If You Don’t Pursue Your Long Term Disability Claim for Multiple Sclerosis Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

In the United States there are over 400,000 people with MS and over 200 new cases are diagnosed each week. If you have a long term disability policy you should consider applying for long term disability benefits. MS is a chronic, often debilitating disease that can attack your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.

This can cause numbness in your limbs, fatigue, motor weakness, poor balance, heat sensitivity, pain, cognitive impairments, mood disorders and even paralysis or loss of vision.

Unfortunately, as many as 50% of people with MS are unable to work because of their disability. If you have been diagnosed as having MS and have a long term disability policy, you should consult a MS long term disability attorney to assist you with your long term disability application.

If you have applied for long term disability benefits because of disability caused by MS and/or complications and were denied, you should immediately consult with a reputable MS long term disability lawyer. Why? You will have 180 days from the date of your denial in which to appeal the denial of your MS long term disability claim. Regardless of how strong your physician supports your claim, you will need to the assistance of a qualified MS long term disability attorney to assist you in the claims and appeal process. If you don’t, you will hate yourself later when the time for the appeal of your denial has lapsed.

How to Correctly Calculate Your Long Term Disability Benefits

Many long term disability policies have provisions in them which allows the disability insurance company to reduce or “offset” the long term disability benefits you receive from other sources. These can include, SocialCalculate Security Disability benefits, including benefits received for dependents, workers’ compensation benefits, law suits arising out of auto accidents and even retirement benefits.

Before you stop working, you should have your long term disability policy reviewed so you can understand what the gross amount of your disability benefits should be, what deductions the long term disability carrier can legitimately take and what your net disability income will be after reductions.

If you don’t, you may end up with a significant over payment and the long term disability carrier suing you to collect an overpayment of your disability benefits. If you would like help with your Long Term Disability benefits from Nancy Cavey, a Tampa St. Petersburg Long Term Disability lawyer, give her a call today at 727-894-3188.

If You Don’t Plan For Possible Disability by Purchasing Long Term Disability Policy, You Will Hate Yourself Later

Do you know that, according to an article “Are You Counting On Savings When Disabled?” ( http://community-nasdaq.com/news/2010-08/areyoucountingonsaving) that:Disability Policies

  1. “Deaths due to heart disease, cancer and strokes have denied while disabilities disability cause by these conditions have sky rocketed.
  1. That a 35 year old has a 48% chance of having at least one disabling incident lasting longer that three months before reaching age 65.
  1. That 1 in 5 under that age of 65 will disabled for a year or longer.
  1. A 45 year-old experiencing a disability that lasts one year has a 70% chance that it will last at least one more year and that the same person has a 62% chance that it will last five years or longer.”

Unfortunately, only 9% of Americans have individual disability policies to protect their ability to work an earn income.

Many of us, think nothing about insuring our houses against fires, tornados, earthquakes or other catastrophic events. Unfortunately, many us don’t think about insuring ourselves.

If you are relying on savings, you may not have enough money to get you through an elimination period or even a claim denial.

At Cavey and Barrett, we suggest that you have a long term disability policy. You can get those from your employer, which typically cover 60% of your salary. Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to employer sponsored programs including taxability and the fact that they are covered under the ERISA law.

Nancy Cavey, an individual disability policy denied attorney, suggests that the wiser course is to purchase an individual policy through an agent. Yes, of course, it will be more expensive than a group policy, but you are insuring yourself. Aren’t you, your family and your future earning capacity worth it?

For more information about the terms your do not want to see in your long term disability policy, you can order a free no obligation copy of the book Robbed of Your Peace of Mind on the right side of this page.

If You Are a Physician and Don’t Understand How Long Term Disability Carriers Use CPT Codes in Analyzing a Claim for Disability, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Many physicians will have what is called an “own occupation” disability insurance policy that will pay benefits if you are no longer able to carry out the duties of your own occupation.Physician Long Term Disability Lawyer

Unfortunately, many physicians don’t understand the games that long term disability carriers will play in determining what a physicians “own occupation” might be at the time that they become disabled.

For example, a UNUM disability policy provides for “total disability” benefits when the insured, due to injury or sickness is “unable to perform the important duties of his occupation and is under the regular care of a personal physician”. Dr. Natarajan, a board certified Cardiologist, had such a policy through Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and UNUM. Dr. Natarajan opened the first cardiac catheterization in Venice, Florida and, following the adoption of innovational cardiology, Dr. Natarajan became certified in interventional cardiology in the year 2000.

Unfortunately, he developed severe arthritic degeneration in his hands and lost his ability to perform the surgeries.

As a result, and over time, he had to reduce the number of cardiological interventional procedures he conducted.

He filed a claim for total disability benefits and, as part of the claim UNUM completed the medical billing review/ CPT Code Analysis.

Based on UNUM’s analysis, they concluded that surgical or invasive/interventional procedures only accounted for 12% of the total number of procedures performed by Dr. Natarajan and accounted for only 25% of all the billings and charges prior to the onset of his disability.

