Denied long-term disability insurance claims over Covid-19 will require lawyers to go to bat for clients who cannot return to work
The emotional toll that Covid-19 has taken will most likely lead to many new long-term disability claims. Covid-19 has created an unparalleled amount of stress for people at home and at work. Many people have been temporarily laid off or have been required to work from home.
In situations where someone has contracted the virus, the recovery can be long, unpredictable or debilitating. The world has started to feel the impact of employees falling ill and requiring short-term disability to recover from the virus, but plan sponsors may also have to prepare for an increase in long-term disability claims after the crisis eventually ends.
Covid-19 has created an unprecedented situation.
There are many unknowns and uncertainties when a sick employee tries to decide if they are too sick to work. They do not know if they will be approved for disability benefits or what the employer’s reaction might be. Unfortunately, acceptance is not a sure thing.
An individual who chooses not to return to work to look after a loved one, to care for their children or to avoid getting sick, it may be difficult to make a claim for disability benefits if you are not ill or disabled.
For someone that has been laid off due to the financial considerations or a business shutdown, but is now too sick to return to work, it may not be clear-cut whether they can access disability coverage after a lay-off. In some cases, if there is no disability coverage, it may be the employer’s fault and responsibility.
When people suffer from symptoms related directly, or indirectly, to Covid-19 that are preventing them from working, their decision to stop working is a significant one.
A disabled person knows best whether they can or cannot work. They know how they feel and what they are able to do on a daily basis. In making this decision, and also in obtaining approval for disability benefits, the support of a doctor is needed.
There is tremendous uncertainty about the financial consequences of stopping work, with concerns ranging from the ability to pay the rent or mortgage to having money for groceries. Unfortunately, insurance disability benefits are not automatically paid as soon as a person stops working. There can be waiting periods and delays before benefits are paid. There can also be denials of claims for many reasons.
In the case of psychological disability, insurers often will view these claims more stringently and suspiciously, leading to more frequent claim denials. Proving that an emotional disability prevents someone from working will often require stronger medical evidence such as reports from psychiatrists and psychologists outlining the severity of the illness and why the person is unable to work. It is also important that treatment is being sought.
While the Covid-19 world is unprecedented, many of the challenges facing sick workers who are denied disability benefits are very familiar to personal injury and insurance lawyers. Our lawyers and staff understand the impact of this financial loss and the anger when the legitimacy of a disability is called into question.
Singer Katz helps ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, but we also help you feel validated and better prepared for life after your claim is resolved.
Our team will be personally invested in your file and will remain in contact with you throughout the claims process because we know that uncertainty can be stressful. We also know that the better we know and understand each client, the better we can advocate on their behalf.
If you have a valid long-term disability claim that was denied, we can help. Call today for a free consultation.