Mistake 22 – Personal and Financial Information | Pinellas County Long Term Disability Lawyer

In your continuing disability statement, the long-term disability/ERISA carrier is going to be asking you information about the following topics:

Education

· What is your highest level of education?
· How/when did you receive this level of education?

Workers Compensation

· Have you received worker’s compensation benefits?

Disability Income

· Do you receive any other disability income?

Business Income

· Have you received any income from any company, store, person, business, self-employed business or organization, which includes any money, barter or any other remuneration during your disability period?
· Do you have an interest in or income from any business?

Pension

· Have you received a pension or any other type of retirement benefit from your previous employer?

Social Security

· Have you applied for and receive SSDI benefits?

Past Claim

· Have you ever filed a disability claim, other than this one?

First, you must know there are ” indexes” in the United States. These indexes keep track of whether or not you have ever filed another disability claim. These indexes also keep track of whether or not you’ve ever been involved in any other kind of litigation in which you’ve claimed personal injury — be it a slip and fall, auto accident, or a workers compensation accident. If you haven’t told the truth, the long-term disability/ERISA carrier will find out and that can be fatal to your long-term disability/ERISA claim.

Many long-term disability/ERISA policies have provisions that let them reduce your disability benefits, if you get Social Security disability benefits or even tap into your pension. By the terms of their policy, they have the right to know this information and determine whether the receipt of those additional benefits will reduce your disability benefits. That information should be part of your pre-planning, which I will discuss in another series on mistakes that can be before you apply for long-term disability/ERISA benefits.

Another crucial provision in your long-term disability/ERISA policy concerns whether or not you can have any earnings after you become disabled and, if so, whether the long-term disability/ERISA carrier can reduce your benefits by the receipt of that money. It is crucial that you understand what the policy means by the term “business income”.  I have seen long-term disability claims destroyed because the applicant did not know whether they were entitled to long-term disability benefits if they earned income after they became disabled. This is particularly crucial if you are professional, such as a doctor or lawyer, who is claiming long-term disability benefits. You may have what is called a residual claim, and you should understand your rights to residual benefits before you file your claim for long-term disability/ERISA benefits. Or you could unknowingly and significantly reduce what your long-term disability benefits/ERISA carrier has to pay you.

Knowing what your long-term disability/ERISA policy says about post disability earnings in a residual claim is crucial to ensure that you have properly protected your family if you become disabled.

If you wish to learn more about the impact your personal and financial information can have on the amount of your disability/ERISA benefits and possible residual disability claim, contact Nancy Cavey, a Tampa Bay based ERISA/long-term disability lawyer.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 21 – Lawsuits or Disciplinary Actions | Hillsborough County Long Term Disability Attorney

The long-term disability/ERISA carrier will ask you if you’ve been involved in any lawsuits that you have filed since you claimed long-term disability/ERISA benefits. You might ask yourself why they would want to know that information?

If, for example, you’ve been involved in an auto accident since you have claimed disability, the long-term disability/ERISA carrier will want to know what injuries you had as a result of that auto accident, what treatment you’ve gotten, and what impact that new auto accident has on your ability to work. They will obtain copies of your personal injury protection claim to see what you said about your injuries and whether you’re claiming lost wages as a result of that auto accident.

If you are a professional, such as a doctor or a lawyer, long-term disability/ERISA carrier will automatically check to see if you’ve been involved in any disciplinary actions that impact your ability to practice. Many times, the disability carrier will argue your disability is really related to disciplinary issues that you’ve had or personal issues you have with your employer. They will argue that you are “disgruntled employee” who has made a decision to file a disability claim as a result of professional or personal issues.

You can be sure  that the ERISA/long-term disability carrier will also be talking to your employer and  asking for a copy of your personnel file. If you sign the release that lets them get that information, it will be fair game.

Of course, you must be truthful about any lawsuits or disciplinary actions. I would revoke any release that lets the long-term disability/ERISA carrier or contact your employer or get your personnel file. Make it clear in your answers to these questions how your disability is, or is not, related to any lawsuits you may have filed as result of any accidents you sustained censure file a claim for disability.  Make sure your medical records are consistent, and that any filings may in any lawsuit are consistent with your disability claim application. Long-term disability/ERISA carriers love to look for inconsistencies.

