Anatomy of Short Term Disability Claims.
Typically, Short Term Disability (STD) caims start out with a physician advising you to take time off from work to recover from an illness or injury. You read your employee benefits booklet, speak to your boss and the HR department. And finally, you fill out all the required forms before signing off to begin your treatment.
The insurance company will acknowledge your application and assign your case to an advisor whom you will invariably never meet. Weeks will go by and you will receive no other communication. When you follow up with the advisor, you will be instructed to apply for employment insurance while your case is being assessed.
Short Term Disability Claims Denied
Following this, realize that the majority of short term disability claims get denied. The insurance company will likely determine your condition to be ineligible or not serious enough. It does not matter whether this is contrary to a diagnosis by trained medical professionals.
Financial concerns will now add to your burdens. Sometimes, quite coincidentally, you will also receive a letter from your employer asking you to return to work. It may have veiled threats of termination for “abandoning” your position.
Short Term Disability Claims – What’s Really Going On
Here are are some facts your employer and insurance company may not want you to know.
Fact 1: Almost 85% of low cost short term disability claims are not paid out your by your insurance provider at all. They are self-funded by your employer. Your employer, not the insurer, pays you while you are on short term disability leave.
Fact 2: Your employer hires the insurance company to act as a third party administrator for this program. Essentially, their job is to weed out as many claims as possible for your employer.
Fact 3: The insurance company is not restricted from sharing your personal medical information with your employer.
All of this can unfortunately leave your head spinning especially when you are not well. If this accurately describes your situation, then realize that you are really being “handled” by your employer.
Short Term Disability Claims – Get the Right Lawyer
Often, this is where many claimants go astray in their desire to seek justice. A Personal Injury Lawyer will not be able to assist you in this matter. If this is truly a case of your employer withholding your employment benefits unfairly, then you require an experienced team of employment lawyers to take on your case.
Lecker and Associates have a deep specialty in this legal quagmire that straddles your employer and the insurance company.
We have represented clients in similar situations for over 35 years. Consequently, our lawyers can wade fully armed into this unholy alliance between the insurance company and your employer. Your disability benefits package is an enforceable part of your employment agreement and protected by law. Not only can we secure this benefit for you, we will also ensure you are adequately compensated for mental distress and any breach of privacy related to your medical history.
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