Tag Archives: Matt Rhoney

How to Handle a Denied Claim

If you’ve been involved in an accident, you file a claim with your insurance provider and assume that it will act in good faith and protect you. However, just because “good faith” exists doesn’t mean your claim won’t be denied.

Has Your Claim Been Denied?

Nothing feels quite as disheartening as finding out your claim has been denied when you were sure your insurance company was on your side. If that happens you have the right to know why.

See also: Power of ‘Claims Advocacy’  

A car accident, for instance, might be denied because: the accident was avoidable; there was no complaint or treatment at the time of the injury; or there was a pre-existing condition.

What’s Next?

Often, a denied claim can be a simple mistake, so, before you settle for your insurance company’s decision, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get some clarification. If you have double-checked that the information you submitted is correct or have fixed some errors on your claim (and your claim is still denied), you have the right to dispute the denial.

See also: Bad-Faith Claims: 4 Ways to Avoid Them  

If you choose to appeal a denied claim, a common procedure for some insurance (such as health insurance) involves writing a letter explaining why you believe your claim should be covered. When explaining your claim, be as detailed and specific as possible and include any evidence or information the insurance company may not have asked for or considered. You should also keep copies of everything you send to the insurance company and keep detailed notes of when and whom you spoke with.

Considering Legal Action

If you don’t know how to proceed with a denied insurance claim, you may want to consult a lawyer who specializes in insurance cases. If your insurance company still refuses to accept your claim after your appeal, legal assistance may be your best course of action, as you may be able to file a “bad faith” case against your insurance company.

Waiting for Your Disability Benefits?

If you are suffering from an injury or illness that is preventing you from working, it’s likely you have lost a livable income, and you may be facing the threat of economic hardship. Many people, who are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury, are able to receive Social Security benefits as compensation. But, according to John C. Shea, a disability lawyer in Richmond, VA, applying for Social Security benefits is often a long and arduous process, whether because you are gathering all of your medical documents, making sure you ask all the right questions or patiently waiting to hear if you qualify,.

The Waiting Period and Financial Help

Once you have applied and are waiting for a response as to whether you qualify for benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that the decision process can take anywhere from three to five months (keep in mind that the process can take even longer if you’re initially denied and file an appeal). Waiting nearly half a year is not “financially doable” for most individuals. Here are some helpful tips for getting financial help while waiting for SSA’s answer:

  • Are You Able to Work?: In some cases, individuals seeking SSDI benefits may be able to work, but there limitations on how much you can earn. Chances are, your illness or injury may limit your ability/length of time to work, anyway. If you’re interested in working, even very part-time while applying for SSDI benefits, it’s a good idea to talk to SSA; to avoid any extra issues or confusion, consult with a disability lawyer.
  • Apply for Supplemental Programs: If your life is put on hold due to a life-changing illness or injury, unfortunately, your needs and expenses won’t take a break. Groceries and other utilities are life essentials but are often big financial expenses. If you’re running into financial problems, rather than skipping bills and risking having your heat or electricity shut off, consider applying for energy assistance and take a look at programs like SNAP for food assistance.
  • Creating a Budget and Cutting Expenses: Downsizing on your monthly budget may be one of the easiest ways to save you some money while waiting for SSDI benefits. Although you may not want to give up certain “luxuries” like cable television or your costly cell phone plan, making some budget cuts here and there may save you hundreds of dollars a month. It’s also a good idea, while planning out your budget, to look ahead as much as a year. While SSA’s decision may take a few months, you may encounter some discrepancies that lengthen the process.

Accept Assistance

Asking for and accepting help can be difficult, especially if you’re struggling to come to terms with a lengthy illness or injury. If a friend or family offers to help you, strongly consider accepting the offer. Whether you insist on treating the help as a loan or a gift, the offer can help keep you financially afloat while you wait for your benefits.