Fort Lauderdale Short Term Disability Claims Lawyers
Dedicated Attorneys Help Workers File Short-Term Disability Claims in Broward County and Palm Beach County, FL
The current coronavirus pandemic is forcing many employees out of work due to shutdowns. However, many workers who are able to work from home, or who must continue to report to work in essential industries (like healthcare workers), also face the prospect of being out of work if they come down with COVID-19. Fortunately, many professional workers are covered by disability insurance plans, typically purchased through their employer, which provides income replacement in the event a medical condition or disability keeps an insured employee from working.
If an employee with disability insurance who is still working during the pandemic shutdown is rendered unable to work because he or she contracts coronavirus, he or she may be entitled to file a short term disability claim to provide wage replacement for the period he or she is out of work and self-isolating with the virus. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult for workers to show that a coronavirus infection is keeping them out of work and therefore they are entitled to receive short term disability benefits.
If you are a workers in Broward or Palm Beach County who is having difficulty accessing your short term disability coverage after falling ill with COVID-19, contact Lawlor, White & Murphey today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable short term disability claims attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and options and about how our firm can help you secure the benefits you deserve.
Basics of Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance in South Florida
Disability insurance comes in two forms: short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance.
Short-term disability insurance provides income replacement in the form of a percentage of your gross income (usually around 80 percent) whenever you suffer a medical condition or disability that prevents you from working. Short-term disability insurance begins making payments within 14 days of filing your claim. Coverage lasts for three to six months depending on the terms of your policy.
Long-term disability insurance provides coverage only after you’ve been living with a medical condition or disability for an extended period of time. In order to make a claim for long-term disability insurance, you will need to observe a waiting period (sometimes called an elimination period), which can last anywhere from 90 days to a year, depending on the terms of your policy. Long-term disability insurance will then pay out benefits for a term defined in the policy, which can be as long as two years or even up until your normal retirement age. However, long-term disability insurance benefits usually pay a lower percentage of your gross income than short-term disability insurance (usually as low as 50 or 60 percent).
Disability insurance plans are usually purchased from an employer as individual plans are often too expensive for most people, although some professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, might purchase coverage through their own independent practice.
How Disability Insurance Can Cover a Coronavirus Infection
Short-term disability insurance may be available to provide you with benefits if you become ill with COVID-19 so long as you can no longer work due to your medical condition or because you have been placed in self-isolation quarantine. If you are sick but still can perform your job duties (for example, you can work from home and aren’t experiencing severe symptoms like high fever or difficulty breathing), you may not be able to claim benefits from short term disability insurance.
For example, a doctor who contracts coronavirus will likely be required to self-isolate until they are no longer infectious; he or she may likely be entitled to short-term disability benefits. Conversely, a lawyer who contracts coronavirus but is able to perform their work from home in self-isolation would not be eligible for short term disability benefits.
South Florida Short Term Disability Claims Attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey Fight to Get Workers the Benefits They Are Entitled To
When you have been denied short-term disability benefits after contracting coronavirus, the experienced attorneys of Lawlor, White & Murphey are ready to fight to get you the coverage you deserve. If you’ve been denied coverage by your insurer, our firm can help you understand the insurance company’s reasons for the denial and work with you to prepare an appeal letter and collect documentation or other evidence needed to address the insurer’s concerns, such as medical verification or income information.
We are prepared to aggressively negotiate on your behalf to get you the disability benefits you are entitled to under your policy. If necessary, we can take your claim to court to get your insurer to pay out the compensation you deserve.
Contact Lawlor, White & Murphey Today to Schedule a Case Evaluation to Learn More about Short-Term Disability Claims
If you are having trouble getting your insurer to approve your short term disability claim after you’ve been put out of work due to COVID-19, let the attorneys of Lawlor, White & Murphey fight to get you the disability benefits you deserve. Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our South Florida attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and options. Our firm is fully capable of handling your case on a virtual basis while you recover from coronavirus and with respect for social distancing requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions about Short Term Disability Claims in South Florida
Unfortunately, in order to successfully make a claim for short-term disability benefits, you will need to obtain third-party medical verification of your disability. In the event that coronavirus forces you to stay home in quarantine and you are unable to continue working, it is obviously difficult to secure medical verification of your disability since those infected with coronavirus are expected to stay home and above all stay out of hospitals or other medical facilities unless they are experiencing a medical emergency. Fortunately, many health providers are offering telehealth options that will allow you to obtain the medical verification you need to file a short term disability claim.
In general, it is advisable to purchase short term disability insurance while you are young and healthy, since that will allow you to access the lowest premiums. The longer you wait and the older you get, the more expensive plans will become. Moreover, once you become sick, insurers will refuse to give you a policy; in fact, you may have to wait several months after recovering from illness to be eligible to apply for disability insurance, and even then you will likely face increased premiums.