4 Useful Tips For Filing A Long-Term Disability Benefit Claims

The mere fact that you have a long-term disability insurance policy says that you're thoughtful and proactive, so you naturally want to make sure that your claim goes through with a minimum amount of trouble.

Here are some tips you can use when filing a long-term disability claim:

1. Read your policy carefully to see what is covered.

When's the last time you even looked at your insurance policy? Call your human resources department and ask for a copy of the policy right away, or contact the agent that sold you the policy. 

All disability policies lay out specific terms that explain what qualifies as a long-term disability under their rules. It will also provide you with more information about the filing process and explains what proof needs to be submitted with your claim. 

2. Don't delay the paperwork on your claim.

When you're struggling with your health, it can be difficult to find the energy or focus to get everything done. However, you generally have a short window of time to file your claim. Check your policy to determine the exact terms, but it's likely only a matter of weeks. 

3. Communicate regularly with the insurance company.

Even though the insurance company wants all of your paperwork in a hurry, it isn't unusual for them to take a while making a determination on your claim. Sometimes the delays are unavoidable due to missing information, a needed medical review, or excessive workloads, while other delays are merely unnecessary red tape.

Regular contact with the insurance company lets them know that you aren't going to sit around quietly while they take months making a determination. Document each contact you make by phone and keep copies of all emails or paper letters, just in case you eventually have to prove what has happened in court.

4. Consider turning the claim over to an attorney for help.

If you're utterly overwhelmed (or you've tried to submit the paperwork before without success), it may be time to turn your claim over to a long-term disability benefits lawyer. An experienced attorney can spot paperwork mistakes, negotiate with the insurance company, and protect your interests if the insurance company starts to play games.

If you receive a letter denying your claim, it's particularly important to seek an attorney's assistance (if you haven't already). You only have a limited time to challenge a denial before you're permanently barred from the appeal.