Every now and then we see an increase in the number of people contacting Frankel & Newfield who have had their disability insurance claim denied by a particular insurance company. We’ve seen this occur with CIGNA and Standard Insurance, but this time it seems like UNUM has been sending out more than the usual number of denial letters. This is not an unusual occurrence—but if you are the recipient of such a denial, it can be extremely stressful.
If you receive a disability denial by mail from UNUM, your first thought may be to toss the letter on a pile and try to ignore it. This is the worst thing you can. There are strict time limits concerning disability claim denials, especially when the policy is through your benefits package at work. These types of disability policies are known as ERISA policies – they are administered under a federal law that is used to regulate how employee benefits are managed. If you fail to respond in a timely manner, you could lose the ability to appeal the denial forever.
Call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) if you’ve received a denial letter and aren’t sure what your next steps should be.
If your second thought on receipt of a disability denial letter is to call the 800-number of the insurance company and talk with an operator, we will caution you to be careful. First, your call is likely to be recorded and if you are angry or upset, you may say things you regret later. Second, and more importantly, there is little anyone will do at the insurance company in response to your phone call. Once the claim has been denied, the administrative appeals process begins. You can provide all the information you want on the phone to a claims person, but the appeals process is a very specific one, and documents, including medical reports, need to be provided in such a way as to support your claim.
Frankel & Newfield represents clients at all stages of the disability claims process. Some clients come to us before filing a claim to enhance their chances of success. Others reach out to us when their claim has been denied, and we work aggressively to clarify why the claim has been denied and fight to overcome the denial. That may include challenging occupational descriptions, supplementing medical documents when a paper review has completely overlooked significant medical information or going to the mat over clauses in the disability insurance policy that are being stretched to accommodate a denial.
Our office also represents people when they have been denied, attempted to file an appeal on their own and failed. It’s not the optimal time in the process, but we have succeeded in overcoming a denial at this stage of the claims process also. Call our office today at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) to learn how we can help.