Can a disability insurance company claim overpayment for SSDI payable to a child as result of the parent’s disability?

Our disability lawyers are contacted on a weekly basis with this exact question. The short answer is that most disability insurance policies contain language that allows a disability company to setoff your monthly disability insurance check by the amount both you and your children receive from Social Security as a result of your disability. Most disability insurance companies have drafted policy language in a manner that makes it very difficult to exclude child disability benefits from your monthly disability benefit check. There have been a few cases around the country in which courts have found that a disability carrier could not seek an overpayment for child social security disability benefits. In these rare cases, the policy language giving the disability company the right to seek an overpayment was not drafted clearly.

For example, you may want to review a Court Order in the case of Carstens v. United States Shoe Corporation’s Long-Term Benefits Disability Plan, (N.D. Calif., Oct. 31). While this case did not allow the disability company to offset child benefits, the policy language was different than the majority of group disability insurance policies. The Cartsens case also discusses many of the other disability cases around the country that dealt with the same issue.

In addition to Carstens, a similar ruling was issued by the Illinois Appellate Court. In Meeks v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co., 70 Ill.App.3d 800, 802, 388 N.E.2d 1362, 1363 (3d Dist. 1979), the court disallowed an insurer’s deduction of benefits awarded to the dependent of a Social Security disability benefits recipient.

There are unfortunately numerous cases which establish that a disability carrier can seek overpayment for all social security disability benefits payable. Two of the most quoted United States Federal Court Of Appeals cases are Anweiler v. Aetna and Godwin v. Sunlife. Neither of these cases specifically discussed child disability benefits.

In any disability claim, a disability claimant should retain a disability insurance lawyer to specifically review the applicable policy language regarding an offset for child social security dependent benefits.

Comments (236)

  • Tammy, unfortunately, we aren’t able to answer your question. We only handle claims for disability in relation to private disability policies. You will need to speak with a Social Security attorney in order to determine what options you have.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 24, 2022  #236

  • My question is regarding and over payment for my ex-husbands social security disability payments. He was put social security disability 25 years or so, ago. he had evidently had checks in all four our children’s names and mine. social security disability is now claiming since there was an over payment with our names on the check, we now owe the money back. How is this even possible. My minor children and I had know knowledge of this over payment and never signed up for any kind of social security disability?

    Tammy T. Oct 22, 2022  #235

  • Corey, under most disability insurance policies, offsettable income will include both primary and dependent social security disability benefit awards. So in all likelihood, an overpayment is owed due to the award of social security disability dependent benefits. I am sorry for this shock. It seems like Hartford should have done a better job warning you of this possibility as they likely knew that you had children. The fact that you state that your claim is closed leads to me ask why it was closed and if we can perhaps help you reopen your claim. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We would love the opportunity to review your claim to see if we can assist you.

    Alex Palamara Oct 11, 2022  #234

  • The Hartford is claiming I owe my Ssdi dependent backpay. I was supposed to get $4726…benefits I chose reduced payments at $2186 once I was approved for ssdi…claim was closed…and they ended owe me $8000 and change..which they paid me…fast forward…my wife received backpay for my children for &16,0000…from SSA…The Hartford claim/ I owe them 15,0000 and change…I have signed up to pay back $500 a month for 2 years…so I have to pay them??

    Corey M. Oct 10, 2022  #233

  • when I filed for my dependents one was 18 and one was 17. My SSDI law firm said that MetLife would not consider their benefits an offset. I submitted paperwork to show my 18 year old son was still in high school. We requested the back pay go to him. When paid, they cut my son off at 18, a year prior to his high school graduation and paid most of the back pay to my daughter. I spoke to my disability attorney about having this reprocessed due to the error. She said it didn’t matter because the overall amount is the same. We left it as is but spent on my son. Now 9 months later my LTD is looking to recoup the dependent payments for my daughter only because my son was over 18, in spite of what their attorneys had told me. How do I correct this now, how these checks were issued so they majority is not in the minor child’s name and what do I do about incorrect and costly advice given by my disability attorney at the time when this should have been corrected?

