Disability Claims Solutions

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Q&A14Do I tell my agent I’m retiring?

What for? Insurance agents know enough about disability insurance to sell and deliver policies, and not a great deal about the claims process. Some insureds tell me that their “agents” are like friends of the family and come to dinner every now and then. That’s OK, as long as your insurance agent remains at least an arm’s length away from your claim.

In my experience, I’ve had more than one claim blow up because “an agent” interfered with with claims process. What most people forget is that “agents” work for the insurance company and represent it, not you. Legally, agents can’t give “Notice of Claim” but often contact insurers for application paperwork. However, my overall objection to getting agents involved in the claims process that they are not aware of what goes on internally and generally create more problems than they solve.

Finally, “agents” are often over protective of their roles and overstate what they can do for you when you file a claim. Agents are not the best advisors when it comes to filing disability claims.

If I retire can I still get my disability benefit?

The word “retire” should never be used, at least when filing an initial claim. Disability policies are income replacement connected to a medical impairment, not retirement income. I’ve seen many claims denied supported by denial letters citing “voluntary retirement” as not a cause for disability. Therefore, it is never a good thing to position disability claim with “retirement.”

After the fact, however, insureds can retire and still be paid disability benefits reduced by any money received for retirement. This issue can be very simple, or very complicated and Plan or policy language should be read and thoroughly understood. According to some policies, all retirement income is not an offset, so please be sure you read your Plan or policy carefully.

Will SSA give me a copy of Form 831?

SSA will provide you with a CD containing ALL of your SSDI information if you request it. DCS, Inc. doesn’t recommend giving insurers authorizations to obtain SSDI files, but certainly insureds may request a copy of their file. Those who are receiving SSDI should request a copy of their file just to keep for the record.

What is the difference between a “restriction” and a “limitation?”

I’ve written many good articles on this very subject. Please go to the Home Page and search for the topic. You will find detailed information to answer your question.