A long-term disability (LTD) claim is essential for those unable to work due to a debilitating medical condition or injury. If you cannot work because of a medical condition or injury, it may be possible to secure LTD benefits. Today, let’s examine how to submit a long-term disability claim in more detail. In addition, we’ll cover what happens if you are denied including next steps.
Make the Most of the Elimination Period
Among your responsibilities is the need for a firm understanding of your elimination period. This is otherwise known as the waiting period – the amount of time you must be disabled for prior to applying. Submitting your claim too early is sometimes a risk, as you may be turned down for not proving beyond a reasonable doubt your inability to work. Most of the time, however, early applicants will simply be required to wait. While waiting for the elimination period to end, you should instead gather as much medical documentation in support of your claim as possible. We also recommend consulting your employer’s policy booklet to ensure all their terms and conditions are met. The more thorough and complete your claim and supporting documentation is, the better the chances you’ll have of getting accepted – all while reducing the risk of delays.
The “Big Three”
When submitting a long-term disability claim, there are normally three important statements you must include with it. Sometimes only two are needed – one from yourself and a doctor – but this depends on the employer in question. The so-called “big three” are as follows:
Your first-hand statement needs to be clear and concise about your physical and/or mental limitations and/or restrictions. For instance, if you are diagnosed with depression, list the specific conditions and symptoms that prevent you from working. You should also detail why you cannot work in your field of expertise – do not hold back on any critical factors and remain as accurate as possible. And don’t worry if you run out of room – a second sheet can be attached without voiding your application.
In most cases, the employer in question must provide equally clear, concise and thorough documentation of your situation. This usually includes a complete list of the duties within your role, and whether it would be feasible to alter your role.
Practitioner (Doctor) Statement
We’ve noticed that doctor’s statements can often be incomplete or difficult to interpret. That’s why our legal team is happy to resolve any conflicts by acting as a liaison between you and your doctor prior to submitting your claim. Doctors may have busier jobs than ever, but they still must provide ample detail on your symptoms, diagnosis, recommended treatments and whether you’ve undertaken them, and why you cannot perform your duties. All relevant medical documentation – treatment programs, visitation records and otherwise – must be attached with this statement. This statement is the most heavily scrutinized by claim analyzers for accuracy and legitimacy. Remember, LTD insurers are known to even monitor social media behaviour by the applicant to verify their honesty.
What if I’m Turned Down?
Sometimes a rejection can be remedied by providing more complete information or addressing any red flags. The clearer the picture for the individual analyzing the claim, the better. Usually, you won’t be denied and instead will receive a request for more medical evidence. Alternatively, if you aren’t following treatment recommendations by your doctor you may be denied LTD benefits. We’ve covered the main reasons why you would be denied in this blog post – give it a read to learn more.
Need Help with Your LTD Claim, ASAP? Contact RavenLaw Today!
At RavenLaw, our legal professionals can help you with unbiased, expert feedback on your LTD application, statements and attached documentation. If anything is unclear, missing or otherwise, we can work with you on resolving any grey areas. Reach out to us to get started!