    Maureen Apr 25, 2022  #232

  • I’ve been told my son, who turned 18 since I applied for SSDI, will personally receive 100% of his dependent back pay rather than myself but I am the one who footed the bill all of the retroactive time period. I applied for benefits that were to include help with the expenses of raising a child of which I will now not see a dime simply because the dependent turned 18 before I was approved. What is the point of dependent pay if the parent never receives any type of offset for the costs they incurred during the retroactive period before they were approved? My son didn’t pay the mortgage, buy groceries nor cover any of the other expenses I incurred while my application was pending so why is he benefiting exclusively? This isn’t fair and equitable.

    Linda J. Feb 11, 2022  #231

  • My child was 17 when I filed my disability. She has since turned 18. If she receives backpay it will be paid directly to her. Will I be required to pay UNUM for the money she received?

    Katrina Dec 28, 2021  #230

  • Dee, under the Unum policy the offset for your son could be the $1,000.00, as it would be dependents SSDI based on your disability. SSDI and SSI are two different programs, and for any questions regarding the specifics as to what you have been told by the Social Security rep you will need to speak with a Social Security attorney, as we do not specialize in Social Security disability.

    Stephen Jessup May 10, 2021  #229

  • My adult son gets SSI currently. I was just awarded SSDI and currently am still on LTD through UNUM. Social security advised me I have to apply for SSDI for my adult disabled son. Unums deductible income policy provision states… the amount that you, your spouse or your children receive or are entitled to receive as disability payments because of your disability under the U.S. Social Security Act. Hypothetically: If SSDI awards him $1000 a month and he is currently getting $500. UNUM will deduct $1000 from my monthly LTD payments? Or only $500? The Social Security rep. told me I have to apply for SSDI benefits or he will loose his SSI. Is this true? Also, he is in his 30’s, not a child and will most likely qualify for SSDI.

    Dee May 9, 2021  #228

  • I’ve been receiving disability for years now. My ex wife finally cooperated and got my daughters benefits coming in this month. I got most of the back pay. Was she not entitled to all of it?

    Kamma Mar 13, 2021  #227

  • Rene: You will have to look at the Other Income offset language in your Policy. Most Group policies allow the carrier to offset for any SSDI benefit received by you or your dependents for the same disability. If you are receiving an SSDI benefit for your two dependent children it is likely subject to the offset provision. You should request a written explanation and breakdown of benefits from Unum regarding the Primary and Dependent SSDI award and any alleged overpayment due.

    Jay Symonds Mar 10, 2021  #226

  • I have been receiving LTD from UNUM and have recently been awarded SSDI. I received a large lump sum of back pay which all but a tiny portion is due to UNUM. I get it. What I don’t get is, I am told I need to apply for benefits for my two children and the back pay for them would be around $30,000. There is NO WAY I owe UNUM that much. They said they should have only paid me about $8500. How if I’m already paying them back $35,000 will I have to pay them back all of my kids back pay?!?!

    Rene Mar 10, 2021  #225

  • Mark, unfortunately pursuant to the Sunlife policy, Sun life is most likely entitled to it even though your son is now an adult.

    Rachel Alters Dec 20, 2020  #224

  • I have been disabled for 3.5 years and have been receiving LTD benefits through SunLife. I was recently awarded SSDI benefits retroactively to 3 years ago. My 19 year old son received retroactive dependant child benefits for ages 16-18 from SSDI which was deposited directly into his account. I started the application process for him with a phone interview with SS, but they then switched to an interview with him as he is an adult. Given that he may have to pay taxes on this income it doesn’t seem legal for him to have to give it to me so that I can then give it to SunLife based on their offset policy. It seems like dependant child benefits paid directly to an adult should be an exception.

