If you have suffered an injury or experienced an illness that will keep you out of work for an extended period of time, you may be entitled to benefits that cover long term disability in Massachusetts. However, the rules for applying for group coverage benefits are complex and you cannot afford to make a mistake trying to get the benefits you need. This is where an attorney can assist you and make it easier to get approved for benefits under your long term disability policy.
Your Attorney Knows That Different Conditions Mean Different Rules
Chronic pain and mental health disorders are among the most common ailments keeping people from going to work. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to establish the existence or the severity of such problems. Insurance companies routinely deny valid claims or limit benefits by concluding that a claim is not debilitating or cannot be objectively verified. Experienced attorneys know how to use medical records and statements from medical professionals to substantiate that an employee is entitled to benefits.
Your Attorney Knows the Difference Between Own Occupation and Any Occupation
To increase the chances that your claim will be approved, it is important to know the difference between an “own occupation” and an “any occupation” claim. Although it is important to study the specific definition of disability in a policy, most definitions can be categorized as “own” occupation or “any occupation.” An “own occupation” definition means that you need only establish that you are disabled from your own occupation, while an “any occupation” definition means that you must establish that you cannot work in any occupation in the economy for which you are suited. Understanding the definition of disability in your policy is crucial for understanding the strength of your claim and properly establishing your right to benefits.
Your Attorney Will Make Sure You Don’t Miss Filing Deadlines
Long term disability policies obtained through an employer or union are almost always regulated by the ERISA statute, under which you only have 180 days to appeal a claim denial or a termination of benefits under the policy. Failing to meet that deadline is a fatal mistake that almost invariably results in being barred from challenging the decision in court. This is just one of the unforgiving rules that can lead to costly mistakes in applying for ERISA long term disability benefits.
Hiring a long term disability attorney is the best way to increase your odds of approval. Your attorney will make sure to submit the medical records and other information that forces the insurer to concede that you meet the definition of disability in the policy. This may be enough to have your claim approved and payments made to you in a timely manner. And it is absolutely crucial to having any chance of succeeding in court should you lose your appeal to the insurer or other entity administering your policy.