Information about disciplinary actions can also be confidential. Make sure that you’re not violating confidentiality requirements by giving the long-term disability/ERISA carrier more information than you are legally allowed to disclosed.

Subsequent lawsuits or disciplinary actions can be a minefield for long-term disability/ERISA applicant. If you need assistance in answering questions on your long-term disability/ERISA claim application or preparing for your statement and field visit by the adjuster, contact long-term disability/ERISA lawyer Nancy Cavey.

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Mistake 21 – Work Accommodations | Sarasota County Long Term Disability Lawyer

You might still be working but are disabled. If so, you will be asked about work accommodations you or your employer are making. Are you working from home? Have your hours or days been reduced? Do you change positions or even use special equipment? Are there changes that just can’t be made to help you work? Do you have good days and bad days? Are your good days predictable? Can you sustain activity or do you have to pace yourself — stop or start when you can’t go on?

Does your pain interfere with work? Does pain cause problem with concentration or do you have side effects of medication? Explain how this interferes with work and how your employer can or can’t accommodate you.

Explain this in your Activity of Daily Living form so your long term disability/ERISA carrier understands what ability you have, if any to work, and what accommodations are needed to help you work.

If you need assistance with your long term disability/ERISA disability claim or Activity of Daily Living forms, contact Nancy Cavey.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 20 – Restrictions and limitations – Recreation/Hobbies/Social activities | Bellaire Beach Long Term Disability Attorney

Long-term disability and ERISA insurance companies confuse recreational activities, hobbies, or social activities as the equivalent of working. They think that if you can go on vacation, have a social life, or maintain a hobby you can work. We all know that’s not true!

You will be asked questions on activities of daily living forms about whether you been on vacation, when, how often and, of course, what you did on vacation. In answering these questions you may want to think about how your vacation destination might have changed because of your disability, how you were unable to play with your children on vacation, or limited your activity.

You might have had to make multiple stops if you drove to your vacation destination. Just think about how your vacation has been impacted by your disability when answering this question.

Do you have any hobbies? If your disability has impacted your enjoyment or even ability to do one of your hobbies, explain that impact.

Your disability probably has impacted your social activities or even how often you get together with friends or family. Your disability may have even changed the kind of activity you do or how often you do that activity.

You should fully explain what problems you have, what you can and can’t do, and what problems you have had when you  engage in recreational, hobby or social activity.

You can be assured that if any of your recreational or social activity is outside of your home, a long-term disability/ERISA carrier will consider placing surveillance on you. Be on the lookout! If they have surveillance on you, they will follow-up and want to take a recorded statement. If that happens, you should  talk with an experienced ERISA/Long term disability Attorney like Nancy Cavey before giving any statements that could be used against you in your long-term disability case.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 727.894.3188 or contact us online by clicking here.

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Mistake 19 – Restrictions and Limitations – Your Daily Activities | Pinellas Park Long Term Disability Lawyer

When you apply for long-term disability benefits I’m sure you never thought you’d have to explain what you did inside and outside the house. What does that have to do with your inability to work?

Well, long-term disability carriers like to compare your complaints to your doctor with what are able to do around your home to see if there are any inconsistencies. They’ll also use your responses to put surveillance on you see if you are telling the truth. Their version of the truth doesn’t always match up with reality

A  long-term disability Activity of Daily Living Form will ask questions about both the inside and outside activities.

In regard to your inside activities you will be asked about cooking, cleaning, use of the microwave, laundry, dusting, and other household activities. I am sure that you have difficulties doing these things because of your pain, limitation of motion, or other problems associated with your disabling condition. You may have to break up these tasks or have someone help you. You may no longer cook meals and rely on the microwave. You may have hired someone to clean your house.

The activities of Daily Living Form will ask you what you’re able to do outside of the house such as driving,  taking out the garbage, gardening, weeding, or cutting the lawn. Just make sure that what you’re doing is consistent with the restrictions that your doctors placed upon you. You might have to pace yourself or even have assistance.

Give a broad answers to these questions explaining that your activity depends on how you feel and the side effects of any medication. Make sure you’re treating doctor knows the extent of your physical activity.

For assistance in completing long-term disability/ERISA activities of daily living forms and preparing for a disability statement, contact an experienced disability Attorney, like Tampa Bay lawyer Nancy Cavey to make sure you are prepared for this important event in your long-term disability claim. She can be reached at 727-894-3188.

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