Each year, thousands of people file long term disability claims after becoming injured or sick, or after a long, chronic illness or injury makes them unable to continue working. The long-term disability claims process can be tedious and complicated. Understanding the process is therefore important for those who are applying for benefits or may have to apply for them at som point. Many people also choose to seek help from reputable lawyers in Northampton, MA in order to make the process smoother.
Providing the right information is key
The long-term disability claim application process involves first notifying the employer or insurer of your need to file a claim. The insurer or employer supplies forms that the applicant must complete and return. There are also forms for the person’s treating physicians to complete and return.
A lot of people think that they don’t need disability insurance. But studies now show that 3 out of 10 employees ages 25 to 65 will experience a disability or illness that will affect their ability to work for at least a three-month period. If you depend on income from your salary to live month to month, you cannot afford to lose your income for months on end, especially at a time when you will have increased medical bills, including costly copays.
If your incapacity from work is arising out of and in the course of employment, you will likely be entitled to weekly workers’ compensation benefits. But if your injury is not work related, you’ll need to replace your lost income some other way. This is where long term disability insurance comes into play.
You can often obtain both short term and a long term disability insurance from your employer.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for filing for workers compensation benefits is four years. Chapter 152 under the General Laws of Massachusetts states “for injuries on or after January 1, 1986, a claim must be filed with the insurer within four (4) years of the date an employee becomes aware of the causal connection between their disability and their employment.” Note that the law focuses on the time when the claimant became aware that his injury is work related, which in some cases can be some time after the time of the injury. This is especially important for claims in which the claimant develops an injury or disease after repeated exposure to a toxic substance at work, or develops an injury over time and only later learns that it was something she was doing at work that caused the problem.