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If you are out of work due to a disability, and are covered by a short term disability or long term disability policy, you should file a claim for benefits as soon as possible. Most policies have “notice” requirements which specify how much time you have to file a claim. Waiting too long to file could result in a denial of your claim without any consideration of your medical issues.

If your disability insurance is part of your employer’s benefit plan, the short term or long term disability application typically has three parts, each being a 1 to 3 page form. First, a statement asking basic personal information and questions about your medical impairments as well as your treatment. Second, a statement from your employer disclosing your hire date, job title, salary, etc… Third, and most importantly, a form to be completed by your doctor that identifies your disabling medical issues and your restrictions that prevent you from working.

One of the most significant challenges individuals face in the application process is getting the requisite medical records and information to the insurance company.  Significant delays can occur when the insurance company repeatedly alleges to not receive the medical records being mailed or faxed by your doctors. Another common problem claimants encounter is the insurance company’s endless requests for more and more documentation or forms before making a decision. Such delays and time wasting may be contrary to the law while you are out of work without a paycheck.

Another hurdle, which is extremely important to your claim but often overlooked, is whether or not the insurance company has an accurate job description for your occupation. It is common for the short term or long term disability insurance company to be provided with an inaccurate job description from your employer, to have no job description at all, or to misclassify your job as being less physically or mentally demanding than it actually is. Inaccurate information about your job will likely lead to the wrong decision on your claim for short term disability or long term disability benefits.

Each person should consult an experienced long term disability lawyer prior to filing an application for short term disability or long term disability benefits. We can help answer your initial questions, provide helpful advice about your claim, or help with common problems. Our consultations are free.

If your application for short term disability or long term disability benefits was denied you must consult an experienced disability lawyer immediately.