First of all, I am a member of various affiliated support sites under the Social Networks for Health Conditions umbrella so while I am cross-posting, I do not mind at all if others would spread the word to the other sites that I won’t be contributing to. I believe this discussion article will find revelence to each of the communities. This is an original article with web links to some further reading that have been noted for more information.
I have read stories from members of various sites about the torture of being denied for governmental and employer’s long-term disability plans and have experienced the situation myself (family member) so I know exactly what you are going through.
I’d like to share this one article link that I found which explains a lot about the governmental disability programs and routine denials:
I hope that the link above works or can be copy/pasted to your browser.
When one of my family members needed to apply for long-term employer supported disability, the claim was denied and it appeared the only recourse was to hire an attorney at an out of pocket cost of around $3,000 (although quoted around $1,000 verbally). The process went on and on and was eventually granted for long-term disability.
The governmental disability request was also denied … several times, actually. We ended up seeking the representation from a qualified disability specialist attorney at no cost; however, we did end up with a sizable postage and phone call bill which is clearly stated in the fine print of the contract. (Don’t forget your reading glasses). The denial was also reversed and disability benefits were paid to the disabled party but “quickly” was far from an adjective that I would use.
In a conversation with a customer where I used to work part-time at a Walgreens, I was told about a division of the county government that specialized in helping with speeding along the process. I would encourage any of you facing the red tape of disability denials to investigate your local area for your state representative’s office that deals with disability claims and denials. You have absolutely nothing to lose and their services are completely free. I hope your county government has such a program because a contact to Betty Sutton’s office (Ohio State Representative) had someone on our case within days and a court case in a very reasonable time. Had we only known!
For those of you without disability insurance that may be available through your employer, I would encourage you to look into the program. As we have learned, having the disability insurance does not guarantee acceptance of receiving the benefits. These insurance companies do not want to pay out. Make sure you have the representation that will help you through the legal progress. Consider while relatively healthy and/or younger getting a plan either through your employer or on your own. Most people have a higher chance of becoming disabled than of dying and replacing your income is indeed a financial necessary when the alternative is no income at all during the appeal process, which can take years.
In most cases your disability plan will immediately deny your claim, most especially if the necessary forms are not filled out properly or your disability is not noticeable. The government (and private plans) are often heart set on finding you employment or retraining you but that’s not always practical for all truly disabled people. There are only so many mattress testing jobs out there.
I am not writing this discussion as a lawyer, doctor, social worker or with any credibility other than being a crazy middle aged man who has been in the situation of fighting (and winning) for benefits but the process is a long one and the more people you have on your side, the better for your case.
Please… if any of you have additional tips or tricks or comments on this discussion (positive or negative), won’t you please add to this? I don’t have all of the answers but I am 100% interested in helping my friends get the benefits they deserve.
Our society seems to have so much red tape to combat that proves the age old expression, “knowledge is power.”
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