    Mark Dec 19, 2020  #223

  • I’ve been on ssdi for about 10 years. I thought my son was automatically added to my benefit but I was told he was not. They only backpay 1 year. Is it possible to get them to backpay to disability onset?

    Kristin Dec 12, 2020  #222

  • Kristin, unfortunately, you would need to consult with a Social Security attorney to find out. We only claims under private/employer provided disability insurance policies so are not versed in all the procedures related to Social Security.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 28, 2020  #221

  • Hi. My mom is on social security disability since I was in high school. No one told her I could of also been receiving a check as well until I was out of high school. I am now 26 so this is a long shot, but is there any way to get that back payment for when I was supposed to be on it?

    Kristin Oct 28, 2020  #220

  • My husband was on ssdi before we were married. He is now on regular Social Security because of his age. I have a minor child. Were my child and I eligible for benefits as well?

    Chris D. Oct 22, 2020  #219

  • Gen: You should request written confirmation from Social Security that the benefits were applied for and paid directly to your daughter. Typically, carriers will not offset for benefits directly received by a dependent unless the Policy explicitly allows then to do so.

    Jay Symonds Sep 16, 2020  #218

  • My LTD provider is attempting to recoup benefits paid to my adult child. The benefits were due to me before she turned 18 however, the application with Social Security was not completed with me, it was done with her, and the benefits were paid directly to her. I was not even made aware of this application until their contract agency advised me of the application which needed to be completed. And at no time was I told that if those benefits were awarded I would need to pay them back. I assumed if they were paid to me then I would, but they were paid to my daughter and not to me. Can they legally deem this as an overpayment on my claim and attempt to recoup from me?

    Gen Sep 16, 2020  #217

  • Phil, offsets for Dependent Social Security under employer provided disability insurance policies are applicable for individual or multiple children. The SSA typically pays a dependent benefit equal to one half of your primary SSDI benefit regardless of number of dependents. For example, if the SSA pays you $2,000 a month and you had 1 dependent child, that child would receive $1,000. If you had two children each would receive $500 for a total of $1,000.00. Unfortunately, your carrier will offset the DSSDI received by your child.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 28, 2020  #216

  • If my LTD policy offset states I will get 70% if my spouse OR children are eligible for SSDI. Does the term “children” mean more than one? I have one child.

    Phil Aug 28, 2020  #215

  • Michael: I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys. You can send us the Policy to review and then we can discuss the specific questions you have and your options moving forward.

    Jay Symonds Aug 9, 2020  #214

  • My LTD policy is a 60/70% policy, I am receiving 60% currently and my policy states if my child or spouse is awarded social security disability my policy increases to 70% (less my SSDI award and my beneficiary award). I was just awarded benefits and my LTD is telling me they won’t give me 70% per policy. I believe I am reading the policy correctly. The 60/70% is explained under the Schedule of Monthly Benefits section of my policy. What can I do? Note: It was through Aetna which changed to the Hartford.

    Michael Aug 8, 2020  #213

  • Elizabeth, I would have to see the terms of your policy and I would need more information to answer that question. For instance, is your adult son receiving benefits under his own social security number or yours? For a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Alex Palamara Jul 9, 2020  #212

  • Can Met Life still claim an offset for an Adult disabled child’s SSDI and SSI? I know that my policy allows for them to claim an offset for my husband and minor child.

    Elizabeth Jul 9, 2020  #211

  • Amir, group long-term disability plans often allow for the offset of dependent benefits that your children on entitled to receive on your behalf. You should review our plan to determine if Aetna is legitimately applying the offset.

    Cesar Gavidia Jun 29, 2020  #210

  • I am a disabled parent and my Aetna disability insurance company deducting my child’s SSDI payment. Please help, what I can do? I have my policy copy. When I ask my case manager she threaten me she can stop all benefit. Since I sick I am suffering financially I am also paying SSDI back pay to Atena every month. I have longterm disability and SSDI. Thanks.

