Baltimore Long Term Disability Lawyer
Every year, thousands of people across Maryland find themselves unable to work due to an expected illness or injury. You may have short-term disability coverage, but as the weeks and months slide by, you may begin to worry about your future. If you have a long-term disability policy, you need to understand what it will cover and how to get your claim approved. All of this can be totally overwhelming. The good news is that a Baltimore long term disability lawyer can handle your claim for you so that you can get the benefits you need.
Understanding Long Term Disability Insurance
Many people have long-term disability insurance provided by their employers, but you can also purchase an individual policy.
Long-term disability insurance pays an income replacement benefit to people who are unable to work due to illness or injury. Typically, it will pay around 60% of your income. You can find coverage that will pay a higher percentage of your income, but it will be more expensive.
You can use those funds however you choose, but it will not pay claims for medical expenses, pain and suffering, or other losses.
It’s not uncommon for people to have a long-term disability policy but not really understand what it covers. A Baltimore long-term disability lawyer can review your policy and explain what coverage it can provide for you.
What Types of Injuries and Illnesses are Covered by Long Term Disability?
Most people are aware of workers’ compensation – benefits that provide income in the event that you suffer an illness or injury while on the job. Long-term disability insurance is similar, but unlike workers’ compensation, it pays benefits to people who are unable to work due to illness or injury regardless of where they happened. Basically, you can receive long-term disability benefits if you are unable to work, even if your injury or illness was unrelated to your employment.
If you’re confused whether your injuries are more appropriate for a long term disability claim or workers’ compensation, speak with a Baltimore long-term disability lawyer at The Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin to determine your legal options.
How Can You Qualify for Long Term Disability?
Proving disability can be a complex process, as what constitutes a disability can vary from policy to policy. Long-term disability policies use two different definitions of disability:
- “Own occupation” – a disability where you are unable to perform the principal activities of your chosen occupation.
- “Any occupation” – a disability where you are unable to perform any job which you would otherwise be qualified for.
As you can see, the difference between the two definitions is significant. It is much easier to qualify for disability under an “own occupation” policy compared to an “any occupation” policy. However, you should be aware that many “own occupation” policies convert to an “any occupation” policy after a certain period of time, typically 24 months.
These policies can be extraordinarily complicated. An experienced Baltimore long term disability lawyer can help you understand your policy and determine if you qualify for benefits.
Whichever definition you need to meet, you will be required to submit detailed medical documentation supporting your claim, which should include all medical records surrounding your disability and demonstrate that you are under the long-term care of a physician and following the prescribed treatment. You should also plan on submitting a statement from your doctor that provides a detailed medical opinion explaining the extent of your disability, whether you are expected to recover, the recommended treatment, and its impact on your ability to work.
The Differences Between Long Term Disability and Short Term Disability
Both long-term and short-term disability insurance pay income-replacement benefits. As the name implies, short-term disability coverage pays benefits for only a short period of time, typically between three and six months.
Long-term disability provides coverage for disabilities that are anticipated to be more than short-term. However, this does not mean that they will pay benefits forever. In addition, many long-term policies have a lengthy exclusion period – the period of time you must wait to submit your claim. Short-term disability can fill in the gap until you can submit a claim for long-term disability.
Perhaps more importantly, long-term disability and short-term disability are typically two separate policies. The fact that you qualified for short-term disability does not mean that you will qualify for long-term disability.
Consult with a Baltimore Long Term Disability Lawyer If Your Claim has Been Denied
Long-term disability policies are sold to consumers by private, for-profit corporations. This means that they are arguably incentivized to deny claims whenever possible. Some of the reasons claims can be denied are as follows:
- Failure to submit sufficient medical evidence
- You are not considered disabled under the policy
- You are disabled due to a pre-existing condition
At times, insurance companies even engage in bad faith:
- They may delay approving or denying your claim for an unreasonable amount of time
- They may require excessive or unnecessary documentation of your disability
- They deny a claim without explanation or for invalid reasons
Even if your claim has been denied, it is important to understand that you have rights. A Baltimore long-term disability lawyer can fight for the benefits you deserve. They will know how to appeal your denial and force the insurance company to pay your claim.
About Social Security Disability
If you have limited income and are facing a long-term disability, Social Security benefits may also be an option. In order to qualify, you will have to meet the SSA’s definition of disability and have a sufficient work history. If you don’t have long-term disability coverage or your coverage has been denied, Social Security may be your only option for steady income. A knowledgeable Baltimore long-term disability lawyer can review your case and let you know whether you qualify.
Call Baltimore Long Term Disability Lawyer Emmett B. Irwin
If you’re disabled and unable to work, your future is at stake. Baltimore disability attorney Emmett B. Irwin understands the challenges you’re facing and will work tirelessly to get you the benefits you deserve. You don’t have to navigate the disability maze on your own – visit us online or call us at 443-839-0818 to schedule a free consultation today. We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states.