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Attorneys for Principal Financial Disability Claims


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Disability claimants are often seeking information about Principal Group long term disability reviews. We have created this page where insurers can post reviews and comments about Principal Group disability claims. Our attorneys respond to most comments posted by our visitors.

Principal Financial Group was founded in 1879, in Des Moines, Iowa, where it is currently headquartered. In 1879, Bankers Life Association was founded by Edward Temple, a banker from Chariton, Iowa, and five other colleagues. In 1909 after the death of Edward Temple, the Board of Directors voted to reorganize the business into a mutual life insurance company.

In 1941 the company issued its first group health insurance contract. Within the next five years, group health insurance accounted for a third of the business. In 1985 Bankers Life Company became Principal Financial Group.

The Principal Financial Group is a global financial services provider which offers a wide range of financial products and services, and is the U.S. leader in 401(k) plans. The company is composed of six business units: ‘Retirement & Investor Services’, ‘Global Asset Management and Real Estate’, ‘International Operations’, ‘Life, Disability and Group Health Insurance’, ‘Specialty Benefits and Wellness’, and ‘Banking’.

During the 1990’s the company expanded to markets outside of the United States, including markets include Argentina, Brazil, China, Chile, Hong Kong, India, and Mexico. In October, 2001 the company became a publicly traded corporation. In December 2005 Principle opened its first offshore unit in Pune, India, by the name Principal Global Services. In February 2008, Nippon Life Insurance announced that it would increase its stake in Principal to 7%, making it the largest single stakeholder.

The Principal Group is a Fortune 500 company and currently lists assets totaling $236.6 billion as of March, 2009.

Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have provided and offer the following legal services for disability claimants that have a long-term disability insurance policy or disability income policy purchased from Principal Group:

There are 37 opinions so far. Add your comment or complaint now.

Brenda:

I filed a short term disability claim on January 19th and was paid for two weeks through Feb. 18th, 2012, with a note to review for additional benefits. My doctors have sent several letters and additional information about my condition yet they have denied my claim. Because my disability is based on mental health issues resulting from my job (racial discrimination claim against employer), I believe my employer has had some impact on the results. I do know the insurance company has been in touch with her. Even after asking what was need, they still denied the claim after submitting the information.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Brenda,

Please contact us privately and we will review your denial letter to see if we can assist you.

Debi:

I have Principal Financial disability for 18 yrs. through work.

Last Jan. I had 4 spinal multi-level laminectomies and fusions and was promptly paid short term disability without incident. After 4 months, disability was stopped as Principal deems 4 months the maximum length of time required to fully recover from this type of surgery. Perhaps their rule of thumb is one month for each laminectomy?

Despite my doctor’s refusal to sign a return to work order for another 60 days until my back heals enough to begin resuming normal activities. And my doctor’s office phoning Principal to say the same. And the fact that this type of surgery is not even deemed successful until a year passes to determine if calcium growth around the fusions has occurred or if further surgery is needed.

Principal determines the length of your disability. NOT YOUR DOCTOR OR YOUR RECOVERY RATE. The company needs to list each disability they will cover along with the time they will allot for each so customers don’t get fooled into thinking they will be covered for their entire recovery time and instead go down the drain financially because they don’t recover fast enough.

Bullying the sick and hurt is shameful.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Debi,

A four month recovery for the type of surgery you had is ridiculous. Especially when your doctor has not cleared you to return to work. Most people with your surgery do not return to their jobs. If you have been denied, then contact us privately to review your disability denial and let you know your options.

Debi:

Thank you so much Greg. Good to know I’m not crazy or just too slow to recover :)

I have pursued the matter with Principal and my doctor. My doctor called Principal again. My agent took it to Principal’s medical panel, who did agree that due to the extensive surgery it might take a bit longer than the normally allotted 4 months to recover. So I have been given another 60 days. Thank goodness.

