Disability insurance is intended to protect employees from a loss of income due to an inability to work because of an accident, injury, or illness:
- Short term disability benefits are usually payable after a short waiting period (typically referred to as an “elimination period”) of 0, 7, 14, or 30 days, and the benefits are payable for a specific duration (most commonly 3, 6, 12, or 24 months).
- Long term disability benefits are usually payable at the end of the STD benefit period. Thus, LTD benefits typically start three to six months after you become unable to work.
American Fidelity Disability Insurance Denials
American Fidelity’s website says it offers disability insurance as a way to “Prepare for the Unexpected” and goes on to say, “Disability insurance can help protect your future finances in case of a sudden accident or illness by providing a benefit to help cover expenses while you are unable to work. Watch this short video to learn about disability insurance.”
Unfortunately, disability insurance companies like American Fidelity do not always pay benefits as they should. Claims are frequently denied or wrongfully terminated. That’s when the Ortiz Law Firm can be of legal assistance. We represent employees and individuals when their disability insurance claims have been wrongfully denied or terminated.
Work with an American Fidelity Long Term Disability Attorney
As mentioned earlier, many people who apply for long term disability benefits are frustrated by the obstacles they face when dealing with American Fidelity. American Fidelity asks for more and more paperwork as part of the “proof of loss” requirement. When you think you’ve completed the last form, they give you another one to fill out. Your doctor may even become annoyed with American Fidelity’s constant phone calls and requests for paperwork. And after all the effort, American Fidelity denies your claim anyway.
One common strategy used by disability insurance companies is to deny initial applications or claims by saying that the file is missing information or documentation. Policyholders contact us in great distress when denied the benefits they expect to support them. Many people are upset or angry with American Fidelity for the delays and denials. An experienced long term disability attorney who can explain the reasons for the insurance company’s denial and guide you in fighting back and winning your claim.
At the Ortiz Law Firm, we understand how challenging it can be to handle all the paperwork involved in filing a long term disability claim and providing evidence of the loss. Dealing with your injury or illness is already demanding enough. We also recognize the importance of these benefits for you and your family when you cannot work and earn an income. Let us shoulder the burden of fighting the insurance company for you. With over a decade of experience in dealing with insurance companies, our American Fidelity long term disability lawyer possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Appealing a Denied American Fidelity LTD Claim Successfully
In the end, insurance companies are in business to make money. They achieve this by collecting more in premiums than they pay in benefits. The fewer claims they approve, the more profits they retain for their shareholders. Understanding this fundamental principle will better explain why even well-prepared disability claims can be denied. It’s not a personal attack against you.
If you receive a denial letter in response to your benefits application, don’t lose hope and give up. You have the right to file one or more appeals directly with American Fidelity through their internal appeals review process. Once you have exhausted your appeals, you can file a claim in state court or an ERISA lawsuit in federal court.
Note: If you have an individual policy that you purchased on your own (outside of a group plan), or if you are a government employee or a member of a church plan, you may be exempt from ERISA regulations and have the right to file your lawsuit in state court. This provides greater protection for disability claims than an ERISA claim in federal court. This is why hiring an attorney who can explain your legal options to you is essential.
The legal team at the Ortiz Law Firm provides comprehensive guidance to their clients throughout the appeals process and can help you with the following:
- Understand the reasons behind the denial of your long term disability claim.
- Gather additional medical records and evidence to include in the appeal.
- Obtain opinions from your treating doctors regarding the impact of your injury or illness.
- Complete the necessary appeals paperwork.
- Submit your LTD claim appeal within the specified time limits.
- File an ERISA lawsuit in federal court (or a breach of contract lawsuit in state court).
- Prepare your case for trial.
While there are no guarantees that your claim will be approved on the first attempt, we will work diligently to help you submit a clear and concise claim with all the necessary information. Mr. Ortiz has represented numerous claimants in long term disability insurance claims and has extensive experience in assisting disability applicants who have faced denials, delays, or terminations of their claims. Call (888) 321-8131 for a free case evaluation to discuss your American Fidelity LTD claim.