Chief financial officers (CFOs), finance directors, financial managers, and other occupations in the finance industry require data analysis, critical thinking, and great communication skills.  Many of these financial occupations work for or with companies that have group long-term disability policies.

If a financial officer or manager is faced with a mental or physical disability them from being able to execute their job duties, long-term disability (LTD) benefits should be paid in accordance with the policy terms.  Unfortunately, LTD insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny a claim.

Denial of long-term disability benefits can be a difficult and confusing experience.  If you’ve received a disability claim denial, we’re here to help.  Our experienced long-term disability attorney is one of the few nationwide who’s trained in ERISA.  Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free denial letter review and the next steps moving forward. 

The Unique Challenges of Financial Managers on LTD

Long-term disability is designed to help cover your lost wages and keep you afloat until you recover.  Unfortunately, insurers often deny or underpay long-term disability claims to maximize profit.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the unique challenges facing financial officers and managers who are applying for long-term disability. We'll also outline the main reasons why insurers deny LTD claims and provide some tips for how to ensure your benefits are received.

Skills and Roles of a Financial Manager or Officer

Financial officers and managers are responsible for ensuring the financial stability of an organization.  They prepare financial reports, oversee investment activities, analyze data, and formulate plans and strategies for the organization's long-term financial goals on how to increase earnings.

They are required to have several skills, including:

●       Complex problem solving

●       Preparing financial reports

●       Critical thinking

●       Creativity

●       Judgment and decision-making

●       Managing data

●       Cognitive flexibility

●       Emotional intelligence

●       Service orientation

It can be tough to execute these essential job duties when suffering from an injury or illness. That's because the duties of a financial officer and manager are often high-stress, time-intensive, and intellectually demanding, which may not be possible to execute with even a slightly debilitating medical condition.  

As an example, you might have suffered a spine disorder and not be able to sit for long periods of time and handle the sedentary aspect of your job as a financial manager.  Even at a minimal level, the pain and discomfort distract you throughout the day and make it difficult to concentrate on the constant financial analysis, budgeting, market monitoring and corporate communication necessary for your job.  Similarly, certain types of cognitive impairment, whether caused by PTSD, dementia, or a concussion, might make it challenging to use the analytical skills required to carry out your job.

Why Insurers Deny Disability for Financial Officers & Managers

long-term disability denied stampThere are various reasons and even tactics insurers might use to deny a long-term disability claim.  Highly compensated professionals who file long-term disability claims, such as business executives, can cost an insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Insurance companies look for any justification to deny, delay, or reduce a long-term disability claim.  This is why it’s critical to consult with our long-term disability attorney who specializes in ERISA, the law that governs these claims. 

Some of the top reasons why insurers deny LTD claims are:

1)  You don’t meet the Insurer’s definition of disability:  This is the number one reason why LTD claims for financial officers and managers are denied.  LTD insurance policies often define policies under two categories: Own Occupation and Any Occupation.

  • An "any occupation" policy would not provide benefits if the insured person can still work in another job, even if it is a lower-paying position.  
  • Contrarily, an "own-occupation" policy would classify a policyholder as disabled if they’re unable to perform the same job they were doing before the disability. The "own occupation" policy lasts 24 months before review and can then switch to the "any occupation" policy.

2) The insurer's medical reviewers dispute your claim:  Insurance companies often hire medical professionals to review your claim, and these professionals may not agree with your treating physicians.  These third-party medical reviewers haven't examined you and may cherry-pick your medical records and argue that you don’t meet the policy's definition of disability.

3) The insurer places surveillance on you:  The insurance company may have placed surveillance on you to see if you are unable to work.  Private investigators may be selective in their reports and use limited information to argue you are actually able to work.

4) You file too late:  If you file your claim after the deadline, it will likely be denied.

5) There’s insufficient medical evidence to support your claim:  For a claim to be approved, there must be enough medical evidence to support it.  If there is not enough evidence, the claim will be denied. Ensure you always submit complete and up-to-date medical information on time, as you won’t be allowed to submit additional information later.

Our experienced LTD attorney is nationally recognized and will fight for your rights and to get you the benefits you deserve.  Call us today for a free consultation 816-203-0123.

What To Do If Your Long-Term Disability Is Denied?

If your claim is denied, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of having it approved. First, you should gather all of the information related to your claim. This includes copies of all forms and documents submitted as part of your application. Next, contact an experienced disability lawyer. They will be able to review your denial letter and help you understand your options.

You can then reach out to the insurance company and appeal the determination. There are a few things you need to know before you do this. First, you must file your appeal within 180 days of your claim being denied. Second, you need to provide enough evidence that supports your appeal.

You can then provide additional documentation or evidence to support your case. If you don't feel confident appealing the decision on your own or want someone to handle the paperwork, it might be a good idea to seek legal assistance. The appeals process for ERISA-governed long-term disability policies that most financial managers fall under can be complicated, so it's best to get help from an ERISA-trained attorney.

How to Get Disability as a Financial Officer or Manager

While our experienced LTD attorney will guide you through the legal process, below are helpful tips to keep in mind for a successful LTD claim:

1. Check your eligibility.

Make sure you meet all eligibility requirements before applying for disability benefits. Carefully examine your disability policy to understand what is necessary to qualify for LTD benefits.  Important details are included in your policy, such as the definition of disability, deadlines, the maximum benefit term, and potential benefit limitations.  Our LTD attorney can also review your policy.

2. Don’t try to go back to work too fast.

Your health is your top priority.  Returning to work too fast can jeopardize your well-being, and also your LTD benefits claim.

3. Anticipate surveillance.

Refrain from posting on social media. Insurance companies sometimes hire private detectives to monitor you, including perusing your social media posts. Their reports can be very selective, ruining your chances of getting your benefits.

If you have a mental disability such as PTSD or depression that prevents you from working, for instance, they may take a short social media post presenting you as relatively okay and argue that you can indeed work.

4. Provide up-to-date medical records.

Gather and submit all relevant documentation. One of the main reasons applications are denied is that the paperwork is not complete or accurate. Make sure you have all your medical records, diagnostic test results, and contact information for your doctors ready to submit with your application.

5. Keep a disability journal.

You can also keep a disability journal outlining how your disability affects your ability to work.

6. File your claim well ahead of the deadline.

Our experienced LTD attorney knows the strict deadlines and will handle this for you.

7. Seek a disability evaluation from a vocational expert.

Get a statement from a vocational expert explaining how your disability limits you from carrying out your job responsibilities

8. Seek a statement from witnesses, including your doctor.

Get witness statements from your attending physician, family members, friends, and work colleagues supporting your justification for the LTD claim.

Get Help From Our ERISA-Trained LTD Attorney

If you've been denied disability benefits, don't give up.  Our nationally recognized long-term disability attorney will fight for the benefits you deserve, and be there every step of the way.

Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free denial letter review. You can also instantly download our free long-term disability guide, Danger: Proceed at Your Own Risk.  We’re on your side and here to help.


Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS
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