Again, bullying sick people is SICK. I got a taste of what disabled people have to go thru, and it’s cruel. I spent a month staying up nights way too late worrying about why I was being cut off and hoping my savings could take the hit financially. Never thought taking the time to recover would be an issue. After all, my insurance was for this type of worse case scenario. I never dreamed I would have to use it. I have worked for the last 45 years. Without incident. I am not a lazy bum or a liar. To have someone insinuate I am was beyond offensive. Those who are in much worse shape deserve to be treated with respect. Instead they have to resort to the law to find a bit of fairness they deserve. No one needs the mental anguish, and degrading insults, while trying to recover. Or having to prove how badly they hurt. Shoot, one look at x-rays should tell anyone that.

Lisa:

Hello. I was informed that once social security approves your claim and states that you could never return to work under the medical conditions you have and you are not at an age or physical capacity to be re-trained for future employment of any other kind. Principal or any other LTD Insurance carrier can not force you to return to work nor refuse your benefits. Is this in fact, the truth? Principal has inundated my primary care with requests every 3 months for my condition. If I can return to work. She BOLDS the NEVER portion each and every time. I find it interesting. When I first got sick and my physician stated you can not go back to work, Principal’s Representative stated to me after I placed my claim “No one ever uses this LTD” I asked “Then why do you sell it?”

The other interesting fact about Principal, is that, I discovered MENTAL ILLNESS does not warrant any LTD coverage. So anyone looking to go out on LTD for any mental illness, e.g. depression etc… it’s a no win for them. They require physical limitations or disabilities. This is my impression of them. They took every penny of my retro Social Security check and then billed me for $834 more than Social Security paid me. I couldn’t win. I was sick. I had so many medical bills hanging over my head. But they won, they are the big dogs and we are nothing! They also tried to send a PI to my house to interview me, at that point I hired an attorney. Felt a PI was NOT a medical person and had no right to ask me medical questions. Felt very violated. My primary said, have them come to my office, I’ll video them interviewing you. Plus, she said she would answer all medical questions. That was some dirty works… they really tried to violate me.

Wishing anyone the very best with them.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lisa,

Unfortunately, whoever informed you of such is wrong. Being approved by the Social Security Administration is not a guarantee that your private disability carrier will continue to pay benefits. All too often we see claim denials even after someone has been awarded SSDI benefits.

Susan:

Principal approved my LTD claim, but I later learned they had ignored all of my physical health issues and selected only one non-physical issue (depression) which means they only have to pay LTD for 2 years. Have you successfully challenged this position? Is there a statute of limitations?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Susan,

Yes, this has been successfully challenged in the past. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in transitioning your claim to a physical medical condition outside the scope of the two year limitation.

Donna:

I work as a medical transcriptionist. I have lupus and have been unable to work since November 20, 2013. Principal is supposed to pay me 60% of my wages while on STD. I have questioned the amount because according to my calculations the amount I am receiving is very low. I was informed by Principal that my employer reported a base hourly rate at 40 hours a week. As a transcriptionist I am paid by production, not by the hourly rate. I receive the hourly rate only when I take vacation or sick days. I am also a team lead and receive a supplemental salary for those duties. This salary was not reported to Principal either. Based on my 2012 W2, there is about a $20,000 difference in what my actual wages are versus what Principal is paying me. Basically my employer has falsified my wages. Is this legal? Can they get by with this or do I have a case to fight? I have called my employer and they will not return my calls.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Donna,

First and foremost I would obtain a copy of your policy to determine how Principal is to calculate your pre-disability income or earnings based upon the terms and conditions contained therein. I would also bring your concern and problem to your employer to find out why your income was being reported the way it was to Principal.

Julie:

I am a full time employee and went out November 26th, 2013 for a partial Hysterectomy. I have turned in all of my paperwork to file for STD and was submitted a check for just about 4 weeks. I am still not cleared by my doctor to return to work due to compilations from surgery – stress incontinence of the bladder and severe chronic pain in the pelvic area also still very tender around the port holes in my lower abdomen area. I will be out until the 25th of February and now the physical therapist is requesting my OBGYN to keep me out for another two weeks after that. However Principal is telling me recovery time for hysterectomy is six weeks and my doctor has me on no limitations so they can no longer pay me. I am just about to lose my car and many other things because of this. What should I do? Is this even legal seeing I have paid hundreds into short term and long term but when I need it to help me I get ripped off!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Julie,

You need to have your doctor document continued restrictions and limitations that would prevent you from returning to your job. If the doctor is not providing specific information to Principal to support the continued time off of work, Principal could easily justify denying continued benefits.

