One can only imagine how much more difficult it would be without the vital support of dental hygienists and assistants. They assist in X-ray imagery, advising and educating patients, and aiding in a variety of different dental procedures.
What if an illness or injury sidelines your work as a dental assistant? What can you do to protect your income, your dignity, and livelihood while you’re out? There are a few key things you should watch out for when seeking disability insurance benefits as a dental assistant, including time, accessibility, definitions in the policy, and income protection. It’s important to read over the fine print for answers carefully.
If you’re still feeling confused or doubtful about any of the above questions, then you may want to raise them to your employer, insurance agent, or insurance provider directly. If that fails, and your plan to adequately support you, then you should consider raising those questions to an experienced ERISA litigation attorney.
When filing a disability insurance claim as a dental assistant, you should build a comprehensive, detailed claim packet to substantiate your case. This packet should include detailed statements outlining the causes and circumstances around your disability, from your employer, primary physician, and yourself, the claimant. Once you’ve submitted this claim packet through the appropriate channels, you may need to file additional questionnaires, paperwork, medical documentation, and forms to have your claim approved. Submit all of them timely, appropriately, and accordingly.
Before you do it all, make sure that your plan is considered “own occupation,” and won’t bar you from receiving benefits if you’re just unable to work as a dental assistant. Ergo, make sure your employer benefits aren’t just workers’ compensation, and wouldn’t prohibit coverage if the disabling condition occurred off the job. But if your claim was unfairly dismissed – or approved but the policy isn’t offering you the support that it purported it would – then what?
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
We help Chicago area professionals recover from the most difficult points in their careers and help them recover the benefits they need and deserve through their own recovery. Dental assistants are no exception; we know you’ve worked extremely hard to get to where you’re at, and that the last thing you need is to be kicked while you’re already down.
If you or someone you know struggles to receive the protections they need, contact us today to schedule a consultation online and find out how we can resolve your long-term disability claim.