The Dirty Little Secret about Long Term Disability Interviews

Dirty Little Secrets about Long Term DisabilityNancy Cavey, who has written a go to guide on surveillance and completing Activity of Daily Living Forms, knows that there is a dirty little secret about long term disability carriers’ interviews. If for example, you’ve undergone surgery you most likely get these kind of questions:

  1. How is your recovery coming?
  2. What are your current restrictions and limitations?
  3. What are your current symptoms?
  4. What is your current course of treatment?
  5. Does this include a return to work? If not, why not?
  6. How often do you meet with your physicians?
  7. Have you started any physical therapy?
  8. Are you taking any medication? If so, what is the name, dosage and any side effects?
  9. Where do you fill the prescriptions?

10.  If the claimant is operating a business, ask questions about whether the business is still in operation.

11.  If you have partner, ask questions about the partnership.

12.  Ask questions about how often he goes to the place of business.

13.  Ask whether there are any barriers for a return to work?

14.  Comment on the “insured handles himself” during the interview.

You can be assured that the long term disability carrier is going to check to see if the medication is being filled, they’ll check the business license and they’ll probably put surveillance on the claimant as he goes to work. If a long term disability carrier is scheduling your statement you should be represented, don’t be foolish and set yourself up for a claims denial.

Give me Five Minutes and I’ll Tell You Why You Should Not Allow Crowe Paradis to Handle Your Long Term Disability Claim

Give me 5 Minutes!Many long term disability policies require that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits. They’ll even make recommendations for Social Security Disability representation. Hartford, for example, will refer you to a company Crowe Paradis for Social Security representation.

You may even get a letter from Crowe-Paradis making it clear that they are not affiliated with Hartford. But they will request what’s called a limited power of attorney that will allow Crowe-Paradis to transfer any past due Social Security Disability benefits you get to Hartford.

You need protect yourself by avoid using companies such as Crowe Paradis or even Allsup that are recommended by long term disability carriers. Why? Often they will try to win your Social Security disability case by arguing you have a psychiatric disability while your long term disability policy LIMITS your LTD benefits for 2 years if you are disabled because of psychiatric problems.  It is in your best interest to secure the services of your private Social Security Disability attorney. You should pick an attorney, who preferably, has experience in handling long term disability benefits and Social Security disability, so that you don’t lose valuable benefits by having the wrong medical condition be the basis of your SSDI claim.  Don’t let companies like Hartford, Crowe Paradis or Allsup compromise your benefits. Contact ERISA | Social Security Disability attorney Nancy Cavey at 727-894-3188

Long Term Disability Mistake 6

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If you have any questions or concerns then give us a call at 727-894-3188 or check out our website www.caveylaw.com.

Disability Insurance Myths | Tampa Bay 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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UNUM found Guilty of Fraud by Federal Jury | New Port Richey Long Term Disability Attorney

UNUM, the nation’s largest disability insurance company, routinely requires long-term disability applicants to apply for Social Security disability benefits, regardless of whether the applicant is really entitled to Social Security benefits. Why did they do that? Because most long-term disability policies have a provision that allows them to reduce your long-term disability benefits, dollar for dollar, by the receipt of any Social Security disability benefits you might get. If you don’t apply, companies like UNUM take the position that you are getting Social Security benefits, and will reduce your long-term disability benefits.

UNUM processed “almost 4000 disability claims in 2007, and paid out more than 4 billion in benefits.”  Obviously, they want to do anything they can to reduce the payout.

Routinely requiring long-term disability applicants apply for Social Security benefits, even though the insurance company knows they are not eligible, waste valuable resources of the Social Security administration and has helped create a large backlog in the processing of valid Social Security disability claims.

A federal jury in Boston found that requiring “able-bodied people to apply it for Social Security could sometimes constitute fraud.” In an AARP bulletin by Mary Williams Walsh, it was noted that the lawsuit “was filed under a federal whistle blower statute that allows private citizens to sue on behalf of government programs if they believe they have evidence of fraud.” You can read Ms. Walsh’s article on UNUM found guilty of Social Security fraud.

UNUM, of course, plans to appeal! May be UNUM will get to experience, just like the UNUM policy holders who have their long-term disability claims wrongfully denied, how unfair the appeal process can be. I think the saying goes, ” What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.”

If you have any questions about applying for Social Security disability benefits and the interaction with your long-term disability claim, contact Florida based long-term disability/ERISA lawyer, 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 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 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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