COVID-19 and Disability Benefit Tips
If you are unable to work, are considering submitting a disability insurance claim, or have been denied on a disability insurance claim, a lot of the same tips that applied before the pandemic, still apply, but with COVID-19, like many things in life, there are some different things to consider. Below are some tips regarding disability insurance claims where COVID-19 may be a factor in the claim.
- DO Make sure you file the claim in a timely manner to avoid missing deadlines.
- DO Keep records of everything related to your disability case. In particular, if you are disabled due to a COVID-19 positive test with disabling symptoms, ensure that you have a copy of the positive test result. It is important to have proof that you had COVID-19, as it will be much harder to claim that you are suffering from “Long COVID”, if you can’t establish that you have tested positive.
- DO take notes of your conversations with the Insurance Company and your doctors and nurses. Insurance companies have faced challenges in dealing with increased claims due to greater illness and mental health issues arising during the pandemic. They are likely to be more suspicious and/or aggressive in questioning entitlement for claims related to COVID-19.
- DO be honest with your doctor. These are challenging times for doctors, who have had to adapt to providing care under difficult conditions. The doctor-patient relationship is more difficult to manage in these times as well, so keep that in mind.
- DO read your insurance policy. Familiarize yourself with the sections regarding the application procedures. Other areas to watch out for are sections regarding appropriate care and treatment, as well as any clauses regarding travel.
- DO contact Share Lawyers if you’re claim has been denied.
- DO be honest when filing your claim. Fraudulent or exaggerated claims can backfire on you, and can even mean serious criminal charges. Also be wary of your obligations regarding benefits you may have received from government sources during COVID-19. Insurance companies are trying to reduce their liability by deducting monies you may have received during COVID. The government has been somewhat unclear regarding repayment obligations for those receiving both government benefits and insurance benefits.
- DON’T sign anything from the insurance company without carefully reviewing it first. Mistakes or inaccuracies could be used against you during your case.
- DON’T let too much time go by in pursuing your claim as there are deadlines to each step and there is a Statute of Limitations that could mean you cannot pursue your disability claim.
- DON’T overdo – or participate in activities in public that might be construed as proof that you are not disabled. Assume that the insurance company is checking social media, online activity of any sort and may also hire a private investigator to take video of you. With COVID-19, it may feel like your activities and any social interactions are under even greater scrutiny, so be aware of this possibility.