The answer is: absolutely. While Florida law does not require you to have legal representation to pursue a claim for your long-term disability (LTD) benefits, the chances that you will recover your full benefits or any benefits at all are much lower without an experienced LTD insurance claim attorney guiding you through the complicated, tricky process. You may find your LTD insurance company encouraging you to proceed without an attorney, claiming the process is easy. “Just send in a letter,” they may say. Do not fall for this trap. If you are thinking about filing a LTD claim or your initial claim has been denied, it is critical that you bring an experienced LTD insurance attorney on board, like our attorneys at Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, to assist you with your LTD claim.
An Experienced LTD Insurance Attorney Will Help You Gather the Necessary Evidence
One of the primary traps, that LTD insurance companies commonly rely upon, is a claimant's failure to gather and submit the necessary evidence to show they have a disability and that they cannot perform their own occupation as a result of their symptoms and limitations. An experienced LTD attorney will help you ensure you get the right medical treatment and tests and that your records accurately reflect your medical condition and symptoms. Your attorney will also help you get the necessary vocational expert and evidence to support your claim that you can no longer perform the material duties of your job. It is very common that doctors and other medical professionals are not aware of the deficiencies in their own file, which will give your LTD insurance carrier a reason to deny your claim.
An Experienced LTD Insurance Attorney Will Help You Avoid the Traps
Another critical trap, upon which LTD insurance companies rely, is a claimant's failure to “pack the record” on appeal. Many claimants do not know that the record usually closes on appeal. Meaning, the entirety of the evidence a court can consider if the appeal is denied is only that body of paperwork and testimony that was before the insurance company at the time of its denial of the appeal. You typically will not be able to submit any new or additional evidence for the court to consider. Many doctors and other medical professionals who do not know this fall prey to the insurance company's encouragement that they “just send a letter” to appeal the initial denial of their LTD claim. This is an egregious trap, one an experienced LTD insurance claim attorney will help you avoid.
An Experienced LTD Insurance Attorney Will Help You Meet All Deadlines
The LTD claims filing process is riddled with important deadlines, of which many claimants are unaware. The time for filing an appeal of an initial denial of benefits is typically 180 days, not a long time to gather the necessary evidence—medical and vocational—to support your appeal. For this reason, if your initial claim for LTD benefits has been denied, you should move quickly to find an experienced LTD insurance claim attorney to begin working immediately to gather the necessary evidence and “pack your record” on appeal.
At Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, we never charge any fee or cost, or require any obligation on your part, to simply review your claim, answer any questions you may have, and provide guidance. The risks of pursuing your claim for long-term disability benefits alone are great. Your LTD carrier will certainly have a team of attorneys working to help them minimize your claim value and pay less on your claim. Why not have a team of lawyers working for your interest and the exact opposite outcome: a recovery of more LTD benefits for you? That would be our goal. We are here to help. Contact us.