If you have a disabling event that prevents you from performing the usual tasks of your job, then it is imperative that you immediately apply for disability benefits through your employer’s insurance provider (and, in many cases, through the Social Security Administration, or SSA). First, you should review your employer’s disability policy to determine if you qualify. Then, you should collect original medical documents, employer testimonies, and other required documents and send them with your application. After an elimination period, you will be notified of the acceptance or denial of your claim.
Unfortunately, a large number of disability claims are denied due to incomplete applications and insurers looking for any way to save money. At Rosen Moss Snyder LLP, our long-term disability attorneys in Philadelphia, PA, are well-versed in disability law and passionate about achieving appropriate disability benefits for our clients. In this article, we will explain the claim filing process in more detail to arm you with the knowledge of how to apply for disability benefits should you need it now or in the future.
Applying for Disability Benefits
- Through Your Employer
As we mentioned previously, the first step to securing disability benefits is to consult your employer’s disability insurance policy to see if you qualify for long- or short-term disability. If you believe you qualify, then you will most likely have to complete a “claim packet.” The packet will usually contain various forms to fill out, a claimant statement of disability, an employer statement that corroborates your account and provides additional information like income and tasks you can no longer complete due to your disability, and a doctor’s report.
Once you complete all the packet forms and submit the official documents, your initial claim will be filed and subject to an elimination period where the insurance company will consider your application and approve or deny your claim. If the insurer denies your request, you will have a small window to contest the decision with an appeal. If the appeal is unsuccessful, bringing on a lawsuit might be the only option left.
- Through the Social Security Administration
Many employers’ disability insurance plans will require you to file a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim in tandem with the one you filed under their policy. This tactic is permissible under the language of many policies, and it will allow employers to receive a credit or only have to pay out reduced monies after SSDI benefits have been collected. It is possible to apply solely for SSDI, but the waiting times are usually longer than if you were to apply through your employer, and the chances of approval are fewer, as well.
To apply for SSDI, you must visit https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/ and submit a claim online. You will need to collect your Social Security Number, the names, addresses, and contact information from your doctors and other medical caregivers, the names and dosages of any recommended medicine, medical records and lab/test results, your work history, and your most recent W-2 or tax return. As long as you are over the age of 18, have a significant disability projected to affect you for over 12 months or result in death, and have not been recently denied SSDI or benefits, your claim should be considered.
When should I hire a disability lawyer?
If you have a disability and need disability benefits, you should consider hiring a long-term disability lawyer in Delaware before submitting your claim. These legal professionals can assist you in the application process, ensure that all documentation is collected and submitted, and that you meet all deadlines. Should your employer’s insurance provider or the SSA deny your claim, disability lawyers can walk you through the appeals process and represent you in court if a lawsuit is necessary.
Additionally, if you were approved for short- or long-term disability, but your benefits were reduced or unfairly terminated, legal service providers like the long-term disability lawyers in Philadelphia, PA and the tri-state area, at Rosen Moss Snyder LLP, will fight for your benefits.
For more information on how to apply for disability benefits or to contest a disability benefits denial or cancellation by your employer’s insurance company or Social Security, call Rosen Moss Snyder LLP today!