    Amir Jun 29, 2020  #209

  • Kate, the disability insurer may reduce and request repayment of any dependent social security disability benefits paid to your dependent based on your disability.

    Cesar Gavidia Apr 29, 2020  #208

  • I received SSDI and so did my three minor children and I am on long term disability. I sent the disability company my lump sum for me. They had me call and file for children’s portion. It was awarded. The paid out another back payment to each child with me the Representative Payee but per them it was the kids money to be spent or saved for them. Disability is deducting their amount now from my future payments. They also are asking me to give them the kids back portion? That according to SS seems like I would be wrong to do that? I have to account for this money if they ask for it. Its not mine, its theirs?

    Kate Apr 29, 2020  #207

  • Ashley, the disability insurer may reduce and request repayment of any dependent social security disability benefits paid to your dependent based on your disability.

    Cesar Gavidia Apr 28, 2020  #206

  • I have Aetna LTD and SSDI. I have a 2 year old who will receive the benefit as well as a back pay. Will my Aetna be allowed to take the back pay and monthly payment for her as well even if it says the check in her name and SSDI states this must be used for her?

    This is what I understand from the wording…

    If my application for Long Term Disability (“LTD”) benefits is approved, in consideration of the payment of LTD benefits without reduction on account of other benefit payments to which I or my eligible dependents may become entitled under the United States Social Security Act or from any of the other income sources described in the LTD plan, I hereby agree to reimburse Aetna, on behalf of the plan, for any and all overpayments made to me under the LTD plan or any short term disability plan provided by my employer. I understand that Aetna agrees to make payment in this manner in consideration of my agreement to promptly notify Aetna of the amounts and effective dates of any such benefits, and to promptly repay same. This reimbursement is applicable whether said amounts are paid by formal award, informal compromise, settlement, redemption agreement, or otherwise, regardless of the term used to describe such payment under applicable law. Further, I agree that any benefits due me, my beneficiaries, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns under the LTD plan may be applied to any outstanding overpayment whether resulting from retroactive award of Social Security or any other income benefits as described in the LTD plan.

    Ashley T. Apr 28, 2020  #205

  • Amy, generally, MetLife can reduce your monthly LTD benefit by the amount received from SSDI for you and your dependent. You would need to review the “other income benefits” provision of your MetLife LTD policy in order to understand what income will reduce your MetLife LTD Benefit. No, you cannot cancel your child’s SSDI dependent benefit as the funds belong to them.

    Cesar Gavidia Mar 31, 2020  #204

  • My child is receiving SSDI dependent benefits. Can Metlife offset my benefits? If so can I cancel his benefits with SSDI? The person I talked to with SSDI said this money is to be used for my son only. He needs so much dental work and jaw surgery and insurance won’t pay.

    Amy R. Mar 31, 2020  #203

  • JamisT, Unum may only be entitled to offset the difference in SSDI benefits that your son would be eligible to receive. In other words, if he was receiving $770 and he begins to receive $1400/ month in dependent benefits, Unum may only be entitled to claim the difference of $630 as a dependent benefit offset. You should closely review the “other income benefit” provision of your long-term disability policy which should explain the effect of dependent benefits.

    Cesar Gavidia Jan 24, 2020  #202

  • Hi,

    I’m being paid by Unum on LTD for medical reasons. I applied for SSDI as requested, and just received an award letter.

    I have an adult son who is disabled, lives with me, and receives SSI and Medicaid. My understanding is that he’s probably eligible for SSDI based on my earnings, and Unum wants me/him to apply. So far, this is pretty straightforward. But here’s my concern:

    He’s been getting around $770/month on SSI. Unum’ s agreed they don’t have any claim on that. BUT if he applies for/is approved for SSDI he’ll “receive” around $1400/month, he’ll stop receiving SSI, and Unum will then offset 100% of the SSDI, effectively converting money over which they have no claim into money they can offset. Practically, they’ll be taking away all the money he’s already getting! And he may be at risk for having to switch from Medicaid to Medicare, which will cost him money for premiums. (Medicaid doesn’t cost him anything.).

