Northwestern Mutual sells many different types of disability insurance policies. The first step you must take is to must review your specific policy to determine the definition of disability used by the insurance company.
As a general rule, most Northwestern Mutual policies use two definitions of disability. The first applies for a certain period of time, generally 24 months. This definition requires you to be unable to perform the material duties of your own occupation. After 24 months, the definition changes and requires you to be disabled from performing the job duties of any occupation for which you are educated, have experience, are trained, or are otherwise qualified.
A general overview of tips for having your claim approved includes:
- Presenting strong medical evidence of your disabling condition.
- Explaining how your medical condition makes it impossible for you to do your own job for the first 24 months, and after that, how it prevents you from doing any job for which you are otherwise qualified.
- Submitting your claim for disability benefits within the time limits established by Northwestern Mutual.
- Being prepared for Northwestern’s disability insurance interview.
Northwestern Mutual Requires Strong Medical Evidence to Support Your Claim
The key to a disability insurance claim approval is submitting strong medical evidence of your diagnosis and diagnostic testing that was done to support the diagnosis. You must also submit medical records that show the treatment provided and your response to that treatment.
You must be scrupulously honest with your treating physicians about how you are feeling. If all visits begin with a notation on your medical record that you are “feeling fine,” Northwestern may interpret that as meaning you can go back to work.
Tell your doctors your symptoms and how they affect you. You may want to keep a log of your symptoms, and how you really feel every day. Ask your doctor to add that log to your medical records.
Key to approval of your claim is for your treating physicians to connect your medical conditions with your ability to perform your job. They must explain how your limitations and restrictions make it impossible to do your own job or any other job for which you may be otherwise qualified. This takes more than just checking boxes and writing in the small space provided on the forms they provide them. They must attach more details in an attachment to the form.
Doctors Appreciate it When Their Patients Have a Lawyer Who Helps with the Northwestern Mutual Disability Claim Process
We find that most physicians appreciate the help of your attorney. We can explain to them the importance of the medical records in supporting your claim and what diagnostic tests Northwestern Mutual requires. We make sure they understand that the company will expect you can still do regular activities of daily living. What they are looking for is how you are unable to perform your specific job duties.
That means that you must be sure they understand exactly what your job duties require so they can explain to Northwestern Mutual why your medical condition makes it impossible for you to work at your own occupation or, after the definition of disability changes, you are unable to perform the job duties of any occupation for which you are otherwise qualified.
We look through your medical records and help the doctors fill in gaps if we find them. We can help them prepare them for the Northwestern Mutual interview and learn what questions to expect.
Selecting the Correct Disability Date is Vital for Gaining Claim Approval from Northwestern Mutual
You must file your claim within 60 to 90 days after you first become disabled. You may have been suffering for a long time but working through your pain. You may have taken time off, expecting to return to work, but then determined you could no longer do your job. We will look at your medical and work records and help determine the applicable date for when you first became disabled.
What to Expect from Northwestern Mutual Claimant and Physician Interviews Which Will Occur Shortly After Claim Submission
Shortly after you submit your claim for long-term disability benefits, Northwestern Mutual will request interviews with you. They will also interview your treating physicians. We tell our clients to ask their physicians not to participate in the interview until they have discussed it with you, or preferably, with us. We discuss with you what to expect and do the same with your treating physicians, so there are no surprises.
If you would like the help of our disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer, contact us and email us a copy of your Northwestern Mutual disability insurance policy. We will review it and then call you to explain how we can help. This is offered to you as a free consultation. Start the process by calling us at 888-699-9438.