Ron:

I had a Principal Financial group long term disability insurance from work. They kick me off after almost two years of coverage. The told me was able to do some kind of job. I applied for SSDI and it took almost 30 months to get my day in court. I won and the judge up my disability to the day I went out 2009. My long term insurance was to pay me the difference in pay until 65. Called PFG they told me they called my case and tuff luck. But if they closed my file wrongly do I have a case?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Ron,

If you did not appeal the denial of your benefit in the time allotted under ERISA you could be potentially barred from filing suit. Furthermore, there could be a concern as to whether the Statute of Limitations to bring suit has already expired. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your case.

D ALAN:

I work in the financial field and have back issues that limits me from working full time. Many Years ago I took out a policy with Principal Group that would cover me and I thought this was wise. Little did I know I would be dealing with this issue in years to come. My Medical records and MRI’s and EEG and Dr. all backs up my stated problems and limitations. However, because I waited a period of time to file a claim and was between Dr’s care, my partial disabilty for that time period and forward is in question. My agent did not make me aware of all these hoops and requrements and he knew the time frame as I discussed with him along the way and was never properly advised. These policies are very complicated and I work in the financial field and yet the ambiguity around the language and the hoops you have to jump through is mind boggling. It certainly makes you question why you pay to have such misery in dealing with a company when it is supposed to keep you in times of misery and sickness.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

D ALAN,

I assume your claim is still pending a decision. If so, please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Kelly:

I was approved by Principal for LTD in 2005 and SSDI in 2007. It is now 2014 & Principal is having me see an Occupational doctor to determine whether or not I can work. I am 46. My health has not changed. I believe this is the beginning of their way to deny further benefits to me since they see me as a person they have to pay benefits to for a long time. Nine years of benefits, why now?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Kelly,

It is unusual that after 9 years on claim Principal would begin a full out investigation of the claim. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim further.

Charles Butler:

Principal’s short term disability insurance is all lies. They will deny your claim any way they can. I had an existing marginally high blood pressure. No indication in any of the propaganda they use to.get your sign up that this means they can take your money but really not cover you while they review let underwriters slow play athe process. God forbid you get hurt and file a claim almost two months after you signed up. Even tho all you had wrong was hbp that you told them about already, they will now include your new injury or illneas to decide they arent going to insure you, even tho it has nothing to do with hbp. Cheap shot Principal! I guess if my new injury happened just a few days later, you would already have approved me for STD insurance and would have to pay my claim for my injury. Hope you are proud of the lack of morals and integrity this takes all over about $360 a week for a couple months-just long enough for me to get surgery so I can go back to work. Now I am going to get evicted, cant get my surgery because I don’t even have money for the copay, I get to starvr cuz you all used an injury not in evidence at the time of enrollment. Breach of good faith, bad business practice, destroy a poor mans life all over 360 a week?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Charles,

What is the status of your claim at this point? Are you back at work? In appeals?

Charles Butler:

I am not at work, have to get surgery to get release. I was supposed to have disability ins effective 4/1/14, my hernia occured on 5/10/14. They are taking both my HBP plus my hernia to deny me insurance. I’m about to be evicted, can’t even get food, I’m screwed. Don’t have the money to get my HBP med refilled. This is what they have done to me.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Charles,

Are they claiming that the conditions are pre-existing as defined under the terms of the policy?

Charles Butler:

After all of this, I am essentially too poor to help. There isn’t enough money involved for anyone to help right a wrong. This says so much for what our country has become: a place where powerful rich corporations can do anything they want to the people that are the least able to fight. How can it be right for this company to conduct business in such an arbitrary manner? To deny coverage that would allow someone barely above federal poverty level to survive, get the necessary medical treatment and return to work.

Charles Butler:

With all the bad reports as to how Principal and ERISA screw the people, why isn’t there some kind of class action suit to make these entities do the right thing?

