Disability Claims Solutions

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Who moved my cheeseWhile disability insurance companies are grouping together in a last ditch to remain solvent, mergers and take-overs may seem at first to be a good idea, but claimants are the ultimate victims.

I never considered “Lincoln” to be a fair evaluator of claims to begin with. As a consultant with multiple contacts, it always appeared to me that getting claims paid by a Lincoln claims handler was worse than pulling teeth. In my opinion, Lincoln is one of the so-called disability claim “bottom feeders” who are experts at getting claimants on endless merry-go-rounds of never ending paperwork.

Recent calls and reports to DCS seem to indicate that Lincoln is aggressively risk managing claim, likely in a effort to eliminate LTD claims from Liberty not meeting their own internal standards. Although it would be common for Lincoln to screen Liberty’s claims closely, it is unfair to keep requesting paperwork from claimants and their physicians when disability has already been made reasonably clear.

This brings up the issue of what claimants should do when ANY insurance company plays the “no amount of paperwork will save this claim” game. All insurers act differently when asked, “Please provide me with a detailed explanation as to why the medical information previously provided is insufficient to pay my claim.” Most insurers won’t tell you, but will keep you going round and round asking for more paperwork.

This is an unfair claims practice. Last week, one caller to DCS phoned to inquire what she should do since it appears no amount of paperwork will ever be sufficient to pay her claim with Lincoln. Despite solid, concrete medical evidence that she is unable to work, Lincoln continuously sends her letters stating it is not enough. What before was OK with Liberty, is not now acceptable by Lincoln.

The “no amount of paperwork” phenomena is possible with any insurer, but Lincoln strings claimants out unreasonably, in my opinion, to deliberately delay, or even manipulate the payment of claims. Claimants expecting to get paid are left waiting with endless tolling of 30-45 days after each new submission of paperwork. It’s the DELAY game!

Therefore, those who find their “cheese moved” to Lincoln may actually be out of the fat and into the fire. Lincoln isn’t going to do its public reputation any good by looking like the ogre of merged claims.