What should you know about a disability insurance policy?

What’s the number one thing to know about your disability policy?  What should you do if you are denied?  How can you have any idea whether a denial was justified or not?  You should start by looking at your policy, sometimes referred to as plan documents.


What are plan documents?

Remember that day when you elected what benefits you wanted to sign up for?  Remember when you elected to obtain disability insurance?  Did you receive a packet of paperwork about your policy?  Perhaps you threw it away or filed it away in a dark region of a filing cabinet or drawer, or maybe you never received it for some reason.  Your employer’s human resources department should have a copy they can provide you upon request.  The plan documents are the paperwork that outlines your coverage, amounts, and terms of the policy.


What should I do with the policy?

Since many people have a hard time remembering all the terms and conditions of their policy, you can read through to see if anything that applies to your situation is contained therein.  For example, If the policy says they will not cover disability benefits for a pre-existing condition, and your disabling condition is pre-existing, the insurance company may not pay disability benefits.


Should I give up if my policy says something that seems to hurt my situation?

Since a lot of attorneys offer a free consultation, it wouldn’t hurt to contact an ERISA disability insurance attorney to see if the attorney’s interpretation of the policy agrees with yours.  Using the prior example,

if you believe the insurance company will find your disabling medical condition to be pre-existing, it may simply be a matter of waiting a few more months to file your claim, relying on a different medical condition you didn’t realize could be a basis for a disability claim, or re-calculating the look-back period.

Obtaining, reading, understanding, and retaining your disability insurance policy (plan documents) are good steps to take if you are going to be paying for a policy, are thinking about filing for disability, or if you have received a denial letter.  Your policy is the agreement or contract by which you and the insurance company are bound, so be sure you have looked at yours.  If you have received a denial letter from a disability insurance company, call us to see if we can help.  Even if you don’t have your policy, we can review your situation, and if we we sign you, we can obtain your policy.