Disability Insurance Law
Understanding Disability Insurance with the Help of Seltzer & Associates
You did everything right to try to protect yourself and your family in the event you were no longer able to practice your profession. You purchased individual disability insurance or — if offered as part of an employer’s benefits package — you signed on to the long-term policy at work. You paid all your premiums in full and on time, assuming you would never actually need those benefits, but determined to plan for the worst-case scenario while believing in the best. If the worst-case scenario has become your reality, our Philadelphia disability insurance law firm is here to help.
Types of Disability Insurance
It is important to understand what type of disability insurance you have, including whether the policy is an employer-sponsored or individual one.
- Long-term Disability Insurance. Long-term disability policies are designed to cover lost income if you become disabled. The insurance can be employer-sponsored or individual. If obtained as part of an employer benefits package — you may have obtained yours through your employer, medical practice group or hospital — it will almost always be governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Individual disability insurance is private insurance that you purchase on your own. It is generally governed by state law.
- Short-term disability insurance. Short-term disability insurance usually is intended to cover a portion of your earnings for a short time, typically three to six months. It is often invoked during the elimination period for receiving long-term disability insurance benefits. Short-term disability insurance may be provided through an employer plan or purchased individually.
Disability Insurance Explained by Our National Philadelphia Disability Insurance Law Firm
What do I need to do before applying for disability insurance benefits?
When initiating a claim, it is of paramount importance that you carefully review all the terms of your policy to make sure the illness or injury you are suffering is covered under your policy. You will need to supply sufficient information to support your claim. In addition, you must understand whether receiving disability insurance benefits is contingent upon your inability to work in your current occupation or your inability to work at all — in other words, whether you have “own occupation” or “any occupation” coverage. Our Philadelphia disability insurance law firm can help with each of these steps.
Do I have to meet a disability insurance elimination period?
Almost all disability insurance policies establish an “elimination period” after the insured becomes disabled but before the disability insurance benefits are payable. This can be anywhere from 30 days to six months or more. If you have a short-term disability policy, you may be able to invoke its benefits to cover at least a portion of your lost wages during this elimination period.
What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim, discontinues the disability insurance benefits I am receiving or reduces my current disability insurance benefits?
Sometimes an insurance company will deny a claim on technical grounds, outlining in their denial letter the grounds for denial and the steps that you must take to remedy the error. It could simply be a matter of, for example, providing previously unavailable medical records. However, in many instances, the issues surrounding a disability claim denial can be far more complicated, and they will require an understanding of whether the process is governed by ERISA, the illnesses and injuries your policy covers, and whether the policy covers your inability to perform the duties of your occupation or any occupation. If you face any of these issues, consulting with our Philadelphia disability insurance law firm for assistance filing your appeal is recommended.
How Our Philadelphia Disability Insurance Law Firm Can Help
The experienced attorneys at the Philadelphia disability insurance law firm of Seltzer & Associates can help you apply for disability insurance benefits, appeal a denial or termination of disability insurance benefits, and answer any questions you may have regarding your group or individual disability insurance policies. Our nationwide practice is devoted to making sure that professionals like you — including doctors, dentists, nurses, and others — receive the disability insurance benefits to which you are entitled.
Contact Seltzer & Associates Today
To learn more about our Philadelphia disability insurance law firm and to receive a free assessment of your policy and case, contact our offices today by calling 888-699-4222.