Disability Insurance FAQs
Q: What is a disability insurance policy?
A: A disability insurance policy is a policy of insurance purchased to provide monetary benefits in the event the insured person becomes “disabled” as defined by the policy. The policy may be purchased directly by an individual, or may be sponsored by an employer. Depending on how a policy is purchased or sponsored, a dramatically different set of laws will apply regarding any disputes an individual may have with the insurance company or employer regarding payment of benefits. Most disability insurance policies that are sponsored by employers are covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). An experienced attorney can assist you in determining which state or federal laws apply to your claim.
Q: How do I prove I am disabled under the disability insurance policy?
A: Disability policies vary as to how disabled an individual must be to qualify for benefits. For example, under “own occupation” policies, an individual is only required to prove that they are unable to do their own job to qualify for benefits. Under any occupation policies, an individual must meet the more difficult standard of proving that they are unable to perform any type of work. Many disability policies combine a relatively short initial “own occupation” period followed by a longer “any occupation” period. An experienced attorney can assist you in determining the applicable definitions of disability under your policy.
Q: What if my disability insurance benefits are denied?
A: If your benefits are denied, don’t give up! Most disability insurance policies have an appeal procedure built into them, which allows you to appeal the denial and have the insurance company or employer take another look at your claim. If you run out of appeals and your claim continues to be denied, you can usually file a civil lawsuit to have a determination made regarding your eligibility for benefits. An experienced attorney can assist you in the pre-suit appeal process, as well as a civil lawsuit.