    While this doesn’t make sense on many levels, it seems like a bad idea to even start down the path.

    So, is what I just outlined correct? Do I have to do this? I get that Unum is entitled to offset their payments to me by what SSDI pays, but that at least leaves me whole. This would really hurt me/us to the tune of almost $9,000/year, plus any Medicare premium costs for him.

    JamisT Jan 24, 2020  #201

  • Heather, he actually has to pay the $10,000 back pay check to the insurance carrier as it would likely be considered an overpayment. The policy contains language requiring your ex to pay back any overpayments which would include back pay for your kids.

    Rachel Alters Jan 11, 2020  #200

  • My ex husband has been receiving Ltd for couple years and just got approved for disability a couple months ago. We received a 10,000 check from social security for backpay and now my ex says we have to pay that to his lawyer because he’s been getting monthly payments thru insurance company! Why do we have to repay what he’s received and why was he awarded my kids backpay? And I have to pay taxes on that money.

    Heather Jan 10, 2020  #199

  • I have a question. My ex is on disability so my children receive something because of that. It turns out he has been fully employed for over a year and hasn’t informed social security. My question is, when they find out, am I the one who is responsible for reimbursing them for my childrens payments or would he? I had no idea until recently.

    Alene Dec 3, 2019  #198

  • Laura, unfortunately, the language in the actual policy would govern. Many policies even say that an insurance company can collect an overpayment even if they made the mistake.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 26, 2019  #197

  • When I was approved for LTD benefits in December 2015, I was sent a simple approval letter. I was never sent a copy of the LTD policy by anyone. (I am unsure if I ever signed a copy either) My LTD policy includes the verbiage for “dependent benefits” as an offset; But, my approval letter did not. My approval letter lists many types of offsets, but dependent benefits is not one of them.

    Every form I have filled out sine 2015 for my LTD company asks if “I” receive any other SS benefits, to which I always answered no, (as the aux. benefits comes in my child’s name, in my child’s ss#, and on my child’s taxes). Recently, in July 2019, the question on the form has changed, it now asks if I get “dependent benefits” to which now I answer yes. They asked for the award letter from SS, I sent it in, now they are saying I owe 13K in overpayment based on aux benefits. That was when I requested a copy of the policy.

    My question is this: Do I have grounds to try to appeal based on the verbiage in the approval letter not including dependent benefits? I always answered everything they asked as honest, as I understood the question. When they changed the wording of the question, I answered appropriately. They also have placed a withholding on my payments without any notification to me at all.

    Laura Nov 26, 2019  #196

  • Maira, you can certainly revoke your Authorization with Unum and advise the SSA they are not to share the information with any third parties. With respect to the back benefit check. Under the policy Unum would have legal rights to collect any overpayment that stems from any period of time the SSA is paying that overlaps with a period of time that Unum paid benefits. That being said, Unum may not become aware of even inquire as they have denied your claim as of June 2018. I think the most prudent course of action right now would be to contact the SSA and revoke all authorizations.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 22, 2019  #195

  • I was receiving long term disability for exactly two years from Unum. The company stopped paying me in June 2018. Genex was assisting me in my SSDI case but dropped me around 10/2018 after I relocated from California to Okinawa Japan in 8/2018. They had placed an appeal after being denied once. In April 2019, I get letter from SS that I have a hearing for my SS. The hearing was In Honolulu, HI on 8/29/2019. I called the HI SS office on 9/20/2019 for some medical records being returned to Military Hospital in hopes to help my recent hearing. The person over the phone told me I have been approved. However, I have no award letter. Should I revoke my Authorization to collect information from UNUM which expires this year in 12/2019. Since, I was awarded SSDI but I have not received any award letters Am I required to turn over the lump sum to the disability company? I have three dependents under 18. I paid for my flight to Honolulu and my lodging rental car food and all via my expense. Since I Am in Japan what’s my right or suggestions on my case?

