Our Legal Team Understands What a Machine Operator Goes Through
Machine operators are laborers who set up, maintain, and operate their assigned machinery, often in production plants and manufacturing industries. They maintain their assigned machines to ensure they operate efficiently and without issue.
Long Term Disability Claims for Machine Operators
But what if you have a sickness or injury that keeps you from working? You file a claim with your long term disability insurance company and, surprisingly, they deny the claim!
You may feel hopeless after receiving a denial. You are unable to perform your duties as a machine operator and no longer have the ability to work. Now your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim for benefits, and you don’t know where to turn for help.
Fortunately, you have come to the right place – Ortiz Law Firm can help you recover the benefits you deserve. If your insurer has denied your LTD benefits, rest assured that you are not alone. Although it is unfortunate that your insurance carrier has denied your claim, but we’re here to help. We fight long term disability claim denials for machine operators.
How do Machine Operators Qualify for LTD Benefits?
If your medical condition prevents you from performing your duties and responsibilities, then you may qualify for disability insurance benefits. A machine operators’ duties and responsibilities often include:
- Setting up machines (calibration, cleaning etc.) to start a production cycle
- Controlling and adjusting machine settings (e.g. speed)
- Feeding raw material or parts to semi-automated machines
- Inspecting parts with precision and measuring tools
- Testing operation of machines periodically
- Fixing issues that might occur during the shift
- Checking output to spot any machine-related mistakes or flaws
- Keeping records of approved and defective units or final products
- Maintaining activity logs
Depending on the company, machine operator skills and requirements may include:
- Working knowledge of diverse high-speed machinery and measurement tools (caliper, micrometer, etc.)
- Understanding of production procedures
- Adherence to health and safety regulations (e.g. constant use of protective gear)
- Ability to read blueprints, schematics, and manuals
- Attention to detail
- Teamwork and communication skills
- Physical stamina and strength
Most machine operators will have a hard time getting the insurance company to approve their claim for long term disability benefits. This is because the insurance company is looking at the case from a financial standpoint.
The insurance company is looking at how much it will cost to pay your monthly benefit month after month. As such, the insurer is looking for any reason to deny benefits. If you are out of work for an extended time, you will endure more scrutiny during the claims process.
Tips for Successfully Appealing Long Term Disability Claim Denials for Machine Operators
Tip #1 Document Your Symptoms and Limitations
Medical evidence is the foundation of any long-term disability claim. Gathering the evidence to prove your disability is the longest and most tedious part of the process. You need to collect all the medical records from your doctors that are treating your disability.
Check that your doctors are noting your pain levels, cognitive difficulties, and any other symptoms and limitations on your chart. This is not always common practice, but you need to stack the administrative record with as much evidence as possible.
For example, let’s assume a claimant has a significant back injury such as herniated discs. The claimant cannot sit, stand, or even walk frequently or for very long. The most comfortable position is for the claimant to lie down for 50% of the day to alleviate pain. There are not many jobs that will accommodate the need to lie down for half of the day.
You want to make sure your doctor is documenting these restrictions and limitations. There needs to be good “objective medical evidence” to support the subjective complaints of pain. Objective evidence may include MRIs, X-Rays, etc.
Tip #2 Anticipate Surveillance
Video surveillance by the insurance company is completely legal, and it happens all the time. During the surveillance period, a private investigator will stake out your house. They may talk to nearby neighbors about your daily activities. Your insurance carrier will then try to use that information to uphold the decision to deny you disability benefits.
It is crucial that you do not rush back into exercise or other strenuous activities during the claim period. You should also be cautious when you are traveling to and from your appointments. If the insurer knows you will be visiting a particular doctors’ office, then they know that is an opportunity for surveillance.
Tip #3 Stay Off of Social Media
When you are at home with nothing to do but rest, you may have more time for social media. However, we recommend that claimants stay off all social media – this includes Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat.
There is a good chance that your insurer will monitor your social media accounts. We suggest staying off social media entirely during the claim period. The insurance investigator will try to use posts to social media accounts to deny your claim.
Tip #4 Do Not Try to Go Back to Work Too Fast
The amount of time spent recovering from a disability can be very dull and feel unproductive to a machine operator. The transition from a very active schedule to weeks (or perhaps months) of rest may feel like a prison sentence. However, you should resist the urge to go back to work too early. When a machine operator goes back to work too soon, they could make a mistake that could cause more harm.
Tip #5 Do Not Forget Cognitive Problems
Cognitive issues refer to a decline in your thinking and information processing capabilities. Cognitive impairment is common with conditions such as delirium, dementia, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or Huntington’s disease. Cognitive impairments can also manifest as the result of other medical problems/diagnoses, including:
- Heart disease
- Brain injury
- Major depression
- Anxiety disorder
- High blood pressure
- Chronic migraine headaches
- Raynaud’s phenomenon, and
The language of every disability policy is different. Typically, you are entitled to benefits if you are unable to work in your own occupation full-time. Depending on your disability coverage, you may have to prove you cannot work in any occupation for which you are qualified.
It seems obvious that a machine operator suffering from cognitive impairment would have difficulty performing the duties of a machine operator. However, insurance companies deny claims even when it seems obvious that a claim is valid.
All too often, insurance companies deny claims on the ground that a claimant has the “functional capacity” to return to work. This is true even if the claimant is suffering from conditions such as cognitive impairment.
Why Hire Ortiz Law Firm to Fight for Your Long-Term Disability Benefits?
Machine operators will find it challenging to get a long-term disability claim approved. The insurance company will search for any reason (legitimate or not) to deny your claim. Working with a disability lawyer can ease the burden of the long term disability appeal process. The Ortiz Law Firm specializes in long term disability claims and represents disability claimants across the United States.
When you work with Ortiz Law Firm, you get a team of legal professionals who understand disability law. We understand the challenges that machine operators face when trying to obtain disability benefits. Having recovered disability benefits for thousands of claimants, we have the experience necessary to defend your disability claim. We will take up the fight to have your claim approved so that you can focus on your health.
If your insurer has wrongfully denied or terminated your claim, we offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation. There are no fees unless we win your case, and we will be there for you every step of the way. If your insurer has denied your claim for long term disability, we’re here to support you during this challenging time. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling (888) 321-8131.