Filing a Short Term Disability Claim

| June 15, 2009

Unlike an automobile or homeowners insurance claim, a short term disability claim requires diligent follow up and coordination on the part of the claimant.

It’s not necessary to have an insurance broker’s license to file a short term disability claim, but knowing what to expect and which information to have can make the process less intimidating. When filing a short-term disability claim there are three important pieces of information the claimant must have:

  1. Insurance Company Information
  2. Medical/Physician Information
  3. Human Resource Contact

Short Term Disability Insurance Information

For individuals who require short-term disability insurance due to a pre-scheduled surgery, it is wise to get all of the ducks in a row and begin the claim filing process before actually going out on disability. Many insurance companies make it easy by offering online claims reporting.

Not everyone is forewarned, however, when it comes to short-term disability claims. In the case of an unexpected accident that results in a short-term disability claim, it is important to contact the insurance company and report the disability claim within the company stipulated claim reporting period. Each company allows a certain number of days grace period (usually 10 days) in which to report a claim. Reporting a claim beyond the grace period could result in claim denial.

While reporting the claim be sure to set up a patient advocate or authorized individual in the event the claimant becomes unable to communicate with the various parties involved in the claim process. Insurance companies do not share data with individuals who are not authorized by the claimant to receive information. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to expedite a claim on behalf of a spouse or significant other and not getting cooperation from the insurance company because the authorization is not in place.

Medical Contact Information

The most important information to provide the insurance company is the name, phone number and fax number of the attending physician or surgeon. Even better than providing the name of the attending doctor, be sure to provide the insurance company with the name of the physician’s administrative assistant. This is the contact person at the doctor’s office who will receive the forms and have the ability to quickly fax the information when requested by the insurance company. Providing the correct information does much to ensure the smooth processing of the claim.

Human Resource Contact

Knowing the correct person to contact in the Human Resources Department is especially important for claimants working for a large company. The HR contact helps to orchestrate the claims process and provides the claimant with the necessary forms and procedures to ensure a smooth claims processing

Monitor the Disability Claim

The point person, whether it is the claimant or a designated individual, must maintain an accurate paper trail of the communication between the three parties. The records should contain the names, dates and gist of the conversations that occurred during the short term disability claim process. Be sure to follow up regularly and diligently until all of the papers are filed and all parties agree that they are in receipt of the necessary documentation. Once everyone has the necessary paperwork, the claimant can relax and spend his time recuperating.

Category: Disability

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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