Can a long-term disability insurance company claim an overpayment once a claimant is approved for social security disability income benefits?
Most group long-term disability policies contain a deductible source of income provision. It is very rare to see an individual long-term disability policy with a social security offset. A deductible source of income is also known as an offset.
Social Security Disability Income benefits (SSDI) are almost always considered a deductible source of income. SSDI is only one type of deductible source of income commonly found in group long-term disability policies. If a disability carrier has been paying you long-term disability benefits for 20 months and you get awarded SSDI benefits which are retroactive to 15 months prior, then your disability carrier will claim that you were overpaid for 15 of the past 20 months and you must pay the retroactive SSDI award to your long-term disability carrier. In addition, each month moving forward, your disability carrier will reduce your monthly benefit amount by the amount of your monthly SSDI check.
For example, if SSDI is paying you $1,600 a month and your disability carrier was previously paying you $3,000 a month, then your long disability carrier will now only pay $1,400 a month. Essentially the United States government just saved the disability insurance company $1,600 a month.
I generally tell clients that are approved for SSDI not to spend their retroactive award of disability benefits as their disability carrier will be asking them to turn over the full amount.