Disability Insurance is not a hot topic until you desperately need it. Hopefully, it will never be a need for you.
NSI & DOOD Radio interviews
Maggie M. Smith
Maggie M.Smith is a founding partner of DI Law Group/Disability Insurance Lawyer
Click here to listen to Maggie M Smith’s important interview!
Disability Insurance Benefits, whether they are short term or permenant can be complicated. Perhaps, most people never worry about disability insurance or expect they will need it. It’s not in their line of vision. When we hear that a co-worker has had a life altering illness or accident it is shocking. Inevitably, our thoughts focus on how they will survive without a paycheck? Naturally a second question surfaces. What we would do if we were in that compromising situation? Most major companies provide disability compensation plans for their employees. Small and medium-size companies may not offer these benefits. Disability benefits are expensive for small businesses to provide for their employee’s. Each year the number of claims being filed increases. Predictably, the denials are on the rise as well.
Do you have all your medical records in order?
No one plans for the possibility that they may become impaired by illness or disability. It is not an easy task to navigate the pages of information requested on disability applications. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you are prepared to produce all the information and documentation expected of you. You will have to request information from your doctors supporting your need for benefits. Some professionals simply don’t want to be bothered by filling out any paper work. One omission, a careless mistake, or any inconsistencies in your application can result in benefits being denied. It is advisable that you seek counsel or professional advice when filing your claim for the first time. If you are denied, the process will become much slower and you will definitely need professional advice. You will be asked for medical records, test results, etc.
Does the company you are employed by offer disability benefits?
The entire process can be overwhelming, when you are suddenly in a position to apply for disability payments because you can no longer work. In general, the last thing people consider when applying for a job is the possibility that at some point in time they may become disabled. Checking on the benefits that are offered by the company is often overlooked.
Insurance companies need to make a profit
Claim adjusters employed by insurance companies are always looking for loopholes to save the company from paying out. Even if you have all your documentation in place, the insuring company may request that you see their participating physicians. In many cases insurance companies are known to spy on clients that they suspect to be fraudulent in an effort to deny their claims. Even if you are totally entitled to receive these benefits, it is important to remember that most insurance companies are conservative. Their primary goal is to collect premiums.
Private Long-term disability insurance
Medical science has increased our life span. People are living into their late 80s and 90s. Long-Term Care Disability Insurance is not something that the average person thinks about when they are young as they go about their busy lives.
Baby boomers are finding themselves part of the sandwich generation. Often boomers are caring for their aging parents while working fulltime and raising their own families. It can be a very stressful and demanding situation. Private long-term care disability is exhorbitantly expensive. Many companies are no longer providing these policies. If possible, purchase the product when you are young which helps keep the fees low. In addition, long-term disability policies have fine print and elimination periods. Have a professional read the document before you sign the contract. The average elimination period is 100 days. All long term care services are paid for in total by the client during the elimination period. In conclusion, it is advisable to consult a lawyer before purchasing or activating a policy.
About Maggie M. Smith
NSI & DOOD Radio invites you to meet Maggie M. Smith, attorney-at-law, and founding partner of DI Law Group, and has extensive experience in representing individuals nationwide in their disability insurance claims, whether filed under a personal disability insurance policy or under an employer provided insurance policy provided as an employee benefit (typically subject to ERISA). Ms. Smith focuses her practice in disability insurance matters, she also handles long-term care insurance and life insurance claims. Maggie has a reputation with insurance companies, their in-house legal departments and those attorneys representing insurance companies in court, for aggressive representation of her clients.
Ms. Smith has been interviewed by ABC’s Good Morning America regarding ERISA insurance benefit claims wrongfully denied by employers and insurance companies. In addition, she has also been featured on local news stations regarding her representation of clients wrongfully denied disability insurance benefits. Along with her other partners, Ms. Smith has actively petitioned Congress, and personally met with Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, for much needed amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Ms. Smith is a member of the Florida and New York Bars, and is admitted to practice before the Southern, Middle, and Northern District Courts of Florida, the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York, as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), American Bar Association (ABA), Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and the Broward County Bar Association, and attends local and national seminars to remain on the cutting edge of insurance benefits law.
4151 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, FL 33021
Toll Free: 888-644-2644
14255 U.S. Highway One Suite 235
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Toll Free: 888-644-2644