In an instant, an unpredictable event can change the course of your life.
- Imagine you can’t pay your mortgage. Losing your home?
- Imagine not being able to adequately provide for your family.
- Imagine living on less, always being on the verge of losing something.
This is what happens if your Application for long-term disability benefits is DENIED. Or if your benefits are TERMINATED.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s why…
If you or someone close to you has sustained a serious injury as a result of an accident, or has suffered a major illness you may find yourself unable to work. You may have long-term disability benefits through your workplace or you may have obtained them privately.
If you have insurance, you are entitled to receive benefits in the event that you become disabled.
But What If Your Application Is Denied? Or Your Benefits Were Terminated?
I’m Just Getting Started, My Application Hasn’t Been Denied
If you’re just beginning the process of applying for long-term disability benefits, Patricia R. Santucci Personal Injury Law has compiled our most-popular Frequently Asked Questions on the subject (see below).
Our goal is to make sure you get started in the right direction when applying for disability benefits.
If after reading this, you still have questions about long-term disability benefits please visit our website where you’ll find many more FAQs along with dozens of articles for non-lawyers and other helpful resources.
If You Prefer to Speak With a Lawyer, We’re Here for YOU
Our initial consultations are free. We will fight for you.
Read on for the “Disability Benefits Q&A by Patricia R. Santucci Personal Injury Law”.
Disability Benefits Q&A by Patricia R. Santucci Personal Injury Law
Summary of the Questions
Clicking a link jumps down to the question & answer:
- What should I do if I am unable to work due to a disability?
- I am disabled from working. How do I apply for Long-Term Disability benefits?
- What do I need to do in order to apply for short term or long-term disability benefits?
- Do I need a lawyer to assist me with completing the various forms in order to receive short term or long-term disability benefits?
- Will I have to pay taxes on any settlement or judgment?
- Why is it important to know whether or not my long-term disability is taxable or non-taxable?
What should I do if I am unable to work due to a disability?
Consult your doctor or other medical specialist in order to start or continue the appropriate medical treatment.
In addition, you should keep a diary of major events surrounding your illness and disability as they occur.
If you have not already done so, use your memory in order to recreate as accurately as possible a diary of such events and then record new events as they occur.
The type of information that you should record in your diary includes:
- What caused you to stop working and the date on which the injury or illness occurred
- Changes in your health and your ability to function
- When you were first treated for the medical condition that caused you to stop working
- Dates and particulars of all doctor and specialist appointments
- Dates and particulars of all hospital visits
- Dates and particulars of all diagnostic testing (for example, x-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans, PET scans, blood work, etc.)
- Dates and particulars of all other health and medical appointments (for example, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, naturopathic appointments, etc.)
- Particulars of telephone calls or meetings with your employer regarding your ability to work and any modifications to your job as a result of your disability
- Particulars of any telephone calls or meetings with your insurance carrier
- Particulars of any telephone calls or meeting with rehabilitation or occupational therapy specialists
- When you applied for disability benefits or any other types of benefits such as motor vehicle accident insurance benefits, CPP disability benefits, EI benefits, etc.
I am disabled from working. How do I apply for Long-Term Disability benefits?
If you have Long-Term Disability benefits, you need to contact the human resources department at your place of employment.
If your office is too small to have a human resources department, there is usually someone who is in charge of employee issues. There may be someone specifically designated at your office, such as an office manager or it may be your manager.
You need a Long-Term Disability package. There are a number of forms that need to be completed:
- One by your physician
- One by your employer
- One by you
Your place of employment may not have the forms on hand, but should have the contact information for the disability insurance carrier. Call them to obtain a package. Many of the forms you will need my even be available online.
A representative from the insurance company may call you to obtain further information. Once your package is completed and any further medical information needed to adjudicate your claim is submitted, you should receive a response in writing from the insurer indicating whether your claim is approved.
If your claim is denied, you need to contact a lawyer right away because Long-Term Disability Benefits are your financial lifeline and therefore you need to act quickly.
What do I need to do in order to apply for short term or long-term disability benefits?
You will need to complete a number of documents in order to apply for and receive short term and long-term disability benefits. These documents may vary by insurance company.
However, generally speaking, you will need to complete the following forms:
- A general short term or long-term disability application form,
- Have your doctor complete a separate medical form describing the nature of your disability along with a descriptions of your restrictions and limitations, and
- Have your employer fill out a separate form describing your job and the physical and mental requirements of your job.
Do I need a lawyer to assist me with completing the various forms in order to receive short term or long-term disability benefits?
No. You do not need a lawyer to complete the various forms required to receive short or long-term disability benefits. However, a lawyer may be of assistance in helping you to complete the forms and more accurately describe your physical and psychological restrictions and limitations.
In most cases, an insurance company has only these forms available to it when deciding on whether or not to pay you disability benefits. If the forms are not completed properly, your benefits may be delayed or even denied.
Will I have to pay taxes on any settlement or judgment?
Whether your disability benefits are taxable or non-taxable is an important consideration. Generally speaking, if through your employment you have paid the premium associated with having disability benefits, the benefits will usually be non-taxable in your hands.
If your employer has paid a portion of the long-term disability premium or the entire long-term disability premium then the disability benefit will likely be taxable in your hands.
Whether your benefit is taxable or non-taxable has a significant impact on the income stream you can expect through your policy should you become disabled. This is why it is important to contact your employer to find out the answer to this question should you become disabled.
Why is it important to know whether or not my long-term disability is taxable or non-taxable?
It is important to know whether your long-term disability benefit is taxable or non taxable because it makes a significant difference with respect to the amount of your benefit.
For example, if you earned $40,000 per year (or $3,333 per month) your annual take home pay will be approximately $31,600. This means that in ordinary circumstances you are living on $2,633.33 per month.
Let’s also assume that your disability benefit is equal to 66.67% of your gross monthly salary. Thus, if your benefit were non-taxable the monthly amount would be $2,223 per month (that is 66.67% of $3,333).
If your benefit is taxable, your monthly benefit amount will be approximately $1,820. That is a big difference in income, and you will need to plan for the decrease in income by re-adjusting some of your expenses.
If Your Application Been Denied? Or Your Benefits Were Terminated?
Contact Patricia R. Santucci Personal Injury Law if you have questions, if your long-term disability benefits application has been denied, or if your benefits have been terminated.