The potential success of long-term disability is usually one of the first curiousities from my clients. It’s a legitimate worry. People are nervous and potentially literally can’t work, but they got denied and fear they may have to work despite their disability.
What information is needed to determine the chance of success?
Several pieces of information are needed. For example, I was in a free strategy session just the other day with a longterm disability potential client. They asked, “Well, what do you think our chances of success are?” My response was, “I can’t tell you that right now.” Why? Because I’m honest. I don’t blow smoke at people. I tell them the truth. All I had for that free strategy session was the denial letter. That’s all the information I had. I didn’t have any any medical records. I didn’t have the claim file. I didn’t talk to any of the doctors. So I didn’t really have all of the necessary information in order to give a good opinion about whether we would be successful on that claim.
So what information should I have before I give you that opinion? Well, first things first, I always want to see the claim file. I’ve got to see the claim file and to see what the insurance company has. In this particular case, I know that there was a doctor who gave a bad opinion that was hired by the insurance company, but I don’t have that full report. I can’t get that full report reviewed by the treating doctors or the doctors that I trust because I don’t have that report yet. I really can’t say whether this report is crap, or if it is on a solid foundation. I just don’t know because I haven’t seen it yet.
Medical records are an important part
You need to submit the medical records to see what your doctors are saying before I even go approach your doctors. I need to know what they’ve said in the medical records, because they cannot contradict their own medical records. Or if they do contradict their own medical records, we need to get them to give an explanation for why they are contradicting their own medical records. So all of that is to say, what information do I need before I can confidently say you have a good shot at winning your appeal, or you have a good shot at winning in court? I need to see the entire claim file, I need to see all of your medical records, and I really need to talk to your doctors in order to really have a good feel for what your chances of success are in a longterm disability appeal.
So what do you do when you meet with an attorney?
All you can do, in my opinion, is hire the best attorney who knows what he or she is doing. Hire the attorney that’s going to be honest with you who’s not going to say, “Oh yeah, we go in, we win these all the time.” No, that’s not enough.
It’s true – They may win these cases all the time. I’m not saying that they don’t, I’m not saying that they’re lying, but what I would look for, if I were talking to an attorney about my longterm disability insurance claim or my longterm disability insurance appeal is what information do you need in order to say, yes, you have a good chance of winning. If it were me, if you were asking me that question, I would say, I need your claim file, I need your medical records, I need to talk to your doctors. Those three things are the top of my list to make sure that I can give you good, honest advice on what to do going forward.
So do I pay $1,000 to get a narrative report from your doctor if your doctor is not going to support you? That is a waste of money, in my opinion. Ultimately you’re responsible for that money so I’m wasting your money. I’m not going to do that. Other attorneys might do that. You just need to know going in what the attorney’s process looks like and then you can make a good decision.
I hope this video has been helpful. If you have any questions, you can obviously comment in the comments section below, or you can send me an email or give us a call. Hope you’re doing well. Thanks, bye.