Long-term disability insurance coverage offers much needed financial protection and support for people who cannot work because of a medical condition. In a time of great need, your long-term disability benefits can serve as a desperately needed lifeline.
Unfortunately, getting a long-term disability claim paid is not always so easy. If your disability claim was denied by the insurance company, you need to know how to take action to protect your rights. Here are the first four steps you should take if your disability claim was denied in Spokane.
Review the Denial Letter and Get a Copy of Your Policy
Pursuant to state and/or federal regulations, insurance companies are generally required to send policyholders a written notification that explains why disability benefits are not being paid out. You should review this letter, save it, and get a copy of your full insurance policy.
While disability denial letters must provide certain key details, insurers often use vague and overly complicated language to obscure the process. If you have questions about the meaning of a disability denial, a Spokane insurance law attorney can help.
Know the Process (and Deadline) for Appealing the Decision
You need to know how to file an appeal and the deadline for filing an appeal. Long-term disability claims are subject to stringent deadlines. If you fail to file an administrative appeal before the deadline expires, your disability claim may simply be dismissed. How long you have to appeal depends on the terms of your policy.
If you obtain disability coverage through an employer, it is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA disability claims have a 180-day appeal deadline. Other types of disability policies are controlled by Washington state law—you may have as little as 30 days to file an appeal. Check the terms of your specific policy.
Gather Supplemental Information and Evidence
If your long-term disability coverage was denied in Spokane, it means that the insurance company believes that your claim is insufficient. While the insurer is not always right (nor are they a disinterred party), claimants need to be ready to address the company’s reasoning.
In most cases, policyholders need to submit additional supplemental information or evidence in order to get a more favorable decision. Often, this includes medical records. As soon as you receive a disability denial letter, you should start the process of organizing evidence.
Consult With an Insurance Denial Attorney
Insurers are large, profit-driven enterprises. At a fundamental level, insurance companies are focused on preserving their own financial interests. These companies put an emphasis on paying out the minimum amount possible. To maximize your long-term disability benefits, you need a top-rated Spokane, WA insurance lawyer in your corner.
Was Your Insurance Claim Denied in Eastern Washington?
We can help. At Albrecht Law PLLC, our attorneys wrote the book on insurance law. If your long-term disability claim was denied, you need an experienced advocate on your side. For a no cost, no obligation initial consultation, please contact us today. Our insurance lawyers represent clients in Spokane and throughout Eastern Washington.