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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