Long-Term Disability Benefits: The Appeals Process

Have questions about the article below or have you been denied LTD benefits?
Click here to ask a question for free or report a LTD Claim Denial here.

When a long-term disability (LTD) claim is denied, the appeals process offers a crucial opportunity to overturn the decision and secure the benefits you need. This article explores the intricacies of the appeals process, providing guidance on navigating this challenging but essential pathway to justice.

Understanding the Importance of Appeals

A denied LTD claim can be devastating, leaving individuals without the financial support they desperately need during a time of illness or injury. However, it’s important to remember that a denial is not the end of the road. The appeals process allows claimants to challenge the insurer’s decision and present additional evidence to support their claim.

Key Steps in the Appeals Process

  1. Review the Denial Letter: Carefully review the denial letter to understand the specific reasons for the denial. This will help you identify the areas where you need to strengthen your case.
  2. Gather Additional Evidence: Obtain additional medical records, specialist reports, and any other relevant documentation that can bolster your claim. Consider seeking an independent medical examination (IME) to provide an objective assessment of your condition.
  3. Consult with an Attorney: An experienced disability lawyer can provide invaluable guidance throughout the appeals process. They can help you understand your legal rights, prepare your appeal, and advocate on your behalf.
  4. Submit a Comprehensive Appeal: Draft a detailed appeal letter that addresses each of the reasons for denial. Include all supporting documentation, such as medical records, IME reports, and statements from your treating physicians.
  5. Consider Mediation or Arbitration: In some cases, mediation or arbitration may be an option to resolve the dispute outside of court. These processes can be less formal and less costly than litigation.
  6. Litigation: If other avenues fail, you may need to file a lawsuit against your insurer. This is a complex process, and it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Timelines and Deadlines

The appeals process has strict timelines and deadlines. It is crucial to act promptly to avoid missing any critical deadlines, which could jeopardize your ability to appeal. Your denial letter should specify the deadline for filing an appeal.

Common Reasons for Denials

LTD claims are often denied for various reasons, including:

  • Insufficient medical evidence
  • Failure to meet the policy’s definition of disability
  • Discrepancies between medical records and the claimant’s reported symptoms
  • The insurer’s belief that the claimant can work in some capacity
  • Administrative errors

By understanding these common reasons for denial, you can better prepare your appeal and address any weaknesses in your case.

Tips for a Successful Appeal

  • Act promptly: Don’t delay in filing your appeal.
  • Be thorough: Gather all relevant evidence and documentation to support your claim.
  • Seek legal assistance: An experienced disability lawyer can be a valuable asset throughout the appeals process.
  • Be persistent: Don’t give up if your initial appeal is denied. You may have further options, such as mediation, arbitration, or litigation.


The LTD appeals process can be daunting, but it is a crucial pathway to obtaining the benefits you deserve. By understanding the process, gathering strong evidence, and seeking legal assistance, you can increase your chances of a successful appeal and secure the financial security you need during a difficult time.

Have questions about the article above or have you been denied LTD benefits?
Click here to ask a question for free or report a LTD Claim Denial here.