Our firm has represented many disability insurance policy owners where age is a factor in the claim. Most disability insurance policies end at or around age 65, so claimants who become disabled in their early 60s face an additional layer of scrutiny by the disability insurance company.
The thinking is that the person was ready for retirement but is trying to take advantage of the disability insurance company by filing a claim for disability insurance benefits as they near retirement age. Based on our experience, we know that nothing could be further from the truth. The last thing that many of our older clients want to do is stop working – nor can many of them afford to stop working.
A disability insurance claim at an older stage of life presents a double-whammy to the claimant. They are near the end of the policy life, but if they are like most baby boomers, their careers will not end promptly at 65. The loss of the income from these final working years, combined with the cost of healthcare for a serious injury or illness, will likely have a significant impact on their retirement plans.
Unfortunately, the odds of filing a claim increase statistically as you age, and the older worker is significantly more likely to become disabled than a middle aged or younger working person. Making matters worse, the older worker is more likely to be subject to a RIF (Reduction in Force), when companies terminate groups of workers, usually in an effort to cut staffing costs.
We advise our older clients to be scrupulous about their disability insurance claim. That means, first and foremost, not going it alone. The risk is simply too great, as there is little time to recover from the financial impact of a denied or terminated disability insurance claim.
A number of recent success stories on our ERISA appeals page relate to the over 60 disability claimant. While the cases are different, we are pleased that the outcomes were the same: our ERISA appeals were successful and our clients were back on claim and able to secure benefits vital to their retirement planning.