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Do I really need a private disability insurance policy if I have a policy through work?

Yes! Many disability insurance policies provided by your employer only cover you with 60% of your salary with a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 in benefits. These benefits can be taxable and subject to various reductions. As a result, you’ll get less than 60% of your salary.More importantly, group policies are governed under the ERISA law and most ERISA Long Term Disability carriers take an adversarial approach to paying group disability claims.Can you and your family survive on 60% or less of your current income? Probably not. I suggest that you buy a supplemental private disability insurance policy. Protecting yourself...

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Financial Pre-Planning and Your Claim for Long Term Disability Benefits

Financial pre-planning does not begin and end with the purchase of your Long Term Disability policy. That’s only the beginning!You still have to make significant plans for your financial future.If you suffer from a gradual onset disease like degenerative joint disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gerick’s disease, multiple sclerosis or even Alzheimer’s, the disease process will give you the time you need to make significant work and financial decisions. There are a number of steps that you must take, sooner, and not later, in your financial pre planning.1. Learn about the disease and how it progresses...

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Why Every Medical Professional Should Have a Disability Claims Consultation Before Filing a Claim for Long Term Disability Benefits

There are many stumbling rocks in the disability process. Before a medical professional considers filing a claim for disability benefits, there is help available. You have a difficult decision to make about whether and when to apply for disability benefits and how to maintain your practice as you move through the disability process.Disability claims advice should include the following:1. A professional review of your disability policies, including business overhead policies, a written summary of your benefits and a potential problem errors as you move through the disability claims process.2. An...

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Is the definition of disability important in my disability policy?

Absolutely, most physician disability policies will provide for the payment of disability benefits if you are unable to engage in your occupation. However, Long Term Disability carriers fudge on the definition of disability. You need to make sure that you understand what the term “your occupation” means.It can mean the ability to engage in the material and substantial duties of your occupation as performed in the national economy and not the inability to engage in the material and substantial duties of your occupation as performed by your employer. It is not uncommon for disability carriers to use the Dictionary of...

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Dual Occupation Defense and Physician Claims

Most physicians I know have multiple specialties or even have other businesses. If so, you must properly protect yourself in the event you become disabled because one of the common defenses to a Long Term Disability medical professional claim is the “dual occupation” defense. What is this defense?The Long Term Disability insurance company will argue that you have two or more occupations at the time you became disabled. Because you are able to work full time in any one of those occupations, the Long Term Disability carrier will argue that you aren’t entitled to any benefits.Let me give you some...

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Things to Consider

The Long Term Disability carrier is going to be asking you basic questions in the disability application and will most likely want to do a field interview with you.Your disability application should be reviewed by a disability attorney, and you should never give a field statement or even talk with the adjuster on the phone. These conversations are recorded and will be used against you.What Are the Basics?Last date you worked? Did you work a full day on your last day? Have you sold your practice? Who did you sell your practice too? How much? When did your condition start?...

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Overheard Expense

When you purchased your Long Term Disability policy hopefully you also purchased an overhead disability insurance policy. When is the last time read that policy?Most policies agree to “pay benefits during a period of disability for covered overhead expenses which pile up while you are totally disabled after the elimination period.” These policies can define disability as the “inability to perform the substantial and material duties of your occupation."Overhead disability insurance policies may also pay benefits if you are partially disabled. “Partially” disabled means conditions where you are “unable to perform one or more of the substantial and material daily...

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Why Every Physician Seeking Disability Benefits Should Have an Attorney in the Disability Claims Process?

1. You need advice and assistance in completing your claims form and other insurance company requests. Accurately completing your application is the key to the successful claims process. This includes picking the right date of disability, making sure your disability condition is covered and is not excluded by a pre-existing clause, determining your pre-disability earnings. You should never complete anything, answer phone calls or written requests of the disability insurance company unless you have assistance. Each one of the contacts with the disability insurance company is an opportunity to destroy your claim.2. Most medical professional believe they know how best...

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Doctor to Doctor Calls and Your Long Term Disability Claim

Long Term Disability companies, including UNUM, routinely make doctor to doctor calls to persuade your doctor that you are capable of working. It always looks better for UNUM when they deny your claim if your physician supports that denial.Did you know that UNUM will cold call doctors when they are busy hoping to catch them when they are short of time and don’t have time to really focus on your case in their discussion with the doctor?Unfortunately, it’s also common for doctor to doctor calls to be totally twisted by the carrier physician.At Cavey and Barrett, your Florida disability attorneys,...

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Many Long Term Disability Policies Require that You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Many carriers will offer you the assistance of a third party vendor such as Alsup or essentially assist you in receiving Social Security Disability benefits.Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for companies like these to try to get you to file a Social Security Disability claim based on the wrong condition or a condition that gives you limited coverage under your Long Term Disability policy. However, one of the most important benefits of applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits is Medicare eligibility. Not matter how old you are, when the Social Security Administration awards you Social Security Disability benefits,...

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