Denial of Disability Benefits: Appeals and Important Deadlines
If you have been denied disability benefits, the disability insurance company will often provide you a timeframe in which you can appeal their decision. This timeframe differs between disability insurance companies but is generally 30-90 days following the denial.
What happens during the appeal process?
During the appeal process, the insurance company is giving you the chance to provide further medical information that supports you being totally disabled from working and appeal the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim.
Do I have to appeal the insurer’s decision in order to maintain my claim?
The appeal period is an internal process set by the insurance company. The process can be frustrating because it often does not lead to a different decision by the insurance company. This is due to the fact that it will be the very insurance company that denied your claim that is reviewing your file on appeal.
Individuals often think that they must go through the appeal process set out by the insurance company in order to maintain their claim or they think that if their appeal is denied then that is the end of the road. Both are not true.
You do not have to go through the appeal process to maintain your claim, nor does a denied appeal mean your claim is over. If you chose not to go through the appeal process, you may still have a claim against the insurance company so long as you abide by the time frame, known as the “limitation period”, which is set out by the Limitation Act, SBC 2012, c 13.
What is the limitation period for my claim?
As per the Limitation Act, you generally have two years from the date your disability benefits were denied to commence a lawsuit against the disability insurer, however, it is important to remember that this is not the case for every claim. The determination of the limitation period is very fact dependent, which is why it is crucial to contact a disability law lawyer right away if your disability benefits have been denied so that you do not jeopardize your claim.
Lastly, an important fact to remember is that if you do appeal the insurance company’s decision, the limitation period to commence a lawsuit does not stop running during this timeframe. Even if there are multiple appeal processes, the clock does not stop ticking.
If you have been denied disability benefits, contact a disability law lawyer at Zacharias right away in order to maintain your rights and determine what limitation periods are applicable to your circumstances.