Unfortunately, the disability claims process is an industry where, “it’s better if they don’t know your name.” In other words, “no news is good news”, and let’s not poke that bear. It’s far better not to frequently contact insurers because bringing attention to your name and claim isn’t always a good thing.
Recently, a client notified Guardian of her need for a benefit letter in order to obtain refinancing. Within a week she received forms for a regular update. Obviously, the benefit letter request tipped off Guardian that it should do an update. As we say in Maine, “poking the bear ” might get you into trouble. Deliberately putting your claim on someone’s desk at an insurance company could signal any insurance company to “update”, and/or worse. Just be aware that it’s better sometimes to let sleeping dogs lie. Still, in this case, there was no other choice but to request the benefit letter.
Stressful time at Unum?
Recently, my clients and I had the opportunity to come across a few rude and crude Unum claims handlers who feel the need to show their unprofessional attitudes. Usually, Unum’s poor behavior is an indication of high levels of pressure and stress placed on claims handlers to deny more claims before year end. (Or, in this case collect or code estimates of SSDI awards.) A Unum response from an offset coordinator, “I don’t HAVE to DO anything” on New Year’s Eve, is clearly inappropriate. This is one of the reasons why I recommend requesting all communications in writing since insureds shouldn’t have to put up with near manic claims handlers who can’t be nice. Interestingly, claims handlers from other insurance companies were very helpful and nice, showing up Unum as a bunch of swamp monsters under the Christmas tree. Just request all communications in writing and save yourself the Unum nastiness.
One of the things that seems to be scaring disabiity insureds this year is a company called Claimify. Despite my blog post regarding the release of SSDI information, people still call looking for reassurance that “Claimify” and their insurers won’t be denying claims because of failure to provide signed Authorizations to obtain SSDI files. For the record, “NO” insurers cannot deny benefits because you choose to designate your SSDI file as Private Health Information under HIPAA. Please find my recent article on this subject and follow my recommendations. I know there are times when scary things happen to disability claims, but this isn’t one of them.