If you want to apply for long-term disability benefits from your employer, you probably want to do it right away. You may want to rush through the process because it is so difficult to manage without the benefits. While you certainly want to apply for benefits before the deadline, you should not do so fast that you make mistakes.
There are a lot of reasons why claims administrators deny long-term disability benefits. Here are some mistakes you should avoid so you can improve your chances of getting the benefits you need.
1. Inadequate medical records
If you want to receive disability benefits, you need sufficient medical evidence, such as the following:
- Proof of diagnosis
- Regular treatment
- Results from tests, such as MRIs, x-rays, CT scans or psychological evaluations
- Medical bills
- A note from your doctor explaining how your condition will limit your ability to work
Make sure you gather enough proof of your impairment to increase your chances of securing benefits.
2. Missing deadlines
You may need to adhere to strict deadlines when it comes to submitting and appealing your disability claim. Some plans have a 180-day appeal deadline, but you will want to check with a disability attorney to determine when you need to submit all the paperwork. If you wait too long to apply, you may miss out on the financial support you need.
3. Failing to meet the definition of disability
Certain plans have differing definitions of what constitutes a disability. For example, some employer plans only require your disability to limit your ability to work in your specific occupation, while others only consider you disabled if you cannot do any work at all. Make sure you are able to meet the specific requirements of your policy.
Understanding why claims are denied will help you in the filing and appeals processes. If your claim still gets denied, you may be able to fight it.