In a perfect world, when you apply for disability benefits, the insurance company will immediately approve your claim so you receive payments while you cannot work. Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny disability claims — even valid ones — leaving claimants with difficult decisions.
If you receive a denial notice, you have two options: Appeal the insurer’s decision or sue the company to receive benefits. Your next step depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
The Difference Between Appeals and Lawsuits
The primary difference between appealing a denied disability claim and filing a lawsuit is who decides whether you receive benefits.
If you file an appeal, the insurance company will give the claim another look to determine whether to reverse the decision. Typically, unless you provide substantial new information about your medical condition, the company will deny the appeal.
When you sue the company to receive benefits, you put the decision in the hands of a neutral third party. Filing a lawsuit tells the insurance company you do not accept their decision and want to leave the case up to the courts.
Appealing a Disability Claim Denial
Appeals are most often only successful if you have significant new information to share. New test results that more conclusively prove your condition, records from specialists, or other documentation you did not include when filing your initial claim.
When to Sue an Insurer for a Denied Disability Claim
Without new information, filing a lawsuit is most often the better approach to receiving long or short-term disability benefits after a claim denial. Taking legal action sooner helps protect your rights and prevent the financial hardships that can result from a prolonged appeals process. You only have two years from the initial denial of the claim to file a lawsuit, and appealing does not extend this deadline.
A lawsuit against the insurer can get you the benefits they legally owe you. However, you may be able to receive additional compensation for the insurance company’s bad-faith actions and your mental distress. Ultimately, if you provide the insurance company with all the information necessary to make a decision, appealing is unlikely to make a difference, and a lawsuit is the best option.
You know what to do … Call Chorney Sidhu to Get Help
If your insurance company denies your short or long-term disability claim, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers can certainly help. We understand the claims process and can help you resolve your case as quickly as possible. Call (844) 487-8482 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.