Filing a claim for long term disability benefits under your Standard disability insurance policy can be a stressful experience, and claimants often have unanswered questions. How long will it take to get a decision? When will you start receiving benefits? What happens if your claim is denied? At Dell & Schaefer, our experienced disability insurance attorneys have handled plenty of Standard long term disability claims over the years and can help answer some of these questions – with the caveat that the answer to a specific claimant’s questions will always depend on the unique circumstances of their claim. Learn more about some of the factors that can inform how your long term disability insurance claim will proceed.
What Does Your Policy Say?
Some Standard disability policies are group policies that are provided to claimants through their employers. Others are individual policies that may be more tailored to the claimant’s own needs, occupation, training, and health issues. Group and individual policies generally take different tracks during the claim process, up to and including litigation, and just about everything – from the definition of “disability” to the length of time that must pass before the claimant can receive disability benefits – will turn on the specific language in your long term disability policy.
At Dell & Schaefer, whenever we consult with a long term disability client, our first step is to review the policy (and, if an initial claim has been denied, the denial letter). The policy itself and any denial letter can help us create a roadmap of the best way to resolve your long term disability claim.
How Does Your Policy Define Disability?
Some disability policies define “disability” as a claimant’s inability to perform their current job, known as “own occupation” policies. Others are far more restrictive and will pay out disability benefits only if the claimant can’t perform any work (an “any occupation” policy). In many cases, the policy’s definition of disability will shift over time, with benefits initially being paid under an “own occupation” standard and then, after a year or two, switching to an “any occupation” standard as a way to terminate benefits.
What Medical Support Do You Need?
One of the most common reasons Standard gives for denying long term disability claims is a lack of medical evidence. This doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of proof of disability, but simply a failure to connect the dots between a treating physician’s statement about the claimant’s condition and a legal conclusion that the claimant can no longer work. Because doctors are focused on treating the condition, not necessarily documenting how it prevents the patient from doing their job, medical records aren’t always written with the terminology Standard is looking for.
Whenever a long term disability claim is denied, the team of disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer will carefully comb through the claim to see what evidence may be lacking and can be added on appeal. Our job is to work with claimants to educate them on what a claim form includes, what to consider when answering the questions on a claim form, and what Standard is looking for.
If you’d like a partner in your journey toward long term disability benefits, look no further than the disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer. Our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of claimants recover disability benefits, and we can help you too. Give us a call or visit our website to set up your FREE consultation today.