely that straightforward.

For most people, unless they are in an accident or become extremely sick in a matter of days, the disability starts small, like a pain in a wrist or a migraine headache that used to be occasional and now comes daily. The people we represent tell us time and again that they never expected to reach the point of being completely disabled. They tried to work through the pain, the brain-fog, the fatigue. They never imagined that they would be so debilitated by an illness or injury and that their lives would change so dramatically.

For them, the question “When is the right time to file a long term disability claim” is a critical part of the claims process.

Filing at the wrong time could mean that they never see any benefits. But how do you know when the time is right?

Talk with an experienced long term disability attorney. There may be fact patterns in your situation that they have seen over and over again. Like filing a claim before your treating physicians have had time to make sure that your medical records are bulletproof. Or filing a claim before the subjective test results are reviewed. You can call our office at 877-583-2524 for a free consultation. It will be worth your time.

Start taking notes and create a timeline of events. One of the challenges that claimants face is not remembering the sequence of events that lead to their becoming disabled. It’s not the first thing anyone thinks about when they are grappling with a serious diagnosis or injury, but having the dates, the names and the details can refresh your memory when the long-term disability insurance company pushes back.

Make the medical appointments you need and go to them. There are a lot of emotional challenges when you’ve received a life-changing diagnosis. Sometimes doctor visits becomes overwhelming, and there are people who find going to the doctor is a harsh reminder of their disability. But those doctor appointments are not just for your physical well-being. They also provide documentation of your illness/injury and show that you are getting appropriate care.

Document interactions with the insurance company. If you are not able to keep notes as this process unfolds, ask a family member or trusted friend to help. Note every detail you can about the contact, print out emails and save all mail correspondence. There are time restrictions on claims so dates matter.

Document what happens at work. Don’t delete notices for meetings that you can’t attend. Make a list of meetings that you are unable to attend because of your disability. If your performance is measured in sales or number of units shipped, document that to show the before/after impact of your disability.

Save any correspondence you receive from managers or HR that includes mention of your performance changing, whether they mention your disability or not. If you need to hire someone to do your work for you, like a dentist who brings in another dentist to care for patients, keep all of the records of appointments and payment.

Call Frankel & Newfield to talk about your long term disability insurance claim. We are open and still accepting new clients. You can call our office at 877-583-2524 for a free consultation. Our office works with people just like you, in all 50 states. Learn how we can help you.

Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel - Disability Insurance Attorney

Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.

Learn more about Justin | See Justin’s Publications



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Sorry, we do not handle SSDI/Social Security claims.

Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.


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This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

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