When you apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits through your employer’s plan, you are making a claim for compensation to help you and your family survive while you battle your illness. Perhaps one of the most devastating diagnoses a person can receive is cancer. Being told you have cancer means a lot of things. It means a long fight, expensive medical care, and the ever-present fear that you could lose your battle with the disease. The last thing anyone with cancer should have to do is suffer through the fight without income or the security that he or she has purchased through a disability plan.
Sadly, many cancer claims are denied each year, and some on questionable grounds. At Burke Harvey, LLC, we have seen all sorts of denials, ranging from common sense and valid to completely unfair and without merit. If you feel your cancer claim for long-term disability was improperly denied, give us a call to discuss your case today.
Reasons Insurance Companies Deny LTD Claims in General
There are two broad categories of reasons why an insurance carrier may choose to deny a long-term disability claim. The first is due to technical reasons, such as a missed deadline or improper documentation. The second is on the merits, including inconclusive medical evidence, lack of suitable diagnostic results, or failure to meet the requirements of the plan in some other way.
Why Cancer can be a Challenge
You would think that of all the diseases an insurance company could review, cancer would be about the most serious and life-threatening of them all. So, why would an insurance company deny LTD benefits for a person with a clear cancer diagnosis? The answer depends on the type of cancer and how it affects your daily life. After all, you generally can not claim LTD benefits unless there is clear medical evidence that the condition affects or impairs your ability to work. Just having a life-threatening condition is usually not enough. Likewise, just because you must miss a lot of work for medical appointments will generally not be enough by itself. Therefore, it is important to understand the LTD policy contract and how the law views various conditions and illnesses.
Cancer can sound scary, but in some cases it may be as simple as a skin lesion that requires surgical removal. Once removed, the cancer is gone. Such an individual, though rightfully concerned about the long-term implications of having cancer, may only miss a day of work at best. On the other hand, some cancers, such as lung and pancreatic cancer, can require extensive treatments, including:
- Radiation treatments
- Proton therapy
- Gene therapy
- Bone marrow transplants
- Laser treatments
- Other experimental options
How Cancer Affects Your Work and Life
For those undergoing aggressive cancer treatments, it may indeed be possible to continue working, but it will probably be unpleasant. Constant fatigue, weakness, dizziness, lack of appetite, stomach irritation, headaches, and frequent pain and soreness can all make even the most sedentary jobs unbearable. This can lead to a rapid domino effect.
First, the treatments lead to inability to work, which in turn leads to termination or a significant loss of hours, meaning less money to pay for copays and deductibles. If you lose your job, you probably lose your health insurance, too. This can mean losing the life-saving care you depend on to fight cancer.
Getting Help Now
Before you let it get that far, call an experienced disability lawyer who can help. At Burke Harvey, LLC, we are compassionate and understanding of those who are perhaps going through the most terrifying and harrowing experience of their lives. We take our responsibility as advocates seriously and always put our clients first. Located in beautiful Birmingham, AL, just on U.S. Highway 280 south of I-459, our team of dedicated and experienced long-term disability lawyers handles cases for clients throughout Alabama and beyond.
If you are facing a denial for LTD benefits related to cancer or another terminal or serious illness, call us today to schedule a private consultation with an attorney free of charge. We will not charge you a dime unless we are able to help, so there is nothing to lose and no obligation.
You fight the cancer; we will fight for your rights. Call Burke Harvey, LLC today.