Can the Long Term Disability Carrier Force You to Use A Social Security Disability Claims Service They Recommend Like Allsup? | Clearwater ERISA Disability Attorney
Many long-term disability insurance policies require you to apply for Social Security disability benefits, and will offer the services of companies like Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc. to help you with your Social Disability Claim. Should you use these companies?
As an experienced long-term disability/ERISA and Social Security disability Attorney. My answer is unequivocally “No”!
In fact, UNUM was convicted on making LTD applicants apply for Social Security disability even if the applicant was not entitled to or qualified or eligible for Social Security disability.
Of course, some may think my answer is based on the fee I might earn on the Social Security disability claim. Nothing is further from the truth!
In my experience, most of these companies have non-attorney representatives handling the Social Security disability claim. The quality of this representation is suspect. I have had long-term disability cases where the company recommended by the long-term disability carrier did not develop the evidence properly before the Social Security administration. I have had other cases where the company recommended by long-term disability carrier has purposely developed a condition, such as fibromyalgia or psychiatric conditions, that only provide limited long-term disability benefits and have ignored proceeding on Social Security disability claims that could entitle the applicant to continued long-term disability benefits.
If you do get Social Security disability benefits, you are generally entitled to a retroactive lump sum payment. The long-term disability carrier’s want their money back – immediately. Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc. will have you sign an agreement that allows them to automatically a withdrawal from your checking account any overpayment that might be due to your long-term disability insurance company. On the face of it, that’s fair.
However, more often than not, long-term disability carrier’s will immediately suspend the payment of your long-term disability benefits when you been awarded Social Security benefits saying that you are “no longer disabled” based on your long-term disability policy requirements.
As long as you keep the Social Security overpayment in your checking account, you and your long-term disability attorney will have greater leverage with a long-term disability insurance company to get your long-term disability benefits reinstated
Unfortunately, I find long-term disability carrier’s use these companies for their own best interest. They want these companies to help you get Social Security disability benefits so that they can take back all the long term disability benefits that you’ve been paid, and then justify their immediate suspension of your long-term disability benefits. These companies will also share with your long-term disability carrier the medical reports they obtained or develop in your Social Security disability Claim. If they develop a bad report, you can be assured that report will get to your long-term disability carrier and be a basis for denial of your long-term disability claim.
Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc. will tell you if they work for you when, in fact, they get the referrals from a long-term disability carriers and get paid by the long-term disability carrier. They will use any agreement you sign to suck out of your checking account any Social Security benefits you get, and they will share a bad information about you with your long-term disability insurance company.
What should you do? If you have signed a contract with Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc, set a one sentence letter to the Social Security administration terminating their services. If you signed an authorization allowing Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc, to take money from your checking account, you need to revoke it immediately by writing to your bank and keeping a copy for your records. Send Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc a copy of that revocation by certified mail.
Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc may tell you that the long-term disability carrier won’t include any attorney’s fees paid to Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc in any long-term disability overpayment calculations. There is anti-discrimination provisions in ERISA, so that if a long-term disability carrier pays a fee to any of these companies or reduces the overpayment by a Social Security attorney fee, it has to do the same thing if you hire a private Social Security disability Attorney. Don’t be intimidated!
You should find an attorney who does both Social Security disability and long-term disability/ERISA litigation. The Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey are experienced Social Security disability and long-term disability attorneys who coordinate the handling of both claims. We develop the necessary evidence needed in both Social Security disability and long-term disability claims.
If you can’t find a lawyer who does both, make sure that your Social Security disability lawyer is coordinating his work with your long-term disability attorney. There are times when the Social Security disability lawyer can be working at cross purposes. For example, they may be developing a psychiatric aspect of your claim for Social Security purposes and be unaware that there is a limitation in your long-term disability policy for mental conditions.
Don’t be taken advantage of by your long-term disability insurance company or Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, or Disability Services, Inc. Protect yourself by hiring experienced Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater long-term disability/ERISA Social Security disability Attorney, such as Nancy Cavey.
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.