Ask a St. Louis Disability Attorney About the Requirements for Long Term Disability
With a St. Louis disability attorney, you’ll be able to claim all of the long term disability benefits to which you are entitled. Navigating through the various requirements is difficult, so working with an experienced attorney is a necessity.
Long Term Disability Insurance
Many employers offer long term disability coverage as a valuable portion of their benefits package. When such coverage is not offered, people may choose to buy a policy. That’s because this insurance is extremely useful if you become seriously ill or injured and are unable to work for a few months or longer. It’s not unusual for people to regard their long term disability insurance as one of their most important benefits. This is the coverage that provides you with at least a percentage of your income even when you are unable to work. Accordingly, you’ll be able to pay the bills even though you’re not bringing in a regular paycheck. Long term disability insurance is a valuable tool that provides powerful benefits. However, strict requirements must be met before coverage begins. It’s important to keep in mind that individual policies can vary greatly, and it can be challenging to understand them. That’s just one of the reasons why you’ll probably want to work with a St. Louis disability attorney.
Proving You’re Disabled
The most stringent test for proving coverage eligibility relates to the physical, mental or emotional impairment that makes doing your job impossible. Your attorney can help you determine which documents are essential to proving your case. These documents might include your doctor’s notes to your medical files, test results, invoices or explanations of benefits showing specific treatments rendered, X-rays, MRIs and more. Additionally, your attorney will extensively work with your doctor. In many cases, it’s the opinion of the treating doctor that is vitally important to a long term disability claim. If a doctor provides an opinion regarding your degree of impairment that falls within the guidelines of your policy, you’ll have a much better chance of being approved to receive benefits.
Demonstrating Ongoing Treatment
People who receive long term disability usually have to show that they are undergoing treatment on an ongoing basis. If they cannot show that they are continuing to receive medical care, then their benefits may be discontinued. Thus, it is important to continue working with physicians throughout the disability term. Your attorney may also be helpful when it comes to demonstrating ongoing treatment.
Paying Premiums Is Essential
Employees who receive long term disability benefits are required to keep up any premium payments that are their responsibility. If your employer pays the entirety of the premium, then this isn’t a requirement you’ll have to worry about. However, if you are responsible for some or all of your premium, you’ll need to keep paying it in order to keep receiving benefits.
Waiting Out the Waiting Period
Most long term disability benefits don’t begin immediately after the date of illness or injury. Instead, many policies require that the employee utilize all sick time and short term disability benefits before applying for long term benefits. These requirements vary by policy. A disability lawyer can help you figure out which apply in your case.
Pre-Existing and Excluded Conditions
Long term disability benefits may not be available in certain circumstances. Some insurance policies won’t allow benefits for a pre-existing condition. Usually, that means that benefits are not available for conditions that had been diagnosed or treated within approximately 90 or 180 days before benefits begin. Similarly, the insurance policy may exclude certain illnesses or injuries from coverage. It can be extremely difficult to interpret whether or not a certain condition will be covered by your particular policy. Once again, this is where a St. Louis disability attorney can help you sort through the language of the policy to figure out if you are eligible to make a claim.
Many long term disability policies require that benefit recipients must be full-time employees. Additionally, policies often stipulate that employees must meet a certain employment term, such as six months or one year, to be eligible.
Seeking Additional Assistance
Certain requirements within your long term disability policy may mean that you have to seek Social Security Disability as well. Insurance companies like to include this requirement because it reduces the amount they pay to you each month. The difference is made up by Social Security. Maneuvering through the Social Security Disability claims process is difficult, but your attorney can help you. Moreover, since the insurance company also benefits from the success of your Social Security claim, they can be relied upon to provide assistance.
Contact a St. Louis Disability Attorney for Advice Today
The sooner you hire a St. Louis disability attorney, the sooner you could start receiving the insurance benefits that you are entitled to. Call David M. Hicks today at (314) 812-4885.