People often think they don’t need an attorney to file an application for long term disability insurance benefits. After all, the insurer (or sometimes your employer) gives you the forms to fill out. Your employer fills out one form, your doctor fills out another, and you only have to fill out one form. They include the instructions for you and the insurance adjuster is happy to help. It looks so easy, that most people think “why would I hire a lawyer? Isn’t that just a waste of money?” Wrong! Here is why:
- The insurance company’s goal is to deny your claim, not approve it.
- The more contact you have with the insurance company, the more likely it is that you are harming your claim.
- If you harm your claim by submitting the wrong (or harmful) information, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to fix it (even if you hire an attorney later).
- What you submit with the application will go into your claims file and will follow you throughout the life of your claim.
- If your application is denied, you must then file an appeal and wait several months before receiving benefits (if you win).
- The application you submit may cause you to lose your appeal, even though you are disabled.
- Hiring an attorney can be cheaper in the long run.
What about attorney’s fees? Good question. Lawyers who represent you for an appeal or lawsuit will generally charge a contingent fee (1/3 and higher) on the money they collect for you in the future, as well as the money that is past due. However, if you hire an attorney to represent you to prepare your application, they should charge you by the hour for the work they do instead of charging a contingent fee. This means that, if your application is approved, you pay no more fees because you’ve already paid the legal fees, your benefits have been approved, and you receive 100% of your benefits.
If you need to file an application for long term disability insurance benefits, don’t go it alone and increase the likelihood that your claim will be denied. Instead, hire Nelson Boyd to help you with your application. Give us a call today at (206) 971-7601.