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Covid-19 and Private Long Term Disability Claims

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    Covid-19 and Private Long Term Disability Claims

    **Please note that this post does not apply to Social Security Disability claims. This post applies to long term disability claims through a private insurance company and/or your employer.**

    There are two changes due to Covid-19 that are worth noting, and which have been of great benefit to my private long term disability clients.

    First, many insurers are temporarily waiving the appeal deadline for denials of long term disability claims. Although you should never let an appeal deadline lapse (and should communicate with the insurer prior to it lapsing), if this has happened you may still be able to file an appeal. Certain insurance regulations suggest that appeal deadlines will be tolled (or delayed) while the Covid-19 emergency continues. As Covid-19 has made it much more difficult and time consuming to acquire medical records and statements, this extra cushion can be helpful. Again, this should be a last resort for use only if you have forgotten to file a timely appeal, and I strongly suggest that you request an extension with your insurer before the deadline occurs.

    Second, I have successfully argued that immunocompromised individuals are unable to work with the public during the Covid-19 crisis. Specifically, medical providers -- nurses, social workers, etc. -- have a strong argument that they are unable to do their job during Covid-19, as they are unable to effectively avoid exposure in their jobs, and Covid-19 may have a much more severe impact on an immunocompromised claimant. If your doctor has stated that you should take a leave of absence from work to avoid Covid-19 exposure, there may be an avenue to requesting short or long term disability benefits for this medical reason.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Attorney Jamie R. Hall's practice is focused on assisting individuals with claims and appeals for Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits. He has assisted claimants nationwide, approximately half of whom are MS patients, from his Pennsylvania and Ohio locations. **No attorney/client relationship is created by this communication, and information provided herein is not a substitute for formal advisement.**

    Thanks Jamie for sharing your insight. I placed a link to this thread in the Employment forum as well.
    DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri