Although receiving a denial letter from your long term disability insurance carrier can be discouraging and stressful, the appeal actually presents one of the best opportunities you’ll have to support your claim for disability insurance benefits. Read on for some tips Dell & Schaefer’s nationwide disability insurance attorneys have learned while handling Mutual of Omaha long term disability appeals.
Review Your Mutual of Omaha Claim File
Next to contacting an attorney, a claimant’s most effective first step after receiving a denial letter from Mutual of Omaha is to order a copy of the disability claim file. By showing what Mutual of Omaha was considering when it issued its denial letter, this claim file can provide you with the information you’ll need to refute Mutual of Omaha’s arguments and assumptions and show that you’re disabled according to the terms of your policy. At Dell & Schaefer, our job is to carefully comb through your appeal file to figure out — and fix — any weaknesses in your claims file.
Medical Records are Essential on a Mutual of Omaha Appeal
Doctors aren’t trained to write their records using the particular terms and statements Mutual of Omaha is accustomed to looking for in a disability claim. As a result, many otherwise strong claims can be denied at the initial stages simply because a doctor misunderstood Mutual of Omaha’s definition of “sedentary” or didn’t directly comment on how the claimant’s condition affects their ability to perform the duties of their job.
The appeal process provides claimants with an opportunity to supplement these records in the format Mutual of Omaha wants to see, including all the information it needs to make an informed decision on a claimant’s receipt of long term disability benefits.
Vocational Experts Can Provide Much-Needed Support
We often rely on vocational experts to document occupational duties and the skills required for the job you were performing before your disability. At the beginning of a long term disability claim, typically during the first 24 months after approval, a claimant needs to be able to show only that they cannot perform their current occupation. This takes into account a claimant’s training, education, and experience, although Mutual of Omaha may often find a “similar-enough” job instead of doing the digging to find a more accurate match.
During the “own occupation” stage, a vocational expert can help show that the job description Mutual of Omaha is relying on is outdated, inapplicable, or inaccurate, or that your actual job duties are more extensive than encompassed in Mutual of Omaha ‘s vocational guide.
After receiving benefits for two years, the claimant may be asked to fulfill a higher standard to receive benefits — the inability to perform any occupation. During this period, a vocational expert can be the key to proving that merely moving to “any sedentary job” isn’t enough.
The Importance of the Appeal in the Mutual of Omaha Claim Resolution Process
One of the reasons it’s so important to have an attorney assist during the disability appeal process is because of the finality of the appeal. If your appeal is denied and you decide to sue in civil court, you won’t be able to supplement the record with additional information, witness testimony, or medical records – instead, you’re limited to the records presented on appeal.
By partnering with an experienced disability insurance attorney to create a comprehensive appeal record, you’ll not only improve your odds of success on appeal, but you’ll also preserve the arguments and defenses you may later need to raise in a civil lawsuit. Get in touch with Dell & Schaefer today to schedule your FREE consultation with our legal team.