    Maira Sep 22, 2019  #194

  • James, the disability Policy contains a provision called “Other Income” which details what other sources of income will constitute an offset against your monthly benefit. In most case, dependent benefits would be an offset but you need to review your Policy to know for sure. If you don’t have your policy you need to request a copy from your employer or the carrier. Because any reduction in full monthly benefits constituets an “adverse benefit determination” the carrier is required to provide you with a copy of the Policy following a written request. If you still have questions, I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have regarding your situation.

    Jay Symonds Sep 17, 2019  #193

  • I retired in Oct 2017 and started to receive social security for myself and my daughter who was 17. Her benefits stopped Sept. 2018 when she turned 18. My wife was approved for social disability in Nov.2018 and was awarded back pay from march 2015 till Nov 2018. My wife was required to apply and was approved for ssdi for my daughter.

    The insurance company says she owes them 37000 dollars in overpayment even though the back payment from social security was 26000. I sent them paperwork showing my daughter was on my social security from Oct 2017 till Sept 2018 which would account for the 11000. Is the insurance carrier entitled to the 11000 that was paid on my account?

    James H. Sep 17, 2019  #192

  • C.A., unfortunately a lot of what you asked is not within my expertise. However, I do know that Metlife is entitled to the overpayment of dependent social security that was received by your son for your ex-husband’s disability. I am not sure if Metlife has recourse against your son directly. They will cut off your exes benefit if that money is not paid back to Metlife.

    Rachel Alters Jul 18, 2019  #191

  • My ex-husband has been receiving LTD payments from MetLife since 2017 (after we divorced) and in March of 2018 was officially added to the SSDI rolls. More recently, ex asked me to sign our son up for dependent child benefits. Good news is son qualified and will now receive a large SSDI check for payment back to 03/2018 plus monthly payments until he graduates in June of 2020. Bad news is ex is now demanding that we turn over that large check to MetLife, else they will stop and/or garnish his monthly LTD payments. While I haven’t seen the policy, it sounds from the above questions that it is pretty standard practice for MetLife to offset government benefits paid to a child from policy payments made to the father. However, does the “offset” finding change if I have primary physical custody and am the one who claims son as a dependent on my tax returns? If it stands, is there any avenue for MetLife to come directly for my son’s money or is their only recourse with my ex? As a side note, ex has never paid child support; if we were REQUIRED to turn over the SSDI check, could we deduct the years of outstanding child support payments and call it a wash?

    C.A. Smith Jul 18, 2019  #190

  • Robin, under your policy RSL would only have the right to offset any dependent SSDI benefit that is a result of your SSDI award. Any other benefits your daughter may receive on account of her own medical condition, unrelated to your SSDI claim, should not be subject to offset. Unfortunately, I am at a loss with respect to what you can do to convince your attorney and can only recommend you have a detailed discussion with them as it relates to any offsets for dependent benefits and what is and is not subject to offset.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 23, 2019  #189

  • Hello, I am 56 years old and have been on SSDI for one year now. My long term disability company is reliance standard. I had a minor daughter when I filed for social security disability and she was 15 years old and is now 19 years old. She is on the autism spectrum and is disabled as well and currently getting Dac benefits on my disability. We are currently working with reliance standard with an attorney because I did not initially file for dependent child benefits because I did not know that I could. that was part of the offset which was about $23,342 I did have an offset of my own of $45,000 and so I have the money and I want to pay reliance standard back because they did cut my benefits completely off for the last year and 2 months even though I was awarded them until I was 65 years old.

    My attorney seems to be stuck on the fact that reliance standard is going to come after my daughter’s dac benefits as an adult I do not claim her on my taxes I have not for 2 years now she is considered a party of 1 she is her own guardian etc. I just want to settle this with reliance standard and move on with my life I have the money that they requested how can I convince my attorney? There is no language in that contract that suggests that she is going to have her dac benefits taken by reliance standard as an adult. I can understand them coming after funds that she’s due from the time she was 15 till the time she was 18 years old but she’s an adult she has nothing to do with this.

