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Professionals', athletes' long-term disability claims turned down

When professionals, business owners and professional athletes try to make claims against their long-term disability insurance, they are often denied. Many are denied illegitimately and in bad faith. That's illegal.

Insurance companies spend millions on surveillance of potentially expensive claimants. They hire experts to prove that claimants aren't really disabled. They assert that claimants are required to get a job outside their field instead of making a claim on the long-term disability insurance they've paid for all these years -- even though the policy says they don't have to do that.

If this is happening to you, you need an advocate. You need someone with experience disproving insurers' illegitimate claims so you can get the benefits you've paid for.

Long-term disability among attorneys, doctors, other professionals and athletes

Professional athletes have extremely physically demanding jobs with high injury rates. Disabling musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries can end your career. Brain injuries are increasingly evident. Athletes are smart to get short- and long-term disability insurance, but their claims are often wrongfully denied.

Lawyers and CPAs can suffer a number of physical and mental conditions that negatively affect their ability to concentrate, multitask, or handle stress. All of these are covered by LTD insurance.

Physicians, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals often experience injuries to the back, shoulder, wrists and hands. These can temporarily or permanently end your ability to practice.

When business owners suffer a disabling injury or illness, reimbursement for diminished earnings and business overhead expenses may be provided in your LTD policy.

What is own occupation coverage?

"Own occupation" disability insurance, often referred to as "own occ" is meant to protect professionals with disabling conditions that render them unable to perform the functions of their occupation. It's supposed to keep disabled doctors, for example, from having to prove that they couldn't work a retail job before their disability claims can be paid.

All too often, insurance companies try to wriggle out of paying own occ claims by attempting either to redefine your occupation or the requirements of your occupation. For example, they may tell lawyers that the legal field includes all jobs for which a J.D. degree would be helpful. Or, they may claim that there is some obscure niche job in your field that you could handle despite your disability.

Don't let them. Your own occ long-term disability policy is meant to protect you from these absurd definitions and demands and to pay out when you are unable to perform the material duties of your own occupation.

If your LTD claim has been denied, we encourage you to contact an attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for the swift, full payment of your claim.

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