3 Tips For Filing An ERISA Disability Claim

Have you suffered an injury or illness that makes it difficult for you to work? Would you like to file a claim under your employer's long-term disability plan so you can continue to receive income while you are away from work? Long-term disability coverage can be a valuable form of protection. All it takes is one slip and fall or a serious illness to limit your ability to do your job. Long-term disability insurance can help you stay financially stable while you recover from your disability. However, there's no guarantee that your insurance claim will be approved. Below are three tips to strengthen your application and improve your odds of getting benefits:

Get outside documentation. Your human resources department will likely provide a lengthy application for insurance benefits. Complete that form, but don't stop there. Also include doctor's reports, statements from your employer, and any other documentation that will support your case. Your employer may have explicitly told you that you are too hurt or sick to work, but even that assurance isn't enough to guarantee benefits. Your claim is reviewed by an underwriter at the insurance company, not by someone in your employer's human resources department. Give them all the information they need to understand the extent of your injuries or illness.

Stay consistent. Your insurer may ask you to fill out an activity log so they can see whether you are truly as injured or sick as you claim. The activities on this log should be consistent with your claim. For instance, if you are claiming that you are suffering from spine injuries, you shouldn't have sand volleyball listed as an activity on your log. If you claim to be severely ill, you shouldn't be swimming or going on vacations to the beach. The insurer will review this log to determine whether you are truly unable to work.

Also, you may have an exam or interview with the insurer's doctor. Your appearance should be consistent with your claims, too. For example, if you are claiming that you have limited mobility, you may not want to wear high heels to this appointment. The insurer will consider everything from your activities to your appearance as evidence as to the severity of your injuries.

Don't do it alone. Your application and your additional documentation are legal forms in a very important financial process. If the claim isn't approved, you could lose out on thousands of dollars in income. It may be worthwhile to have an ERISA attorney help you with the application. The attorney can help you fill out the application, gather evidence, and even communicate with the insurer.

For more information, contact an ERISA attorney in your area, such as Iler and Iler. They can help you strengthen your application and put you in better position to get approval.