Disability insurance is comforting to have – until it’s necessary to actually file a claim. People find themselves sitting at home without a paycheck and also without the disability payment they were counting on to pay some of the bills. They’re sure sufficient documents were submitted to substantiate the claim, but it was denied. What happened?
Why Isn’t the Policy Written in Understandable English?
Trying to read a disability insurance policy is an exercise in total frustration. Could the policy be written so that the terms were clear? If the insurance company wanted to do that, they undoubtedly could. The policyholder probably has a rough idea of the amount they should receive if disabled, but that’s probably the extent of their knowledge of the policy terms.
It’s not the policyholder’s fault. Teams of lawyers write and rewrite disability policies until their meaning is buried under layers of incomprehensible legal-speak. Critical parts of the policy may be printed in a very small font. The policy purposefully includes contractual loopholes that can be used to delay or deny claims.
Employers Have no Incentive to Help Disabled Employees
Some employers will try to assist a valued employee to appeal a denied claim, but they are actually acting against their own interests if they do so. In most cases, employers give only token assistance. There are several reasons for this.
- An older, more highly paid employee can be replaced with a younger, less expensive employee
- The employer’s premium will rise if too many workers receive disability payments
- Accepting a part-time job will mean a huge discounting of any future disability benefits the worker might receive – never do this
- Employers have been known to put subtle pressure on injured workers to leave work and then reported to the insurance company that they tried to accommodate the worker’s injury
The only practical way to fight a denied disability claim is to hire an experienced long or short term disability lawyer. Insurance companies wrote the policy and should be forced to abide by their own words. They do all they can to stack the deck against the injured worker.
Marcellino & Tyson, PLLC offers free consultations on disability claims and ERISA issues. These experienced attorneys understand that you need help in getting the disability payments you are entitled to. Visit the website to email the firm or call 704-837-7953 to schedule your free appointment with an attorney.