Delivery Driver Long-Term Disability Lawyers
Delivery service drivers are frequently at risk of sudden injuries or illnesses, and a health emergency might keep you from working for months or years afterward. Long-term disability benefits can help in these situations, but employers, insurance companies, and government agencies frequently make obtaining these benefits a chore. When you’re in pain and struggling with expensive medical bills, the last thing you want is to deal with bureaucratic headaches.
If you’re a delivery service driver dealing with a long-term disability, the team at Abell and Capitan Law can help you recover the benefits you need. Our long-term disability attorneys are proud to help workers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New Jersey with any legal issues related to disability claims. Long-term disability cases are all we do at our firm, and we have helped disabled workers in many professions. Call us today at (267) 419-7888 or fill out our contact form for an appointment with one of our disability lawyers.
What Is Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Long-term disability covers all or a portion of your income if you can’t work for a long time because of an injury or illness. With this insurance coverage, you have something to rely on when you need to take a break and focus on healing. If your employer does not offer long-term disability insurance, you can purchase an individual policy to protect yourself from unforeseen injuries and illnesses.
Unlike worker’s compensation, which only covers work-related injuries or illnesses, long-term disability insurance covers problems that can happen anywhere, anytime. It could be a broken leg from a soccer game or a severe illness like cancer. If it keeps you from working for a longer time – typically 90 days or more – long-term disability insurance is there to help.
Long-Term Disability Insurance Benefits
While every long-term disability policy has its own terms and conditions, many policies include the following benefits for disabled workers:
- Wage Replacement Benefits: If an injury or illness makes you take a detour from your delivery route, long-term disability insurance can provide wage-replacement benefits. Depending on your policy, you could receive between 50 and 80 percent of your pre-disability earnings, ensuring you won’t have to worry about meeting your financial obligations.
- Rehabilitation Services: Like a good mechanic who gets your vehicle back in tip-top shape, long-term disability insurance often includes coverage for rehabilitation services. These services can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy, all geared toward helping you regain your strength and abilities so you can resume your job or transition to a new career.
- Survivor Benefits: We never want to think about the worst-case scenario, but it’s good to know that long-term disability insurance often includes survivor benefits. If the unthinkable happens, these benefits provide a lump-sum payment to your loved ones, adding an extra layer of financial protection for your family.
Social Security Benefits for Long-Term Disabilities
If your employer does not offer long-term disability insurance, you might be able to claim Social Security disability benefits. These programs are run by the Social Security Administration, which also administers federal retirement benefits for older Americans.
The most common type of Social Security benefit available to disabled workers is Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. If you have worked long enough to earn the necessary work credits, SSDI benefits can provide monthly income to help you meet your needs. You must meet the SSA’s definition of disability to qualify for SSDI benefits, which generally means your disability must be fatal, expected to last at least 12 months, or have already lasted at least 12 months. The SSA maintains lists of injuries and illnesses that qualify people for SSDI benefits, one for adults and another for children.
Do Employers Have to Provide Long-Term Disability Insurance?
While California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico require employers to provide short-term disability insurance in some form, no states or U.S. territories currently require employers to offer long-term disability insurance. That said, many employers offer long-term disability insurance as part of their benefits package, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of this insurance if your employer provides it.
Common Issues with Long-Term Disability Insurance Claims
One of the reasons to hire our long-term disability attorneys is that workers frequently run into issues when they file a claim. Some of the most common issues we see with long-term disability insurance claims include:
- Proving Disability: The most common hurdle is proving that you are, in fact, disabled according to your policy’s terms. Insurance companies often have strict criteria for what constitutes a disability, and demonstrating that your condition meets these standards can be challenging.
- “Your occupation” vs. “any occupation” policies: Some long-term disability policies cover your injuries until you can return to your specific job, while others only provide coverage until you can return to “suitable” work based on your experience and circumstances. Knowing the difference between “your occupation” and “any occupation” policies is crucial when you file a long-term disability claim.
- Waiting Periods: Many disability insurance policies have a waiting period (also known as the “elimination period”) before benefits kick in. This could mean weeks or even months without a steady income stream.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: If you have a pre-existing health condition, the insurance company might exclude it from coverage or even deny your application for disability insurance entirely. Understanding how your policy handles pre-existing conditions is crucial.
- Incomplete or Incorrect Paperwork: Filing a disability claim involves a lot of paperwork, and a small mistake or omission can lead to delays or denials. Ensuring everything is completed correctly and thoroughly can be a huge task.
- Constant Surveillance: Insurance companies often monitor claimants to ensure they are as disabled as they claim to be. This surveillance can feel intrusive and add to the stress you’re already experiencing.
- Insufficient Medical Evidence: Insurance companies rely heavily on medical records and doctors’ opinions when assessing claims. If there’s not enough medical evidence supporting your claim, or if your doctor’s notes are vague or incomplete, this can pose a challenge.
How Our Delivery Driver Disability Attorneys Can Help
When you’re dealing with a long-term disability claim, having an experienced disability attorney by your side can be as essential as a trusty GPS guiding you on the road. Our long-term disability attorneys can provide guidance and support at every turn by:
- Helping You Understand Your Policy and Available Benefits
- Gathering Medical Evidence to Support Your Claim
- Filing Your Claim and Negotiating with the Insurance Companies to Maximize Your Benefits
- Representing You in Appeals or Litigation
- Providing Emotional Support and Peace of Mind
You have no time to lose if you need long-term disability benefits, and our attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf. Call us today at (267) 419-7888 or reach out online for a consultation.