Charles Butler:

The high blood pressure is what i defined as pre existing at enrollment. It was a check box. The info they gave was just that pre exist wdnt be covered for 12mos. The hernia is a new injury, not on any list, and happened over a month after i enrolled. They told me they lumped the 2 together in undrrwriting, which together they decided not to give me ins. Its the wierdest thing ive heard of. They have nothing to do with each other and my hbp only needs 1 5mg pill a day, barely is hbp.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Charles,

The insurance companies work within the context of ERISA, and the rules that dictate the legal procedure of same. The only way to change the nature of the law is through a change in the actual law – this requires Congress to act. Until such time, the insurance companies will continue to work within the parameters of the law often to the detriment of many insured.

Charles Butler:

So, is there anything that can be done for me? I have yet to receive anything in writing from them, they are so slow.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Charles,

How long has MetLife had your application? Under the law they are entitled to 45 days to render a decision, with the possibility of a 45 day extension. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

Mike:

Hi, I have just been notified by my Neurosurgeon that after my MRI, EEG and needle test that he is recommending that I go out on LID. My conditions include 4,5,6 Radiculopathy, Bilateral carpal tunnel (had previous surgery to repair both wrists), Fibromyalgia and I believe peripheral neuropathy. I also have damage in my neck, I am on full time Pain medication both Lyrica and Nucynta. I am 52 years of age, a high level manager in an IT company for the past 23 years, with 31 years total in IT. I am in constant pain throughout my extremities. My doctor has assured me that I have nothing to worry about (he is the Chief of Neurology at a local Hospital in NY so I trust him) and he will write up report that he feels cannot be denied. I have not notified work about my intention as of yet, I have an excellent LTD executive policy with Principal. My biggest fear is that I will go out on Disability first STD and then LTD and at some period of time the insurance company will deny my claim. Being unemployed at 54 with no income source and not being able to work with my condition would be devastating financially to myself and family.

What are your thoughts on my chances, should I continue to work as long as I can or is that bad? Do I need to get 2nd and 3rd opinions before going out sick? At what time should I engage your firm to start handling my case, after I file, before when LTD kicks in?

Thanking you in advance for the response.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mike,

I am sorry to hear of the difficult choices you must ponder. Unfortunately, no one but you can determine when the time to stop working is. However, there does come a point when your continued efforts only serve to further impact your health in a negative way. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your options and for a free review of your disability policy.

Lisa:

Hi. I have been receiving LTD benefits from Principal for almost 2 years. I have cognitive Deficits and Ptsd from an auto accident on the highway. This was proved via neuropsychology exam one year ago. I spent 15 months in vestibular and speech rehabilitation therapies. Principal has requested an IME. My deficits are shown by excessive yawning as my brain fatigues. What are your thoughts about a successful IME?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lisa,

Without a better understanding of your medical history and the facts and circumstances of your claim it would be difficult to provide any opinion as to the success of an IME. With that being said, your policy most likely requires you to submit to an IME at Principal’s request. Failure to do so could result in your claim being denied. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

Matt:

Does The Principal use private investigators to follow, photograph claimants?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Matt,

Yes, Principal is known to use investigators to conduct surveillance as part of its ongoing review of your claim. If you have concerns regarding the status of your claim please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

Roxanne Menchaca:

It took 5 weeks & numerous phone calls to Principal before I got a decision on my short term disability claim. I was put on FMLA short term disability by my employer because of neck, shoulder, back & hip pain due to herniated discs, disc degenerative disease & nerve pain. I have been seeing a pain management doctor for 7 years because of the pain. I have been a receptionist for over 20 years where I am constantly sitting. Last year in november I was in a bad car accident. This exasperated the pain. I missed many days of work since for excriciating pain. I had been on all kinds of pills, had injections & physical therapy. Even with all of this proof Principal still denied my claim. They told me not to try to appeal because I would just be denied again. The people there are rude & condesending. What can I do so my appeal is accepted & approved?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Roxanne,

I am shocked that they would tell you not to appeal – as it is your right. Please feel free to contact our office so one of our Disability Attorneys can review all of your claim in greater detail to determine how we can assist you in securing your benefit.

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