What Not to Say on Your Disability Application
Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 at 11:40 pm
Whether you are applying for long term disability insurance for the first time or sending in a claim for disability payments, the insurance company is going to ask you many questions. These questions are intrusive and personal. Although you must be honest about everything you say on the application, you must remember that the insurance company will review it carefully to find reasons to deny your claim, this is where Abell and Capitan Law goes to work for you, so contact us today.
It may seem as if you’ve already answered these questions, or as if the questions have nothing to do with your illness or injury. That is intentional. The insurer is not your friend here. They are looking for a reason to deny your claim. If you are unsure about a question, do not answer until you have consulted your attorney.
Remember What the Application Is For
Always keep in mind that the application is intended to investigate your life and the impact of your claimed condition on whether you can return to work. All your answers must be given with this in mind. The insurance adjuster may make it seem like this is a friendly chat, and your guard may be down, so be careful.
- Do not discuss your job. Avoid discussing anything like work satisfaction, annoying co-workers, low pay, hostile work environment, or anything that suggests you are using disability as an extended vacation to look for another job.
- Do not discuss vacation or other travel plans. If you are well enough to travel, the thinking is, you are well enough to work. Even if your doctor has given you orders to travel for your health, do not reveal this to the insurer.
- Be honest but be accurate about your daily life. If you need to use a cane, for instance, don’t say “I have to use a cane all the time now.” The first time you don’t use one will be the day the adjuster happens to see you. Say “I have to use a cane for four hours after I get out of bed every day.”
- Do not describe how long you’ve been working with the pain. Americans have made a virtue of “toughing it out” and we like to brag about it, but in this case, it will hurt you. Telling the adjuster how your back has been killing you for the last six months will make them wonder why now it is suddenly so bad you can’t work.
- Do not say “I’m fine.” You’re not fine. That gives the insurance adjuster an opportunity to call your claim into question.
Other Things to Consider
The best way to avoid talking to the insurance adjuster is to have an attorney do it for you. Once you have retained counsel, the insurance company is not allowed to talk to you without speaking to them first. Let the attorney be a buffer between you and the adjuster. This way, they cannot make surprise calls on a day when you feel good and are having fun, only to have them ask “So, ready to go back to work?”
If you have already filed a long term disability claim, you should prepare to have it denied. The industry itself admits that over 50 percent of all claims are denied upon first submission. According to ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) statistics, the primary reason is improper paperwork, including lack of medical documentation and missing doctor’s statements. These things can be spotted by an attorney and corrected quickly, so do not panic if your claim is returned for these reasons.
If you have other questions about filing a long term disability insurance claim or need someone to review your documentation, you should have a legal team that knows the requirements of filing and can spot any errors before you send in your paperwork. This is just one reason you should contact us immediately.
How We Can Help
At Abell and Capitan Law, we focus all our energy on long term disability, so we can devote our full attention to your claim and your application. When you bring us your case, we will review the application and give you tips on how best to reply to the questions so the examiner will be more likely to accept them. If you need someone to run interference with the insurance company, our legal team will be there to do it.
Call Abell and Capitan Law at (267) 419-7888, or contact us online today and let us look at your long term disability insurance claim. Whether you are just filing or need to appeal, you should have a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to help you with your case. Our team is waiting for your call.