Apparently, Lucens, the third-party SSDI paper chaser has changed its name to Claimify and is sending out requests for signed SSA Authorizations to obtain financial data.
This issue recently emerged as we approach year-end profitability tallies with Unum (and I assume other insurers) still “Nickel and Diming” insureds for re-calculated overpayments.
I received several calls and emails last week about whether or not claimants are required to sign Authorizations giving Unum permission to obtain SSDI files. The answer is “No”, claimants are NOT required to turn over SSDI information to Unum with the exception of the actual approval letter so that the company can accurately offset and calculate overpayments. This obsession with SSDI files has been going on for many years and it scares the heck out of most people.
In my opinion, the problem is three-fold:
- Claimants often combine SSDI with Unum (or any insurer) and conclude that they both operate under the same rules.
- Ignorance of the fact that no ERISA Plan on this earth requires claimants to give up SSDI files as a condition to receive disability benefits.
- Claimants take requests to provide SSDI paperwork personally and often do not realize that no one is “picking on them”, but the same requests go out to all ERISA claimants – templates.
When questioned, Unum’s claims handlers are defining the process as “routine.” Most claimants who receive requests to sign SSDI Authorizations are “scared into” signing and giving away their rights. Unum, in recent years, conducted “recalculations” of SSDI overpayments to the extent it always seemed to come up with “money due” for one reason or another. Then, the company “forgave some”, and collected some, and kept claimants on the edge of their seats, scared and with lessened benefits.
I’ve tried to get the word out to as many people as I can, but my blog, unfortunately, isn’t all that seen in Internet terms. But, let me just say again that no claimant is required by any ERISA Plan to turn over SSDI files as a condition to receiving benefits.
Just say “No”. Inform Claimify that you prefer not to sign any SSDI Authorization. Potentially, Unum’s claims handlers may ask for the 1099s, which DCS does allow our clients to provide.
Claimants are not required to provide anything that is not explicitly cited in their ERISA Plans. Initially, insurers may request medical, occupational and financial information (earnings) including disclosures relating to offsets. Unum may tell you its requests for SSDI files is “routine”, but out of contract is still out of contract.
And by the way, Unum’s third-party SSDI chasers have included Lucens, GENEX, Advocator Group and now Claimify. Don’t let Unum intimidate you to sign away the privacy rights to your SSDI file. It may be “routine” from their perspective……but, you just don’t have to do it.