Why do long-term disability claims get denied?

Long-term disability insurance is supposed to be there to protect you and provide you with an income when you can't work -- but far too many people find out that even though they've faithfully paid their policies for years, the insurance company simply isn't there for them when they need it.

There claims come back denied. Here are some of the reasons that your long-term disaiblity claim might be refused:

1. You don't meet the definition of "disabled" according to the policy.

Do you know exactly what it takes to be disabled according to your insurer? Your insurance company may have restrictions on your policy that make it very tough to actually use.

You may also have a perfectly valid disability -- but one that's specifically excluded from certain policies, like the human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus.

2. You have a pre-existing condition.

Did you see a doctor about anything prior to taking out your policy? Don't be surprised if there's a thorough search through your medical records to see what conditions you may have that the insurance company can claim was pre-existing. That old note about back pain in your doctor's file could sink your claim even though the issue was long resolved.

Your insurer may even claim that you purposefully hid information -- especially if you were in the process of a diagnosis when you took the policy out.

3. You don't have enough objective evidence of your condition.

Despite all the advances in medical science, many diseases still lack definitive diagnostic tests. There's no official test, for example, to provide chronic daily migraines or fibromyalgia. Instead, doctors rely on their observations of your condition, in-office exams and your self-reported symptoms to make their diagnosis -- and that may not be enough to "prove" you are sick to your insurer.

If your long-term disability claim was denied, don't give up without a fight. Find out how you can overcome the denial today.

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