The COVID 19 pandemic has complicated many things in our lives, including the systems in which we live and work. This holds true for applying for and securing disability benefits, especially if you have contracted and are sick with COVID 19 and/or long COVID 19.
If you are unable to work, are considering submitting a disability insurance claim, or have been denied your disability insurance claim, many of the same tips that applied before the pandemic still apply to you and your claim. That being said, there are now a few important differences to keep in mind.
Below are some tips for disability insurance claims where COVID 19 or long COVID 19 may be a factor in the claim.
- DO Make sure you file your COVID 19 related long term disability claim in a timely manner to avoid missing deadlines.
- DO Keep records of everything related to your disability case. In particular, if you tested positive for COVID 19 and have disabling symptoms, ensure that you have a copy of the positive test result. It is important to have as much proof as possible that you had COVID 19 and its symptoms. Similarly, if you are suffering from long COVID 19, you will need as much proof as possible in order to secure insurance coverage from your long term disability claim.
- DO Take notes of your conversations with the insurance company and your doctors and nurses. Insurance companies are facing challenges due to COVID – they are dealing with an increased number of claims due to greater illness and mental health issues arising during the pandemic. Because of this, they are likely to be more suspicious and/or aggressive in questioning entitlement COVID 19 and long COVID 19 related claims. Keep this in mind if your claim has been denied.
- DO Be honest with your doctor. These are challenging times for doctors, who have had to adapt to providing greater care under difficult and even dangerous conditions. The doctor-patient relationship is more difficult to manage in these times as well. Your health and safety should not suffer because of this, however it is important to keep in mind.
- DO Read your insurance policy and understand your insurance coverage. Familiarize yourself with the sections regarding the application procedures. Other areas to watch out for are sections regarding appropriate care and treatment, as well as any clauses regarding travel. The more you can stick to the expectations outlined in your insurance coverage policy, the higher your chances of getting a positive outcome for your long term disability settlement.
- DO Contact Share Lawyers if you have questions or if your claim has been denied. Our disability lawyers can help you fight back.
- DO Be honest when filing your claim. Fraudulent or exaggerated claims can backfire and can even mean serious criminal charges. Also be wary of your obligations regarding insurance benefits you may have received from government sources during the COVID 19 pandemic. Insurance companies are trying to reduce their liability by deducting monies you may have received during the pandemic. The government has been somewhat unclear regarding repayment obligations for those receiving both government benefits and insurance benefits.
- DON’T Sign anything from the insurance company without carefully reviewing it first. Mistakes or inaccuracies could be used against you during your case. Our disability lawyers can be of great assistance in this case.
- DON’T Let too much time go by in pursuing your disability claim as there are deadlines to each step and there is a Statute of Limitations that could mean you cannot pursue your long term disability claim.
- DON’T Overdo or participate in activities in public that might be construed as proof that you are not disabled. Assume that the insurance company is checking social media, online activities, and may even hire a private investigator to video record your actions. Taking into account higher illness rates with COVID 19 and long COVID 19, it may feel like your activities and any social interactions are under even greater scrutiny, so be aware of this possibility.