We understand why Congress is looking into fraud by less than 1 percent of Social Security disability beneficiaries and less than 1 percent of disability payments from December 2010- to January 2013. Frankel & Newfield does not handle Social Security disability claims, but our clients depend on both their private/ERISA disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits to pay bills and take care of their families.
This issue is coming up because the disability program is facing a fiscal crisis of epic proportions. Congress is being asked to fund the trust fund that supports the program so that it does not run out of money in 2016. The choices for those funds are somewhat limited, so any money that can be saved by ferreting out fraud will be important to keep the program going. Congress is being asked to move some funds from the Social Security retirement program into the disability program to avoid an 80% cut in benefits to disabled workers.
There may be no way to avoid a blame game and cost cutting for Congress and Social Security benefits. The concerns about Social Security itself becoming a massive sinkhole may overshadow funding needs for the disability program. This makes the disability insurance that is purchased through payroll and privately even more important. If benefits are being cut, having a private policy is best of all possible choices, followed by the policy that is purchased through work.
Our concern is whether or not these headline grabbing figures will have any impact on the people who are genuinely disabled and have filed for benefits from their Long Term Disability insurance policies, both ERISA and private policies.
Historically, whenever headlines about disability fraud proliferate, the claims offices of long term disability insurance companies tend to get a bit fiercer about denying or delaying benefits to claimants. We can visualize our adversaries in their conference rooms, in their weekly staff meetings, determining how to use these articles as a means of spurring on employees in the cubicles, exhorting them to be suspicious of every claim that lands in their email inboxes.
In this kind of atmosphere, it becomes even more important to work with experienced attorneys with many years of experience who represent long term disability insurance claimants and understand the forces that lead insurance companies to deny claims, understand the tactics and legal strategies used to try to “control” their exposure and know how to work well with the legal and claims teams to move a claim from denied to paid.
If you have a disability claim that is in the process of being reviewed, if your claims official has asked for further documentation or you suspect that the insurance company is looking for a reason to deny or delay your claim, you need an experienced team of attorneys who can help. There are strict time limits on long term disability insurance claims, and delaying your call may put your claim in serious jeopardy. Call our office today at 1-877-LTD-CLAIM (1-877-583-2524) to learn how we can help. This is one battle you do not need to fight alone.