Applications for payment of long term disability insurance benefits are continuing to increase in an environment that is becoming increasingly complex as the interplay between assessment of disability, payment of benefits, rehabilitation, accommodation by way of return to modified duties and safety concerns by employers all play a role in the administration of these claims.
Additionally, psychiatric or behavioral health claims are rising at such rapid rates that it is estimated that they will make up over 60% of the total number of disability claims in the next 3-5 years.
The inclusion of claims based on insurer bad faith conduct also have a profound impact on the way disability claims are handled. In order to successfully evaluate and litigate individual disability cases, plaintiff’s counsel must have a complete and up-to-date understanding of the legal and medical issues in this complex and highly charged area of law.
In evaluating a disability claim, what we need to know and receive is the information and documents relating to:
- the definitions of total and partial (residual) disability
- the total amount of benefits at issue
- the future automatic increases, and cost of living adjustments
- the maximum length of time benefits payable
- the contractual limitations periods