Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Reliance Standard is a member of the Tokio Marine Group.
Reliance Standard is a leading insurance carrier specializing in employee benefits solutions including disability income and group term life insurance, employer-paid coverage options, among others.
With revenues in the billions, Reliance Standard’s number one priority is their bottom line. How else does a company get so big?
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to resort to resourceful ways to cut costs.
By making profits a priority, many worthy claims are denied, and hard-working people are left without the benefits they paid into.
Insurers often put great effort into delaying or denying claims in the hope the claimant will give up and go away. Don’t let that happen to you!
3 Steps to Help You Avoid a Long-Term Disability Denial from Reliance Standard
1. Meet Your Plan’s Definition of “Disability”
The definition of disability may differ depending on the plan your employer chooses.
Most plans have an “own occupation” or an “any occupation” definition of disability.
Your plan offered by Reliance Standard may consider your inability to perform any work tasks as a disability or you may be considered disabled if you are unable to perform the duties required for your own job/career.
It’s important to know which plan your employer chose prior to submitting a claim.
2. Gather All Medical Records That Will Support Your Claim
Your claim will pass through the hands of a disability claims examiner and an in-house reviewing doctor who will cherry-pick your medical records, selecting only the portions that will support a denial of your claim.
Submitting all of your medical records will guard against cherry-picking.
Your doctor(s) should be performing diagnostic tests like MRIs or CT scans and recording the results in your file.
You should also have your doctor and attending specialists indicate any limitations that your injury/disability has caused you.
With this information, the insurance company will have trouble coming up with reasons to deny your claim.
3. Assume Reliance Standard Has You Under Surveillance
Be aware while doing every-day activities like getting groceries or walking your dog.
Reliance Standard has deep pockets and will almost certainly hire a private investigator in hopes of catching you doing something that your disability should prevent you from doing.
An experienced LTD attorney will best be able to explain to the insurance company that the 10 minutes you were filmed having a “good day” is not representative of your disability as a whole.
It is also best to avoid posting pictures or comments about your injury on social media. It may be hard to prove that a photo taken before your injury isn’t recent and comments you made about your disability may be taken out of context.
What Excuses Did Reliance Standard Use to Deny Your Claim?
Insurers deny claims for many reasons – both in error and by design.
Applications for disability are often written in such a way that answers to questions will solicit a denial.
Our team will examine your case to reveal any wrongful denial on the part of Reliance Standard.
Reliance Standard and other insurance companies have a financial incentive to pay out as little as possible.
We anticipate every tactic the insurance company may use to delay, deny, or terminate your claim.
With over 15 years of experience, we know what red flags to look out for, such as:
- Claiming your inability to work is for reasons not covered under your policy
- Alleging you did not provide adequate medical evidence
- Claiming they did not receive medical records
- Delays due to poor communication
- Refusing to provide your claim file and records to you
- Ignoring medical evidence that supports your claim
- Disregarding statements from your doctors that describe the severity of your limitations
- Delaying payments while taking months to schedule an Independent Medical Examination
- Delaying decisions until years of past medical records or excessive test results are received
- Intimidating you into saying the wrong thing or giving up
Am I Able to Appeal My Reliance Standard Long-Term Disability Denial?
It’s no secret that the majority of claims for disability are denied the first time.
Fortunately, an insurance denial is not the end of your claim.
If Reliance Standard denies your claim for long-term disability benefits you have every right to appeal their decision and fight for your benefits.
Because ERISA governs employer-provided group disability insurance plans, you are required to exhaust Reliance Standard’s internal disability appeals process before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit in court.
Your denial letter will tell you why the company decided to deny your claim and will outline how you can file an appeal as well as the deadline for doing so.
In most cases, you will have only 180 days to appeal their decision.
Don’t miss this deadline! If you do, you will not be able to try to recover benefits for your disability from Reliance Standard in the future.
Do You Really Need to Hire a Lawyer for Your Reliance Standard Appeal?
The most common mistake that disabled claimants make is to represent themselves.
Long term disability insurance claims can be a challenging, lengthy process to handle without assistance from a knowledgeable attorney.
If you are facing the appeals process in federal court or are experiencing problems receiving your disability benefits, the best option for success is to hire a qualified disability insurance attorney.
An experienced LTD attorney will build a compelling enough case to get Reliance Standard to reverse their decision.
Your disability attorney will gather medical records and get statements from your doctor and employer regarding your disability and limitations.
They will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and, if necessary, present your case in court. If they still refuse your appeal, you may have to file a lawsuit, for which you will need a skilled LTD attorney.
If your Reliance Standard LTD insurance claim was denied, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
We provide experienced representation for policyholders whose Reliance Standard disability insurance claims were wrongfully denied, delayed, or terminated.