Can Unum take money out of my bank account?
Not unless you give it permission to. Electronic deposits allow Unum (and other insurers) to put money in, but not take it out. Authorizations to watch are those connected with third-party SSDI Advocates such as Genex, Allsup and AdvocatorGroup. These Authorizations, if signed, allows the companies to remove SSDI overpayments automatically, which is always a very bad idea.
Can life insurance companies get access to patient notes?
Only if you give them permission to. We recommend that you speak with therapists and let them know you do not give permission to release patient notes. Be careful with life insurance authorizations – read them and don’t sign to allow release of actual psychotherapy notes. If one company refuses to insure you, move on to another. Most life insurance underwriting does not involve mental health issues.
Can you please tell me what the questions are for phone interviews?
No. DCS, Inc. has never recommended that insureds speak directly to insurance reps on the phone. Ask to have the questions put in writing so you can actually THINK about your answers in lieu of answering spontaneously. You are not required to do a phone interview. If you don’t believe me look in your policy to see if there are provisions requiring you to do that. You won’t find them.
Just ask politely to have all communications sent to you in writing. I also do not recommend using insurance website portals that trace you all over the Internet. “In the mail” is the best option.
How do I respresent myself pro se in an ERISA case?
Unless you are an expert in ERISA law, (and I don’t mean by researching on the Internet), you will not be successful. There are attorneys out there litigating ERISA who aren’t experts on ERISA; therefore, the chances of a lay person representing themselves pro se, and winning, are very, very low.
I realize there are insureds who feel themselves competent to file their own appeals, and sometimes they win; but, to litigate an ERISA case against experienced insurance attorneys is foolish. Non-attorneys aren’t qualified to represent themselves in ERISA cases. Remember, you can’t teach yourself ERISA law from the Internet sufficient to apply the law and represent yourself – regardless of how smart you think you are.
My recommendation is to find an experienced ERISA attorney and litigate with representation. At least this way you have a more knowledgeable chance of winning.
What are some of the medical restrictions and limitations I should be aware of while I’m on disability?
Medical R&Ls are unique for each insured and depend on the impairment, lack of functional capacity, and duration of the disability. R&Ls are always assigned by treating physicians based on diagnosis, history, and clinical observation. There is no one-set of R&Ls that everyone on claim is required to abide by.
On those occasions when treating physicians omit, or poorly write R&Ls, insurers will conjure them up for you. All insureds must make sure their treating physicians are writing specific R&Ls characteric of their specific claim and disability.