Why you should talk to a lawyer before your file an LTD claim

You purchased long-term disability insurance as a hedge against a disabling injury, medical condition or mental health issue. It’s the only way to protect your livelihood, because workers’ comp will not pay anywhere near the income you were earning as a practicing professional.

If that dreaded day comes, you will have to file a disability claim against your policy. Despite diligently paying your premiums every month, there is a high chance your claim will be denied. Your best bet may be to talk to an insurance lawyer before you submit that claim. Here’s why.



Long-term disability claims are routinely rejected


The insurance companies are playing a numbers game. They reject a high percentage of claims, knowing that many policyholders will simply not fight it. They also know that many appeals are unsuccessful, especially if the policy is governed by the ERISA system. Even if your benefits are eventually granted, insurers earn interest during the delay. They have numerous incentives to deny, slow-pay or lowball claims.

Three reasons to get a lawyer first

One of the main reasons (or at least the stated reason) for claim denials is incomplete paperwork. If there are gaps in your application or if your medical records are sparse, the insurance company will shut you down. You have everything to gain by having an attorney review your application:

  • An insurance lawyer knows what documentation is likely to make or break your claim. They may recommend supplementing your file with specific records or a supporting statement from your doctor(s).

  • An insurance lawyer can spot the fine print in your LTD policy that insurers would try to use against you.

  • An insurance lawyer knows how to present your case and get key issues on the record to set you up for success if your denied claim is appealed.

What’s in it for the attorney if my claim gets approved?

Our lawyers will not charge you for helping to prepare your long-term disability or short-term disability application. Why would we help you submit your claim for free?

We are playing a numbers game, too. When claimants are approved for benefits, we are glad to have been of service. But we know that despite our assistance, many claims will still be denied because certain insurance companies are notorious for it. We get paid if we fight and win your appeal. And if we are involved from the beginning -- getting to know you and your claim -- we have better odds of prevailing in that appeal.

Also, if your claim is granted and we do not receive one dime, there is a chance you will need us down the road if your insurer tries terminate your benefits. We have represented many claimants whose “lifetime benefits” under an LTD policy were cut off upon reaching age 65 or whose claims were terminated after submitting to an IME (independent medical exam).


No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Our Attorneys

Our Insurance Lawyers Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates A prestigious national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges. Membership is by exclusive invitation only. All members shall have completed 10 civil jury trials to jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel.
  • Best Lawyers
    Best Lawyers The oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.
  • AV | PeerReviewRated | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
    Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings An objective peer review rating indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary. Pillsbury & Coleman founding partner Philip L. Pillsbury Jr. is rated “AV Preeminent.”
  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers A peer-review rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
  • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S.News & World Report | 2019
    Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S. News 2019
  • American Association for Justice | Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)
    American Association for Justice (AAJ) Founded in 1946, AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar and supports the work of attorneys to ensure that injured plaintiffs can obtain justice.
  • American College of Coverage Counsel
    American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel Composed of preeminent insurance coverage counsel in the United States and Canada, representing the interests of both insurers and policyholders. The minimum membership requirement is the practice of insurance law for at least fifteen consecutive years.
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers | abtl
    Association of Business Trial Lawyers Founded in 1972, ABTL is dedicated to connecting litigators and judges to address issues important to trial lawyers.
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
    Consumer Attorneys of California The only California-wide unified trial bar for plaintiffs lawyers who represent consumers harmed by powerful foes such as insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, automobile manufacturers and banks.
  • SFTLA | San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
    San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association For over 60 years, this prestigious bar association has educated and trained trial lawyers and supported and passed critical legislation to protect and advance individuals’ rights.
  • United Policyholders | Empowering the Insured
    United Policyholders A non-profit group dedicated to providing trustworthy and useful information and an effective voice for insurance consumers in all 50 states.
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators | 2018 | Top 100
    ACCEC | American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel | Fellow