Documenting Your Long-Term Disability During Coronavirus Closures
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of our daily lives for people. It has resulted in school and business closures, empty grocery store shelves, and general restrictions on activities. Unfortunately, responses designed to curb community spread can work against those seeking long-term disability benefits. Documenting your disability may prove more challenging but still plays an important role in ensuring you get the benefits you deserve.
How Closures Impact Your Ability To Document Long-Term Disabilities
On April 17, 2020, NBC News 6/South Florida reported that Governor Rick DeSantis had given the order to reopen some beaches in North Florida that had been closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). It is viewed as a first step in slowly getting things back to normal in the aftermath of the pandemic. In the meantime, concerns that reopening too quickly could cause a new surge in the number of coronavirus cases means that many schools and businesses remain closed. All of this has the potential to impact people with long-term disabilities and how they document their claims. Information that would typically be required when filing for long-term disability benefits includes:
- Statements from your medical provider regarding your condition and prognosis for recovery;
- Records regarding medical tests and treatments related to your condition;
- Statements from your employer regarding how your disability impacts your ability to perform your job;
- Statements showing lost income you may have suffered as a result of your long-term disabilities.
In addition to the above, obtaining copies of your long-term disability insurance policy is an important first step in obtaining benefits. Your rights in obtaining copies of benefit related documents are protected under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, with business closures, there may be no one in human resources or management able to grant your request.
What You Can Do To Document Your Long-Term Disabilities
The same day as the NBC News 6 report, a USA Today news article detailed how the federal government is beginning to make changes in their recommendations regarding pandemic-related closures. However, new recommendations do not erase the severe limitations you may have faced over the past month in documenting long-term disabilities.
Long-term disability insurance providers will need to take these closures into account when reviewing your case and any information not provided with your claim. You may not be able to document lost wages or doctor’s visits during this time, but there are steps you can take on your own to support your claim:
- Keep a daily journal of your symptoms and how they impact your health and ability to perform certain tasks;
- Keep records regarding any correspondence you may have received from your doctor regarding treatments and limitations on office hours;
- Keep all correspondence from your employer regarding coronavirus closures and lost wages you may have suffered.
Let Us Help You Today
At Farrell Disability Law, we help clients get the disability benefits they are entitled to. Contact our Jacksonville long-term disability attorney and request a consultation to discuss your case today.