One of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to file an initial benefits claim on a long-term disability policy is to try to handle all of the details on their own. Working with a professional, like an attorney who has experience with such insurance policies, while filing a long-term disability claim might seem like an unnecessary expense at a time when you have less financial stability than usual.
However, navigating the insurance process is often prohibitively difficult. As though the forms themselves weren’t hard enough, you may also need to familiarize yourself with your statutory rights under federal law for policies governed by ERISA. That way, you will be able to take swift action if your insurance company denies a reasonable and justifiable claim.
ERISA-governed benefits are subject to more than just bad faith insurance laws
For many wrongfully-denied insurance claims, a bad faith insurance claim is the only real option for recourse that the policyholders have available. They may have to take an insurance company to court in order to prove that the denial of their claim was inappropriate.
Although those with a denied claim from an insurance policy governed by ERISA may also wind up in court, the policy is subject to far more regulation and controls a standard insurance policy. The average civilian will have a hard time understanding these differences, let alone using them to their benefit during the application or appeals process. Working with an attorney can be one of the best ways to ensure you get benefits at a time when you need them the most.
Getting help from the start means you don’t have to bring anyone up to speed
If you handle the initial application for insurance benefits on your own, you will have to spend time and resources helping your attorney understand what has happened so far if you end up needing help. They will likely need to review the application, the rejection and the medical records you hope to use as part of your claim or appeal. All of that can take time — and unnecessarily slow down the appeal process.
When you partner with a lawyer from the beginning, you can avoid the minor mistakes that often result in denied benefits applications and have the security that comes from knowing you have the support of a professional who is already familiar with your situation and needs.