Disability Lawyers: What You Need To Know

disability lawyers assist woman with own occupation disability claim

Disability lawyers can help with filing own occupation disability claims, or appealing denials.

Disability Lawyers: What You Need To Know

There are two main types of disability policies: any-occupation disability such as social security disability, and private own-occupation disability claims. The first kind only pays if your disability prevents you from performing any occupation, whereas the second pays if your disability prevents you from performing your own occupation regardless if you could perform other occupations. Lawyers tend to only handle certain types, and I primarily handle own-occupation disability claims.

Own Occupation Disability Insurance

Own-occupation disability insurance is private insurance that provides coverage for people who become unable to perform their occupation. Unlike social security disability benefits, which may only provide income to those who become unable to perform any job, own-occupation disability insurance is specific to a job, so for example, your ability to work as a barista when you formerly worked as an accountant is irrelevant.

Disability Claim Denied or Revoked

disability claim denied for young woman

In some cases insurance companies unfairly deny claims, or try to re-review claims they are paying based on new facts coming to light. It is important to know that even your insurance company determines you are totally disabled and is paying your claim, your claim remains contingent on you continuing to be totally disabled. Disability insurers hire private investigators to park down the street with cameras with zoom lenses to catch you doing things they can assert show you are not as disabled as you claim.

For instance, are you able to close the rear hatch despite claiming a shoulder rotator cuff injury? This is both unfair and unconscionable. It is unfair because being unable to continuously perform certain movements does not mean you cannot perform the same movement one time and with significant pain.

Such evidence is unfairly used to assert you are not totally disabled; despite that you could still be unable to do the same movement repetitively as needed for work. It is also unconscionable because hunting down its insureds in this way with private detectives penalizes them for attempting to lead a normal life, scaring them that if they try they will be denied disability benefits despite the evidence not really addressing their inability to perform the movement repetitively as needed for work. 

Disability lawyers are essential to litigating revoked disability claims or claims that have been denied. Disability lawyers disentangle confusing aspects of disability policies and simplify interactions with insurance companies, or in the case of litigation can draw on their expertise to counter typical insurance company tactics.

Insurance Company Tactics

A common tactic insurance companies employ is to hire a private investigator to spy on recipients of disability insurance. The insurance company will then use the private investigators’ evidence to assert that the disabled person is in fact capable of performing their job.

Trying to make something out of your life after becoming disabled is not a crime, it is a virtue, and is not a reason that insurance companies should attempt to revoke your policy benefits. The fact that you have a torn rotator cuff doesn’t mean that you can do nothing.

Just because a private investigator catches you pulling down the trunk of your car doesn’t mean that you can perform work requiring the same motion for eight hours, nor should it be the basis to have your claim revoked. Knowing that an insurance company has sent a private investigator after you can be demoralizing- as if having a disability means that you should sit in a dark room for the rest of your life. 

I believe you should have a right to try to do as much as you can despite your disability, which is why as a disability lawyer I help people fight insurance companies for fair claim decisions. If you have been disabled and are filing a disability claim on an own-occupation disability policy, or have had your claim denied or revoked, fill out the free consultation form below so I can give you a risk-free evaluation and determine if I can help. 

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