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Filing A Claim

Time is of the essence – Do not delay filing your short-term disability claim. Here are some helpful tips.

Read your insurance policy.

  • If you do not have it, request a copy of the insurance policy, in writing.
  • Make sure you receive the insurance policy, not just a certificate of coverage.
  • Read the entire insurance policy.
  • Make sure you understand what you need to submit in order to receive your short term disability insurance benefits.
  • Confirm any deadlines that could affect your claim.
  • If you have questions about what you need to submit in order to receive benefits, ask (in writing).

Cooperate with the Insurance Company.

  • An easy reason for an insurance company to deny your claim is if you do not cooperate.
  • If you do not cooperate, the insurance company will not address the substance of your claim.
  • The insurance company will simply blame you for the denial.  Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Insurance companies often require their own forms be completed.
  • You should cooperate and complete the requested forms.
  • If you’re unsure if a form is actually necessary to process your short term disability insurance claim, ask.

Do everything in writing.

  • This tip is worth repeating: Always document your dealings with an insurance company.
  • Even if you cannot send a letter or email, keep a journal and record the date, time, name and phone number of who you spoke with, and the details.
  • This goes both ways.  Always ask the insurance company (or anyone acting on their behalf) to send any requests, decisions, or information in writing.
  • When sending  a letter, make sure to (i) date the letter and (ii) keep a copy of the letter and posted envelope.

Ask questions about other benefits.

  • It is common to have other insurance benefits (life insurance and long term disability) affected by a claim for short term disability benefits.
  • Ask the insurance company, in writing, if you are eligible for any benefits.
  • If there are other insurance benefits, ask how you should submit a claim.
  • In many instances, the insurance company will automatically begin the claim process for other insurance benefits.  But make sure.

Ask what else is needed for your short-term disability claim to be approved.

  • Each time you are in contact with the insurance company, ask what is needed to approve your claim.
  • Continue to ask until the insurance company makes a claim decision.

Make sure you know the insurance company’s deadline for making a decision.

  • Under most state insurance laws, the insurance policy terms, and ERISA, insurance companies have a deadline to make a claim decision.
  • Hold the insurance company to the deadline.
  • If the insurance company misses the deadline, while it does not mean the claim must be paid, it can work to your advantage.
  • Do not delay.  Immediately contact an attorney experienced with short-term disability insurance claims.