    How can I convince my lawyer?

    Robin A. Apr 23, 2019  #188

  • Vickie, this is definitely a unique situation. The insurance company might be claiming an overpayment due to Social Security Disability benefits being approved? It seems very odd. I would need more information to fully answer your question or make sense of it. Please give us a call to see if we can be of assistance.

    Alex Palamara Aug 22, 2018  #187

  • My ex son in law started receiving disability benefits and in place of his child support payments the kids were getting a monthly check from his disability. Amount and all set up by whom ever the case worker etc was that decided all this. He lost his disability last January 2018 and had gotten a lawyer to fight it. They told him if he lost his case any money that was paid to the children would have to be paid back from January on to the day he lost. Well 6 months later he lost his case. The kids hadn’t got a check since. My daughter today got a letter in the mail stating SHE owed the money back and not her ex whos disability it was. The amount they say she owes is twice the amount of what they both received in the 6 month court fight. Why does SHE have to pay anything back and not him? He said he never even got a letter saying he owed them. They gave her two weeks to pay it back. Shouldn’t he be responsible for paying it back since he knew if he lost he would have to?

    Vickie Aug 21, 2018  #186

  • Lin, no, they should have stopped deducting the dependent SSDI benefit after your children stopped receiving it. You should contact your disability carrier and request an explanation of your monthly disability benefits.

    Cesar Gavidia Jul 30, 2018  #185

  • I became disabled after STD ran out the LTD kicked in. After receiving SSD for sometime LTD called and said I owed them money they said they found out that my SSD was paying the dependent child benefit on my disabled husbands 2 children from a previous marriage. My husband was disabled 10 years before I and his SSD had been paying his exwife through his SSD all those years.So I called SS and they said because my SSD was substantial more than my husbands they had put the dependent children to come out of my SSD. The amount owed was the difference in amount of each monthly check over what my husbands SSD had been paying them for several years.

    We worked out a payment plan that cut LTD check amount in half for over a year. Since then I have received the same amount every month and the children are now 41 and 37. After reading all the above LTD questions i am now wondering if they are still deducting the “off set” as the amount of check received each month has not changed. After the children turned of age, stopped receiving SS wouldn’t that money go back into my monthly check? I hesitate to call and possibly stir up trouble as they have all the power if it’s not a reasonable question. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely Lin

    Lin B. Jul 29, 2018  #184

  • Shawn, unfortunately, your insurance carrier most likely can. Most employer provided disability policies contain language related to sources of “Other Income” that are subject to offset under the policy. This includes dependent SSDI benefits. Ultimately, I would refer you to your disability policy to ensure that the offset language is there, but the chances are it will be.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 12, 2018  #183

  • I have been receiving LTD from my company for several years. I was awarded SSD benefits in Nov 3017 and received back payment in Dec 2017. My company was entitled to a portion of that and I have paid the backpay due them.

    My daughter turned 18 in Sept 2017. She received a call from SS notifying her that she may be eligible for dependent benefits. She applied directly with them and was awarded back pay (for the time she was a dependent) in Feb 2018. The check was sent directly to her as an adult.

    My company is now demanding backpay from me for the award given to my adult daughter. Can they collect monies from me for dependent benefits even though I was not awarded dependent benefits?

    Shawn G. Jun 11, 2018  #182

  • I know that the Social Security offsets are legal. However it is terribly unjust since the taxpayer pays into the Social Security system and the more you make the more you pay and then the insurance company benefits. I think they should only be able to take a portion since they paid nothing. Ridiculous.

