Best Practices for Filing a Long Term Disability Claim – Part 1

Feb 23, 2015

This four part blog series will review the best practices for filing a long term disability (LTD) claim as part of a good disability management strategy. Over the next three posts, I’ll go into more detail about what steps each stakeholder can take to ensure a complete and timely claims filing process.

Prior to becoming a Benefits Consultant with TRG Group Benefits & Pensions Inc., I worked in disability management for the three largest Canadian insurance companies. My role was to train long term disability case managers, and provide advice and counsel many organizations on their disability management practices. I’ve seen many, many claims declined due to incomplete or late filing, which ultimately leads to lengthy delays in the disabled employee receiving their benefit, if at all.

I’ll introduce some of the best practices that I’ve learned in my decade of disability management in an effort to help curtail some of the rising financial and human capital costs associated with disability claims.

There are three main components to filing an LTD claim – the Employee Statement, the Employer Statement, and the Attending Physician’s Statement.

In general terms, the two most important factors are submitting the claim on a timely basis, and ensuring that the information provided is as complete and as detailed as possible.

Most insurance companies have a provision in place to prevent LTD claims from being filed late. The reason for this is very simple – the sooner the insurance company has the forms, the sooner they can evaluate the claim, advise the employee of the decision, ensure benefit payments are made on a timely basis, and (if appropriate) deploy the necessary resources towards helping the employee back to work as quickly as possible.

Stay tuned for my second blog as I’ll explore the process from the perspective of the employer – what an employer does to help manage the disability process can make a substantial difference in the successful return to work of the disabled employee. Next, I’ll review the best practices and offer some tips for the employee. In the final installment, I’ll present the requirements on the part of the Attending Physician for filing the claim, and provide tips to the employee in their interaction with the doctor.

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