A cancer diagnosis is shocking for anybody, especially if their early symptoms are mild. Before you even have time to recover your emotional footing, however, you suddenly have to manage doctor visits, treatments and new medications — all the while feeling like you barely have any energy to move.

Obviously, all of that can make working quite difficult, so you expected your disability benefits to provide you with a financial lifeline.

So why did your disability claim get denied? There could be several reasons:

  • Your short-term disability policy’s terms are highly restrictive. Some employer-provided short-term disability policies will pay whenever the insured is unable to keep working in their own job. Others will only pay if you can’t do any kind of work at all. The insurer may believe that — even now — you could manage a less-stressful position.
  • You filed for Social Security Disability benefits too soon. The Social Security Administration doesn’t offer any kind of benefits that are payable unless your condition is expected to either last a year or end in death. Your cancer may not meet their strict criteria for benefits.
  • You made a mistake when you filed. Maybe you filled out the forms incorrectly or forgot to sign a medical release. Rather than help people with the process, insurers usually won’t hesitate to deny claims for minor technical reasons.
  • Someone else made a mistake. Maybe your doctor didn’t fill out the forms the insurance company provided completely — or maybe the details about your condition didn’t meet some vague standard of evidence they require.

If you’re fighting to get approval of benefits through a disability insurance policy that’s covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), it may be time to get help. An experienced attorney can guide you.