“Frank is a terrific lawyer and a real fighter. My disability carrier cut me off twice, and he secured reinstatement of benefits both times. He's great. I recommend him without hesitation.”
- Elaine K.Cincinnati, OH
Disability Insurance provides a source of replacement income and other benefits for individuals who are wholly or partially precluded from working due to a medical problem. It supplements disability-related benefits available under the Social Security Act as well as income from investments, pensions, 401k plans and other sources that typically don’t cover all of an individual’s needs. In the case of physicians, attorneys, business executives and others with high earnings and correspondingly high living expenses, it is a critical part of good financial planning.
Disability policies are issued by insurance carriers who market them to groups and individuals directly or through authorized agents. They cover a range of needs that arise following the onset of disability, including replacement of income; reimbursement of ongoing business expenses; the payment of mortgages, loans and premiums on life and other insurance policies; and other needs.
There is wide variation among the substantive provisions of these policies. Some cover partial disabilities and others don’t. Some define what constitutes a “disability” in terms of the insured’s own occupation while others require evidence of an inability to perform other occupations as well. There are innumerable variations of these provisions from one policy to another.
The standard of disability set forth in a given policy is one of its most important provisions. Most of the time, it’s easier to demonstrate an inability to perform one’s own occupation than others. For example, an orthopedic surgeon who can’t operate due to subtle neurological impairment of hand function will qualify for coverage under an “own occupation” standard of disability. However, the same surgeon may retain the capacity to teach, administer routine medical examinations, or conduct peer reviews. Someone in this position may end up having difficulty qualifying for benefits under an “any occupation” standard because of the ability to do these other things.
There are also differences between policies in terms of their cost, tax treatment, and—not least important—the carriers’ claim practices. Before purchasing disability insurance, one should understand what’s in the policy and how the carrier is likely to respond should the need to file a claim arise.
Frank offers a full range of consulting services to aid in the purchase of disability insurance by groups and individuals. He also provides legal representation on claims filed under these policies. His knowledge of disability law, carriers’ claim practices, and record of success on filing claims speaks for itself.