Don’t Let the Long Term Disability Insurance Carrier Choose One for You!
Many long term disability (LTD) insurance companies require you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits once you begin receiving monthly LTD benefits. If you choose not to file a claim for SSDI, the LTD carrier can stop paying you.
There are two reasons why many LTD carriers put this type of language in their insurance contracts. And neither reason is looking out for your best interest.
First, the LTD carrier wants you to receive SSDI benefits so that it can reduce the amount of LTD benefits it must pay you moving forward.
Second, the LTD carrier wants you to receive past due benefits from the Social Security Administration so that it can recover some of the money it has already paid you. The LTD carrier has a lien on your past due SSDI benefits.
Here at Jenkins, Block & Associates we often meet with potential Social Security disability clients who are receiving LTD benefits. They usually bring in a letter from their LTD carrier that pushes them to use a specific disability claim management company in their SSDI claim. You should be cautious of using the disability claim management group pushed by your LTD insurance carrier. Here’s why:
- An inherent conflict of interest – Part I: Your LTD carrier did not hire or form a partnership with a disability claim management company for the sole purpose of helping you win your case. The primary objective, in fact, has nothing to do with your best interest. The claim management company is first and foremost looking to recover money from your Social Security disability back pay for the LTD carrier.
- An inherent conflict of interest – Part II: If you lose your SSDI claim, the disability claim management company may report that information to the LTD carrier. The LTD carrier may use your SSDI denial as proof that you are no longer disabled and stop your LTD benefits.
- An inherent conflict of interest – Part III: Most jurisdictions require an attorney to explain any potential conflict of interest, such as the one that exists when you use a disability claim management group pushed on you by the LTD carrier. Our experience, however, is that very few disability claimants have had this conflict of interest explained to them by the disability claim management group. If your disability representative is withholding such important information, how can you be sure your claim is being developed properly and that you are being prepared adequately for hearing?
- You want an attorney, not a non-attorney representative: Many of the claim management groups use non-attorney representatives. Non-attorney representatives are not governed by state bar associations and are not held to the same level of ethical standards as attorneys.
- Hiring an independent Social Security disability lawyer ensures that your representative is looking out for you, not the LTD carrier: You expect and deserve a representative who will maintain confidentiality and take action based on your best interest. Non-attorney representatives used by the claim management groups do not have to maintain the same level of confidentiality that attorneys do. And too often we see non-attorney representatives who refuse to take action, such as the filing of an appeal to the Appeals Council, because it would not serve the LTD carrier’s interest.
When you are hurt or sick and unable to work, SSDI benefits can mean the difference between poverty and being able to afford food and shelter. You deserve a Social Security disability lawyer who is looking out for you and you alone. The disability lawyers at Jenkins, Block & Associates do just that. We’ve helped thousands of disabled persons get the benefits they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.