Convincing your insurance company to approve a long-term disability (LTD) claimcan be challenging. Keeping your claim in an approved status can be similarly challenging. After LTD benefits have been approved, insurance companies will continue to review the claim and look for reasons to terminate benefits.
There can be warning signs that can reveal an insurer’s intent to cut off a claimant’s disability benefit. Being aware of these red flags can help you know when to consult with an experienced lawyer – like Colorado Disability Lawyer Shawn E. McDermott – to protect your rights and LTD benefits.
Red Flags Your LTD Benefits May Soon Be Terminated by an Insurance Company
- The insurer requests – or makes a surprise – home visit – Home visits give insurance companies an opportunity to observe a claimant in his or her home, collect information about the claimant, and ask various questions. In fact, even if the person who visits your home seems to be nice, caring or supportive, you should be aware that (s)he is, in fact, gathering potential evidence for an insurance company to terminate your LTD benefits.
- To protect yourself in these situations, consider requesting that all interviews be conducted in writing or in the presence of a witness or lawyer.
- The insurer requests that you attend an independent medical exam (IME) – IMEs are conducted by medical professionals who have been chosen by the insurance company and who, in many cases, regularly work with/for the insurer. This means that these exams are commonly biased to favor the insurance company’s interests – and that the medical professionals conducting these exams may be looking for reasons the insurer can use to reduce or terminate LTD benefits.
- Protect yourself in these situations by first checking whether IMEs are actually required by your policy (if not, then refuse this request). If you are required to attend the IME, be careful about the information you share with the medical professional performing the exam.
- The insurer is making direct, more frequent contact with your doctor – If an insurance company is frequently contacting your doctor or frequently requesting that your doctor complete additional forms, take notice. This may be a sign the insurance company is questioning the nature and severity of your condition – and is looking for grounds to terminate the claim.
- Protect yourself in these situations by retaining copies of everything you receive from your doctor and the insurance company. And be sure to follow through with all prescribed treatments.
- The insurer is contacting you more often to ask about your condition – If your insurance company is asking you to complete claimant statements more than twice a year – or if the insurer is calling you more frequently to discuss your condition, be suspicious. While increased contact with you clearly means that your claim is being scrutinized far more closely, it can also be an indication your claim has been targeted for termination.
- Protect yourself by contacting a lawyer to discuss your claim and options. Having an attorney on your side can be pivotal to protecting your rights and interests, as well as to minimizing the chances of your benefits getting terminated.
- The insurer is conducting surveillance on you – Insurance company surveillance is generally conducted to try to catch people doing anything that could be used to argue that their condition has improved or that it’s not as severe as claimed. This surveillance can involve an investigator following a claimant around, staying outside of a claimant’s home, or even setting up a camera to record a claimant’s actions over a few days.
- Protect yourself by limiting your activities and not doing anything that would violate doctor’s orders (regarding your limitations or restricted activities).
Have Your LTD Benefits Been Terminated? Contact Denver Disability Lawyer Shawn E. McDermott
If your LTD benefits have been wrongly reduced or terminated – or if your claim has been wrongly denied, you can turn to Denver Disability Lawyer Shawn E. McDermott for experience in standing up to insurers and help in obtaining the benefits you likely deserve.
From our offices in Denver, we provide the highest quality legal services to disabled people throughout the state of Colorado, the surrounding states and nationwide.