Finding yourself in a situation where you're no longer able to work and support your family can be an extremely stressful time in anyone's life. While there are programs that exist which are designed to help you through these hard times, they can seem overwhelmingly complicated and it can be a serious challenge to navigate government bureaucracy.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, is a law designed to help guarantee the viability of your long term disability insurance policy. Before you file a claim, however, it's important that you understand some of the things below so that you have properly formulated expectations and are able to secure your future with minimal stress.
Prepare For Surveillance
Long term disability claims are serious, and you're unlikely to be eligible to file one if there's any reasonable chance of you recovering your ability to work. Indeed, these claims are often restricted to victims of chronic or terminal illnesses, so the way you live your life may be heavily scrutinized.
It's not unusual for companies who are responsible for paying out your ERISA claims to conduct some moderate surveillance in order to verify that you're not attempting to game the system. While it may seem bizarre or abhorrent to think your employer has this power, the reality is that an attempted denial of benefits is a part of nearly every claim.
Assume A Pay Cut
While every case is different and an insurance company settling a claim will ultimately determine the amount of your settlement, you should be aware that it's unlikely you'll maintain your former level of income. Even if you're entirely unable to work, your ERISA claim is likely to cover only a portion of your salary, leaving it to you to cover the rest.
One outlet for assistance, however, is social security. In many cases, a person who is disabled enough to file an ERISA claim is also eligible to receive disability from social security, even before retirement age. This will go a long way toward helping to limit your financial stresses.
Consult With Your Doctor
Perhaps the most vital part of your disability claim is the written opinion of your doctor. HIs or her assessment will be weighed heavily by the insurance company evaluating your claim, so be sure that you're completely candid about the areas of your life in which you're struggling. Developing a full understanding of your injuries will go a long way toward making sure your doctor files a claim that outlines the precise reasons your claim should be awarded.
Talk to a lawyer, like Iler and Iler, for more help.Share