How to File a Disability Insurance Claim

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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A disability insurance claim is filed to collect your benefits when you are unable to work because of an injury or illness. Before you claim disability insurance benefits, take some time to learn the process and avoid procedural missteps that can cause a delay. By knowing what to expect when you file a disability insurance claim, you can prepare yourself and get the benefits you deserve when you need them.

How to Claim Disability Insurance

Your insurance company will provide you with the process to claim disability insurance; however, there are some simple tips to follow in order to prepare yourself:

  • File your disability insurance claim immediately! If you have been injured and are unable to work, you need to file your disability insurance claim as soon as possible. Most policies require you report your disability insurance claim within 20 to 30 days of your disabling event. If your policy does not specify when you must file a claim, call your insurance company and get the answer.
  • Pay attention to all deadlines! Once reported, your insurance company will immediately forward disability claim forms for you and your doctorto fill out and return. These are time sensitive! Pay close attention to any deadline for these disability claim forms. Maintain open communication with your doctor’s office and make sure these forms are returned on time.
  • Know the value of your claim! No disability insurance claim will be paid without information about the income that you have lost. Compile proof of earnings information with your claims forms, and provide any supporting documents, such as tax returns or bank statements, that your insurer requires.
  • Be prepared to prove your disability! Establishing adequate proof of injury for the insurance company to start paying a disability insurance claim is the key to the process. Once you give the insurance company notice of a disability claim, it will require a medical doctor to provide information about the disability. Make sure you have consulted with a doctor prior to filing a disability insurance claim so one is familiar with your injury and can respond to the insurance company in a timely fashion.

TIP: Doctor’s offices are busy, so follow up with them periodically to make sure that the disability claim forms are returned before the deadline.

When you file a disability insurance claim, prepare all the required documents. Make sure you keep copies of all the documents you or your doctor submits to the insurance company, and save any future communications you receive about the claim.

After you File a Disability Insurance Claim

After you make a disability insurance claim, the company will review your information to determine if you are actually disabled and if your injury or illness qualifies you for disability benefits. You may be asked to provide additional information or undergo more medical visits. As you work with the company after a disability insurance claim, keep some simple rules in mind:

  • Respond in a timely and respectful fashion to all requests for information and inquiries about your injury or illness. Getting impatient or upset will not help you claim your disability insurance.
  • Get everything the insurance company says to you in writing, and save copies! If the company sends you an email or leaves you a voicemail, keep it as a record of the process.
  • Be honest at all times, but do not give more information than the insurance company is requesting. Keep your answers short and to the point. Do not get long winded or feel the need to include details the company does not ask for!
  • Do NOT talk about your disability insurance claim with anyone who doesn’t rely on your income.
  • NEVER post anything about your injury or your disability insurance claim on social media sites. Doing so will not help your claim in any way, and can only end up hurting you.

TIP: Bevery careful about what you say and do after you file a disability insurance claim. Saying or doing something that seems innocent can be interpreted as a way to disprove your injury and deny your disability claim.

When to Hire a Disability Insurance Attorney

Be wary of the company’s behavior while it reviews your disability insurance claim. If you feel pressured to submit to numerous medical exams, are harassed for excessive information, or feel that the review of your disability insurance claim is being unjustly prolonged, then you need to consult with a disability insurance lawyer. A disability lawyer will review your documentation, including your policy’s definition of disability and advise you on how to respond to any request by your insurance carrier. Your disability lawyer can intervene and jump start the process, moving you closer to obtaining your disability insurance claim check. Filing a law suit against your carrier is not out of the question when obvious delays in the process have caused you financial harm. Most consultations with a disability lawyer are free! Click here to have a disability insurance lawyer review your case for free.

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