If Hartford has denied your long term disability claim, you are entitled to appeal the denial. Can you do it yourself? It’s risky. Here’s what you’re up against:
- If you are counting on the long term disability benefits to pay your bills, you are up against a huge insurance company with enormous resources and no time limits.
- The Hartford has a history of wrongfully denying long term disability claims. If you spend anytime researching online, you already know this.
- The appeals process is not as simple as sending in additional information.
- The next step after an appeal is litigation. Your initial claim and appeal documents need to support your claim enough to withstand challenges of litigation.
How Does Hartford Long-Term Disability Work?
Long-term disability insurance terms are defined in the policy, so you’ll need to locate your original policy and read it carefully. What is your elimination period? In most cases, you have to wait 90 days. After this period, claims are paid for two years, five years, ten years, to age 65 or for life, depending upon the policy.
If you have an older policy, it’s likely to be more generous than policies being underwritten in recent years.
What is ERISA and How Does ERISA Effect My Long Term Disability Claim with Hartford?
When you appeal a disability denial, you may see the word “ERISA” used in the letter from Hartford informing you about the denial. ERISA is a federal law created to protect employee benefits and now used by long term disability insurance companies to control the appeals process. This is another reason you need an experienced ERISA attorney to protect your claim.
If your disability insurance is from your employer, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs any claim against the insurance company. This is a complicated law with many technical legal issues. It overrides any state laws that try to keep insurance companies from acting in bad faith and, even worse, it limits the actions a claimant can take to challenge a claim denial.
ERISA Creates Problems for Hartford Claimants
If you don’t appeal your denial, you could lose the ability to sue the insurance company for denying your claim permanently.
Deadlines are very strict in ERISA claims. There have been many lawsuits over deadlines, and not all of them result in favorable decisions for claimants.
Your disability claim appeal has to be extremely strong to overcome a denial. An updated medical record
If you don’t build out an extremely strong appeal, any documents left out of the appeal may not be admitted to evidence if you need to go to the next step, which is litigation.
Why Was your Claim Denied by Hartford?
Unfortunately, it’s easy to deny a long term disability claim. Most people don’t realize their claim is loaded with weak points. Here are a few you may not be aware of:
- Using a treating physician who is not a specialist in your disability issue.
- Failing to attend Independent Medical Examinations, even if they are from doctors not knowledgeable about your disability
- Failing to provide claim documentation, even when it is clearly overburdensome. If you send anything to the insurance company, send it by express mail and require a signature. The claims process is notorious for losing documents.
- Missing a deadline to file documents.
- Not having the right medical tests to objectively prove your disability.
If your Hartford claim has been denied, call our office at 877-583-2524 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. The call is free and there is no obligation.