Book Review – Getting Paid

Getting Paid: An Insider’s Guide to Filing Your Long-Term Disability Claim or Appeal with: The Department of Veterans Affairs, The Social Security Administration, Your Disability Insurer, By Allan Checkoway, RHU. Elder Care Publishing, 2011, 256 pages inclusive of appendices. Hardbound, $29.95.

Allan Checkoway is an employee benefit consultant and principal of the Disability Services Group, a full-service employee benefits advisory firm.  He has 35 years of healthcare insurance experience.  This monograph could be a good addition to any law library that is seeking to begin a collection in the area of insurance law, in particular employee benefits. The book is divided into five separate and distinct parts: Long-Term Disability Claims and Appeals; Social Security Disability Claims and Appeals; Veterans Affairs Disability Claims; Consumers’ Disability Insurance Guide; and Lifestyle Changes for People with Disabilities.

Part 1 is a good introduction to the process of filing long-term disability claims and appeals. Part 2 on social security disability claims, while short, offers many of the same strategies discussed in part 1 and refers the reader to appropriate appendices. Veterans affairs disability claims are discussed in part 3, and the author again offers strategies to navigate the labyrinth of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A recurring theme in the first three sections is to get the application filed properly the first time around to avoid any of the pitfalls mentioned in the book, as well as avoid having to file an appeal. This is good advice and also includes making sure you do all your homework before beginning the process and formulate the proper team. Part 4 serves as a good primer in helping the insured understand and navigate his or her own disability insurance policy. Finally, part 5 concisely sets forth the things people learning to cope with physical disabilities need to live and maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.

There are 33 appendices making up 120 pages, almost the same length as the main text. The appendices are a good blend of potentially necessary forms and secondary sources, which complements the text of the book.  One drawback of this book is that each part could be an entire full-length book on its own; by combining all the parts together, a reader may get lost in the density of the material. Perhaps future editions could be a multi-volume set.  However, overall, as a basic introduction to each topic, it is an excellent resource.

Whitney A. Curtis, J.D., M.L.S., is circulation/reference librarian at Dolly & Homer Hand Law Library, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida.

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