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No. 15 – Can I work while I am getting Social Security Disability benefits?

People who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are in a different position from those who are already getting Social Security Disability benefits. If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and are working on a trial work period, you can only work nine (9) months in a 5-year period and earn $960 per month.Answering these broad-based questions isn't easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188....

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No. 1 – Is the long-term disability carrier entitled to repayment because I got Social Security Disability benefits?

Have you read your long-term disability policy? Does it provide that future benefits can be withheld to recover any overpayment arising from a retroactive payment of benefits such as Social Security Disability benefits?In the case of White v. Coca Cola Corporation, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia upheld a provision in Coca Cola's long-term disability plan that allowed Coca Cola to withhold future benefits to recover a retroactive payment of Social Security benefits in the amount of $38,124.90 that Mr. White received.They reduced Mr. White's payments for 60 months to recover the overpayment, and he...

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No. 2 – Long-term disability benefits and my healthcare coverage through COBRA

At Cavey & Barrett it's not uncommon for long-term disability applicants to come to our office with a letter from their employer about continuing their healthcare coverage through COBRA.Federal law requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide COBRA healthcare continuation coverage, and there are specific time limits for choosing this coverage.Unfortunately, many long-term disability applicants are also applying for Social Security Disability benefits and are in need of medical treatment. They have not become Medicare eligible and are facing a gap in their health insurance coverage.While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are considerations that each long-term disability...

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No. 3 – Long-term disability and financial planning.

At Cavey & Barrett we assist our Long-Term Disability/ERISA clients in dealing with the challenges they confront in the disability claims process.These questions include:(1) What are my benefits when I'm going to start working?(2) How do I file for Social Security?(3) Should I COBRA my health coverage?(4) Do I have alternative sources of healthcare?(5) How do I make the health insurance gap between my Medicare eligibility and the loss of my healthcare?For assistance with these questions and your long-term disability or Social Security Disability application, contact Cavey & Barrett, your Social Security Disability and Long-term Disability experts. ...

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No. 4 – The 2008 economy and the payment of long-term disability benefits.

At Cavey & Barrett we are seeing a "slow pace strategy" by long-term disability carriers. We have found that carriers aren't "receiving paperwork," asking for the same information over and over, suggesting that they need information, indicating that there is a delay in getting information from physicians. These are all delay tactics that the carriers are using to delay payment to you.With stock prices down and a lack of investment income earnings, disability insurance companies are taking longer to determine disability claims and to pay long-term disability benefits.If you are experiencing any of these problems with your long-term disability or...

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No. 5 – What every medical professional needs to know about ERISA.

It is important that medical professionals understand their long-term disability policy so they can prevent the disaster of being disabled and being unable to recover the benefits they deserve.Did you know that there are three types of disability policies? Do you know which kind you have?The first is an individual disability policy, which you may have purchased directly from a carrier and which provides you long-term disability benefits in the event of sickness or injury.Do you know that there are two types of individual policies? The first is a general policy that insures you against being disabled and being able...

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No. 7 – The long-term disability carrier is denying my benefits because my physician won’t respond to their request for information. What should I do?

The long-term disability carrier should not be contacting your treating physician without letting you know. In a 9th Circuit court case, Safon v. Wells Fargo & Company, Long-term Disability Plan, 522 F.3d 863 (9th Cir. 2008), the court held that direct contact with a treating physician was a direct violation of the ERISA fiduciary duty.This court also held that Met Life and Wells Fargo violated ERISA by attempting to use the physician's failure to respond as evidence against the claimant: "A doctor is not a lawyer; though he may provide information that is relevant to a claimant's disability, his actions...

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Psychological Disability and Long Term Disability Claim

Unfortunately, long-term disability carriers routinely use companies such as PSY BAR to review long-term disability/ERISA claims involving psychiatric conditions.I recently reviewed PSY BAR's website and noted that they offer online courses to adjusters and IME doctors.One of the courses, "Psychological and Psychiatric Assessment of Individuals for Disability Insurers," actually teaches "independent medical doctors" what the long-term disability insurance company's expectations are and how to meet those expectations in an ethical manner.Interestingly enough, this course identifies what PSY BAR believes to be "common IME errors:"ERROR NO. 1 - Confusing the needs of the disability carrier with other kinds of coverage, including...

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Has your claim for long-term disability benefits been denied on the basis that you haven’t been putting forth your best efforts?

Long-term disability carriers routinely hire companies such as The Reed Group, to review long-term disability claims. Unfortunately, the Reed Group will use, as a basis for denying claims, an allegation that a psychiatrically disabled person hasn't put forth their best efforts in neuropsychological testing based on tests of memory validity. The Reed Group will conclude that you haven't been "cooperating" under the terms of the plan.If your claim for long-term disability benefits has been denied or the carrier is sending you to a neuropsychiatry examination, contact Nancy Cavey immediately. Also, Contact us for our free, no-obligation books "Robbed of Your...

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Disability insurance companies are increasing their Long Term Disability Denials

Attorny's Jason Newfield and Justin Frankel , disability law colleagues of Nancy Cavey, have noted that "disability insurance companies are fighting to protect their cash reserves and the claims area is the first place to shore reserves. There is no downside to these companies when they delay or deny claims, and long-term disability policy holders must keep that in mind." Disability insurance lawyer Nancy Cavey urges that you understand the claims process and written two critical books to assist you through the Long Term Disability Claims Process. Please contact us for your free, no-obligation books, "Robbed of Your Peace of...

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