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What's Really at Stake for Professionals Filing Disability Claims?

February 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 136

Physicians, dentists, attorneys, CEOs, CFOs and other high income professionals who become disabled, have a lot to consider besides their health, medical care, and the prognosis. When a diagnosis is first made, it is not unusual to immediately feel that everything you have worked so hard to achieve has come to an abrupt halt. Rich, poor, middle class, it makes no difference, the shock upon hearing YOUR diagnosis is numbing.

Deciding on the most suitable course of treatment follows, as one reflects on the short and long term forecast. Sometimes the odds are good and the treatment is expected to and does result in a total cure. But in other situations you may have no way of knowing what lies in the future, for only time will tell. You elect a course of treatment. At some point you cannot continue to work, at least not for the time being.

This is when executives, medical and other high income professionals need to carefully consider the best means for them to file claim(s) for long term disability (i.e., income replacement) benefits. As their income increased over the course of their careers, they typically purchased additional disability protection, for a situation just like this, never expecting it would happen to them.

And now they are at that juncture when it is vitally important to consider and assess all their options on how and when to proceed with the filing of claim(s) for long term disability benefits?

Do you proceed on your own or get professional help? Professional long term disability claims consultants (LTDCC) are one alternative to going it on your own. Professionals with disability will often ponder, why engage another professional and have to pay them as well for help, after all you paid your premiums for 15 or 20 years, maybe even longer? Now you legitimately can't work, so it should be a simple matter of filing the claim(s), letting the insurance company know you can no longer work and getting paid the benefits you are entitled to. Well, think again! The world isn't perfect and it never has been. It certainly would be nice if everything in the world were that simple, but insurance companies carefully review claims especially those that involve long term and potentially high liability payments for them. And this is what prospective claimants need to be aware of.

Filing disability claims can be a complex process. Most people facing disability, have had no experience filing a claim, and now when they are ill, they may not be as able to think and function as clearly as they need to. So, before proceeding ponder this:

First, it is imperative that you understand what is at risk:

a. Sit down and calculate your monthly benefits and what the total benefits would be should you remain disabled. e.g., if you are 57 years old when you become disabled, and disability benefits are payable to age 65, that is 8 years.

Assume you have $10k in monthly disability benefits.8 years x 12 months = 96 months @ $10,000/month = $960,000 + Waiver of premium. But the money is only part of what is at risk!

b. If you decide to file your own claim, you could make a simple mistake that results in a claim denial.

Then what? i You have no income! ii. To maintain your lifestyle will you need to invade your retirement savings? iii. How will that impact your retirement plans? iv. How will that impact your family? v. Can you maintain the lifestyle you have come to enjoy?vi. Should you hire an attorney?

1. What will that cost in legal fees?

2. And even if you win,

3. How long will it drag on for before it is resolved?

4. And finally, will you also be paying 1/3 of your benefits or some other portion to the attorney until you reach 65?

c. Do consider engaging a professional disability claims consultant to assist you, but first,

i. Get a clear understanding of what a long term disability claims consultant (LTDCC) does.

ii. All LTDCCs do not work in the same way, so explore your options, speak to the people you are considering working with before making any decisions as to who and what's most suitable for you.

iii. Look into their fees, consider what is at stake, and what risks are you willing take.

iv. Carefully weigh all the alternatives, list the pros and cons comparing and weighing everything that could be at stake in a worst case scenario.

Once you understand WHAT IS REALLY AT STAKE, only then can you decide if you feel comfortable filing your own claims, or prefer either hiring an attorney or engaging an experienced disability claims consultant? In situations like this, you simply can't afford to make a mistake.

When filing claims for long term disability benefits what options do you have and how to assess them? First, you need to fully understand everything you have at risk, and then proceed to consider what options make the most sense and are best for you! Then forge ahead with all the vigor you have to reach this worthy goal post haste.

Source: EzineArticles
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