Disability insurance is an important part of a solid financial plan. With disability insurance, if you cannot work due to a medical or mental health condition, you can receive a percentage of your income. This type of coverage can ensure that you maintain financial stability in the event that an accident or illness leaves you unable to work.
The Standard Insurance Company offers both short and long-term disability insurance policies. Unfortunately, many policyholders find it difficult to be approved for benefits. If The Standard has sent you a denial letter, a New Jersey long-term disability lawyer can help you file an appeal.
Based in Cherry Hill, Bross & Frankel fights for the rights of people with disabilities throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We have deep experience in all aspects of disability claims, including with Standard Insurance Company. To learn more or to schedule a free claim review with a member of our legal team, reach out to our law offices today.
What Type of Disability Insurance Does The Standard Offer?
Standard Insurance Company, also known as The Standard, is a Portland-based insurance and financial services company. It is a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group. The Standard offers several different insurance products, including life, health, and disability insurance.
Like most insurance companies, The Standard offers two types of disability insurance. Short-term disability (STD) is for temporary illnesses or disabilities, such as taking time off after giving birth or for pregnancy complications. Short-term disability policies typically kick in after an elimination period of 1 to 2 weeks and pay weekly benefits for up to 3 to 6 months.
Long-term disability (LTD) covers more serious, long-lasting, or permanent medical conditions. There is usually an elimination period of 90 to 180 days, after which a person may receive benefits for years or even up to retirement age, depending on the terms of the policy. Long-term disability benefits are paid as a percentage of the policyholder’s monthly income.
Most people purchase disability insurance through a group plan offered by their insurer. These policies are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Policies that are bought independently are governed by state insurance laws.
The terms of a disability policy may vary considerably, including the definition of disability and what types of conditions are covered. For example, some policies will pay long-term disability benefits if you cannot work in your own occupation. In contrast, others will only pay these benefits if you cannot work in any occupation. An experienced New Jersey disability benefits lawyer can review your policy and advise you about your rights under its terms.
Why Did The Standard Deny My Disability Insurance Claim?
Like other insurance carriers, The Standard is a for-profit business. They make money by paying out as little as possible on legitimate claims, which may include delaying or denying applications for short-term and long-term disability benefits.
To qualify for disability benefits, you will have to prove two things: that you meet the definition of disabled under the policy and that your disability prevents you from working. An application is typically supported by evidence such as medical records, a report from a vocational expert, and statements from family, friends, and colleagues about how your disability limits your ability to work and perform basic daily activities.
The Standard may deny your disability claim because they do not believe that you meet their definition of disabled, because you did not submit sufficient medical evidence, or because you have a pre-existing condition. They often use their own doctors to conduct a paper review, an independent medical examination (IME), or a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). They may also deny your claim for a range of other reasons, such as:
- Paperwork errors
- Failure to respond to requests for additional evidence
- Policy limitations on certain types of medical conditions
- Evidence gathered from their own investigation, which may include proof from social media or photos and videos taken by a private investigator
If The Standard sends you a denial letter, you should read it immediately. This letter will contain important information about why your claim was denied, the standards used to deny your claim, the appeals process, and the time period for filing a claim. To protect your rights, you should reach out to a New Jersey long-term disability attorney as soon as possible after receiving a denial letter from The Standard.
What Can I Do After Receiving a Denial Letter from The Standard?
It can be easy to feel depressed or overwhelmed after getting a notice of a denial of your disability claim from The Standard. However, you do have options for filing an appeal – up to and including suing the insurance company in state or federal court.
The denial letter will spell out the specific appeals process. Typically, you will need to exhaust the internal appeals process before you can file a lawsuit. This starts with filing an appeal letter. In some cases, if this initial appeal is denied, you will need to file a second appeal letter. You can only file a lawsuit after The Standard issues a final denial.
Critically, any lawsuit that you file will be based on the existing claim file, which includes any medical records and supporting evidence that you submitted with your application and appeals. It is important to build a comprehensive claim file to not only increase the likelihood of your claim being approved but also to ensure that you have sufficient evidence to pursue legal action if necessary.
You can appeal both short and long-term disability claim denials. The appeals process can be complicated, subject to internal insurer rules for the administrative appeals, and then state or federal law if you sue The Standard. You must be familiar with the terms of your insurance policy as well as any relevant state law in order to successfully appeal a Standard disability claim denial. You must also meet all relevant deadlines.
If your disability claim has been denied by Standard Insurance Company, a New Jersey disability lawyer can help. They can help you with each step of the process, from applying for disability insurance benefits to handling any document requests to drafting an appeal letter to filing a lawsuit. They will use their knowledge of the law and their experience with disability claims to fight for your right to benefits.
How Bross & Frankel Can Help
When you are dealing with a health issue, the last thing that you want to do is worry about how you will pay your bills – or deal with reams of paperwork and a byzantine bureaucracy. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the disability claims process alone. Our law firm is here for you.
Bross & Frankel works with people with disabilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We handle all types of disability matters, including Social Security disability and veterans’ benefits. If you would like to learn more or would like to schedule a free claim review with a New Jersey long-term disability attorney, call our law offices at 856-795-8880 or fill out our online contact form.
How Can I Afford to Hire a Disability Lawyer?
Most attorneys who represent clients in long-term disability cases work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront, and will only pay a fee if your claim is approved. The total fee will be a percentage of a settlement that you receive from the insurance company, based on the terms of your contingency fee agreement.
This type of arrangement means that it is possible to hire a New Jersey disability attorney even if you are out of work due to a disability. Reach out to Bross & Frankel today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
How Much Will I Receive in Disability Insurance Benefits?
Disability benefits are based on a percentage of your weekly income for short-term disability or your monthly income for long-term disability. This number will vary based on the terms of your policy. Long-term disability policies typically pay between 50% and 80% of your pre-disability earnings.
These benefits can make a huge difference when you cannot work because of a disability. If you are worried about getting approved for disability benefits from The Standard, call Bross & Frankel today to schedule a free claim review with a New Jersey long-term disability lawyer.
If The Standard Stops Paying My Long-Term Disability Benefits, What Can I Do?
Even if you are approved for long-term disability benefits, your insurance company can stop paying you. This can happen for many reasons, including if the insurance company finds out that you have been working, if you don’t follow policy requirements such as applying for Social Security disability, or because you are not undergoing regular medical treatment. They may also cancel benefits based on the terms of the policy, such as a limit on the amount of time that you can receive benefits.
If The Standard or another insurance carrier stops paying your LTD benefits, you may be able to appeal the decision or even file a lawsuit against them. These issues are often incredibly complex, so it is important to consult with a New Jersey long-term disability attorney after getting a letter about your benefits being canceled. Contact Bross & Frankel today to schedule a free claim review.
Rich Frankel is the managing partner of Bross & Frankel. He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars. He has focused exclusively on disability and social security benefits since 2005.
Mr. Frankel joined what is now Bross & Frankel after having watched his father struggle with disability, fighting a lengthy illness. Mr. Frankel founded the firm’s veteran’s law practice and substantially grew the social security disability practice, focusing Bross & Frankel’s ability to fight for all of the disability benefits available to his clients.
Mr. Frankel additionally fights for clients in court, obtaining frequent victories in Social Security appeals and against insurance companies in Federal court.