How Long Does a Long-Term Disability Claim Take?
When filing a long-term disability claim with your insurance, you’re probably wondering how soon you’ll begin to receive your benefits. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as several factors must be considered. Generally the initial decision about your claim can take between 45 to 105 days.
Here are some factors that can influence how long it will take and what you can do to speed up the claim approval process.
Policy Elimination Period
Firstly, the majority of disability insurance policies have an elimination period. This is the period from when you first became ill or injured until you start to receive your long-term disability benefits.
You have to remain continuously disabled during this elimination period in order to qualify for benefits. There is no chance you will ever receive benefits before the policy’s elimination period finishes.
Application Timelines and Deadlines
Generally, the timeline for processing your claim is dependent your type of long-term disability cover.
- Individual Disability Insurance (IDI): If you purchased an IDI policy on your own, the insurer normally has a “reasonable” time frame to review and decide on your claim.
- ERISA Disability: If you are covered with an ERISA disability plan through your employer, your insurer is required to follow tight timelines. These are 45 days for the initial decision, with two extra 30-day extensions if needed by the insurance company.
In other words, receiving your initial decision for an ERISA disability claim can take up to 105 days. It can take even longer for an IDI disability claim.
Challenging a Long-Term Disability Claim Denial
With an ERISA disability plan you must file an appeal within 180 days, in order to challenge a claim denial. The disability insurance company then has 45 days to make a decision. If they need more time, they can extend it by 45 days.
There is usually no appeal requirement with an IDI policy. This means that if you desire you can appeal or take the matter directly to court.
Why It’s Best to Hire a Lawyer to Help You Appeal
If you are appealing a denial under an ERISA disability plan, then this is your very last chance to submit evidence supporting your claim.
You are allowed to seek judicial review if your insurance company denies your appeal. However, only information contained in the insurance company’s claim file is allowed to be reviewed by the court.
This is why preparing your disability appeal for the insurance company is much the same as preparing your case for litigation in court. You have no way of correcting a mistake made at appeal level.
When litigating an IDI policy denial you may submit new evidence in court, however, litigation can be costly. Your chances of success with an appeal will be much greater with the help of an expert long-term disability lawyer.
Get Help from Expert Long-Term Disability Lawyers in Edmonds
At Cunnane Law, we have years of experience and a proven track record in long-term disability claims for clients in Edmonds and all over the Seattle area. This can be a very complicated area, and you don’t want to try to do this on your own. You don’t have to. Contact us today to start talking about your long-term disability claim.
Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.