In line with the CPT Code Analysis, UNUM determined that Dr. Nataregan was not engaged in a specialty of invasive/interventional cardiologist on account of his disability.

They concluded, that he was a general cardiologist, since he maintained a limited office practice as a cardiologist, he was not entitled to total disability benefits.

UNUM suggested that he seek the payment of residual disability benefits and Dr. Natarajan disagreed then sued Paul Revere UNUM Provident aka the UNUM group.

The court held that the policy defined “Your Occupation” as the occupation in which “the [insured] is [readily engaged] at the time [the insured] becomes disabled” and that Dr. Natarajan had to demonstrate there was “evidence of means by which a reasonable jury might find he was employed as a interventionist/invasive cardiologist (as opposed to a general cardiologist) at the time he became disabled”.

The Court pointed out that Dr. Natarajan had “considerable evidence” including documentation that he was a board certified interventional cardiologist and the affidavit from the administrator of the facility where Dr. Natarajan was employed, which confirmed that he was specifically hired because he was an interventional cardiologist.

The Court denied UNUM’s motion for summary judgment, agreeing with Dr. Natarajan that the CPT analysis was, alone, insufficient to establish that Dr. Natarajan was a general cardiologist.

UNUM offered up it’s own claims manual in support of it’s allegation that they were entitled to apply “more narrow definition of own occupation”.

The Court rejected this interpretation in denying UNUM’s motion for summary judgment.

If you are a physician who has a “own occupation” policy, you should consult an experienced long term disability attorney to assist you in helping you understand your policy terms, how they carrier might limit your coverage, and how they may use the CPT Codes in denying your claim for benefits. Give us a call today at 727-894-3188 to discuss your policy.

How Long Will I Have to Wait Before I Get My Long Term Disability Benefits?

Long Term Disability policy premiums depend on your age, gender, health history and your occupation.How Long for a Long Term Disability Claim?

An important factor is the policy elimination period. This is the length of time you go without getting benefits. Sometimes people choosing a ninety-day period of time to go without benefits at the onset of their disability. When the time is up, the Long Term Disability carrier will start paying your benefits. The longer your elimination period, the cheaper your premium. I’ve seen elimination periods as long as a year and I would not encourage that.

I would suggest a ninety-day elimination period.

You also get to choose how long you will get paid benefits. Most companies will let you chose benefits that last between two, five years to age 65, 67 or for the rest of your life. Quite frankly, it’s very difficult to find a policy these days that will pay a medical professional for the rest of their life and more commonly these disability policies will pay through the age 62 or 65.

Regardless of the price tag, remember you are insuring you and your ability to work. As the breadwinner you have the obligation to yourself and your family to provide them with support even in a time of your disability. If you have any questions about the Long Term Disability process, contact us today so we can get you on the right track in your claim. 727-894-3188.

FAQ – Will My Employer Help Me With My Disability Claim? | St. Petersburg Long Term Disability Attorney

Probably not!

Your employer may be self-funded for short term disability benefits. That means your employer is paying disability benefits out of its own pocket. Self funded employers normally will pay 13 to 26 weeks of short term disability benefits, and then turn your claim over to a long-term disability insurance company. If the monies coming out of their pocket, they may not be so anxious to pay you disability benefits. However, I have seen self-funded employers override the decision of short-term disability carrier and pay benefits out of their own assets.

Other employers have provided you with a short-term and/or long-term disability policy. If you are covered under the disability policy, the policy will be administered by the insurance company or by a third party administrator. Your employer is not involved in the claims handling or decision-making process.

Your employer provided you with a long-term and/or short term disability policy in the event you became unable to perform your job. Some employers will wash their hands of you since you are disposable. Some employers will give the disability insurance company incorrect information about your job duties or work performance in an effort to avoid claims for discrimination or other employment related claims. Other employers will try to have you quit on the wrong day thereby destroying your disability claim

The disability carrier will be asking you and your employer about your job. It is important that you get a copy of your job description and compare that description to what you actually did in your job. I always have my clients write out the description of their job duties and get a copy of the formal job description so we can compare the same.

It may be necessary to get a letter from your employer at some point regarding your inability to do your job or the difficulties that you had doing your job after you became disabled. Your employer may not be willing to give you such a letter but one of your co-employees might be able to do so. If and when you need such a letter will be up to you and your experienced disability attorney.

At the Law offices of Cavey and Barrett, we secure letters or affidavits from your employer or co-employees about the nature of your job, how you performed your job duties before you became disabled, how your job may of been changed as a result of your disability, and what problems you had performing your job after you became disabled. This information must be tailored to your specific circumstances.

If human resources is giving you a hard time, that may hurt your chances to get disability benefits and is yet, just another reason, why you need an experienced disability attorney to assist you in the disability claims process. If you would like to speak with an attorney, you can contact Nancy Cavey by clicking here or by calling 727.894.3188.

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