Receiving a denial for a long-term disability claim can be disheartening. This may be particularly true for those who suffer from an “invisible” autoimmune condition that can be difficult to prove and even harder to live with.
Autoimmune conditions often result in debilitating symptoms that significantly impact one’s daily life and ability to work. Yet, because they aren’t easy to see at a glance, autoimmune patients may be subjected to the humiliation of questioning whether their suffering “is real.” If you find yourself in this situation, know that a denial of your initial long-term disability claim is not the end of the road. There are ways that you can respond that can better ensure approval in the future.
One step at a time
Your first concern should be making sure that you understand why your claim was denied. Insurers must provide a clear explanation for the denial. Common reasons include lack of medical evidence, failure to meet the policy’s definition of disability or issues with the claim filing process. Understanding the specific reason for your denial can help you make informed decisions when determining your next steps.
If your denial was not due to a technical error, comprehensive medical evidence that demonstrates the extent of your condition and how it impairs your ability to work can help with your appeal. Such evidence may include detailed medical records, doctors’ notes, results of diagnostic tests and statements from your healthcare providers. Ultimately, you’ll want to present this evidence in ways that maximize the power of your claim.
Once you are ready to appeal your denied claim, get going. Missing a deadline for filing an appeal can result in losing your right to challenge the decision. As navigating the appeals process can be a complex matter – in addition to a time-sensitive one – you’ll want to be as proactive as possible in addressing your situation. Once you have gathered the necessary documentation, you can start constructing a compelling case for your appeal.
Ultimately, a denial of a long-term disability claim for an autoimmune condition can be challenging, but it’s not necessarily final. By approaching the aftermath of this disappointment in thoughtful ways, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
If you received a denial from a long-term disability claim, talking to an experienced attorney like the ones at ERISA Law Center can help you understand your options and your next steps.