    Becca May 7, 2018  #181

  • Kimberly, generally, both primary and dependent social security disability benefits are “other income benefits” that the carrier may offset from the LTD Benefit. Depending on the policy language there may be some exceptions, for instance if the child is receiving social security benefits on account of their own disability instead of receiving the benefits on behalf of a disabled parent. It may be possible that your policy only allows the disability insurer to offset by the primary benefit and not a dependent’s benefits; however, it would be unusual. I suggest that you review the policy carefully again. You may also ask MetLife to direct you specifically to the language in the policy that allows them to offset by SSDI dependent benefits. If you have any additional questions please feel free to call us and ask to speak with one of our disability insurance attorneys.

    Cesar Gavidia Apr 28, 2018  #180

  • My Husband has LTDI through Medlife. He also receives SSDI and his payments has been reduced by that amount. We completed the financial update and I included that my child gets SSD and then they requested an award letter. I have supplied that. After viewing your site, it looks like the purpose is to reduce his benefits by that amount. We have the policy documentation in its entirety. It list all the items that would reduce payments. But it does not have anything about Dependent nor Auxiliary would reduce the payments/benefits. If this language is not specifically stated in the policy as such are they entitled to offset payments anyway by dependent SSD anyway?

    Thank you for your time!

    Kimberly Apr 27, 2018  #179

  • Mary, unfortunately, no. The reason being is the signing of the reimbursement agreement did not create the legal right for the insurance company to be able to (1) collect an overpayment stemming from receipt of a source of Other Income, and (2) reducing a monthly benefit by the amount of the source of Other Income. That right exists based upon the language in the policy itself. If the policy indicates that dependent Social Security Benefits are subject to offset (most unfortunately do) then the carrier would have a right to recover same. I am sorry I don’t have better news for you. If you do have any additional questions please feel free to contact our office.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 17, 2018  #178

  • My husbandd was awarded a closed period of SSI for a 2 year span. He was receiving LTD benefits of which are now requesting reimbursement of the full awarded amount plus almost all of the benefits his children received. 1) his illness that caused the SSI claim and LTD insurance had a lot of neurological complications. No one explained his paperwork he filled out and he was completely unaware the children would receive benefits until he received s call from SSI to notify him. 2) his daughter is now an adult. The benefits she received were sent to her on a check written out to her. We never received it and don’t have it.

    My question: would he have grounds to stand on that he was mentally incapable of such an agreement… because he truly didn’t understand the terms of reimbursement to be as now being demanded by him? And can they truly take both kids SSI benefits? Seems wrong the way he realized how the process works. No one properly reviewed the terms. He paid every cent issued to him. Now they want the kids. So basically no gain from the SSI disability award. Paid into LTD for 23 years. Is there any way to fight for kids keeping their benefits.

    Mary Apr 16, 2018  #177

  • Kim, the carrier would still have the right to seek repayment of the overpayment if they learn of it. So it is a very precarious position to be in. Also, the carrier would be required to pay the difference between the original gross benefit amount and the amount from the SSA. If you have questions with respect to the overpayment and your husband’s appeal rights please feel free to contact our office.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 27, 2018  #176

  • My husband LTD benefits case was closed on January 22 because they said he no longer fit their definition of disability due to the doctor saying he could do some type of work. The next day we got notice that his SSDI was approved. Since his LTD case was closed at the time of SSDI approval will they still come after him for backpay of SSDI? The letter we received from them states that we can appeal their decision of closing his case and if it is reopened we will be responsible for overpayment. This sounds like if we let it go then they are not going to pursue those backpayments. What are your thoughts?

    Kim Jan 26, 2018  #175

  • RG, unfortunately, no. MetLife will not adjust an overpayment repayment due to taxes on the SSDI benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 10, 2018  #174

  • If I have social security withheld taxes from my social security benefit payments, will that reduce the amount of offset that Metlife can take on my monthly long term disability payments?

    RG Jan 9, 2018  #173

  • Julie, the insurance carrier will only be able to deduct any benefit paid to your son if it is a form of dependent social security disability insurance paid on account of your husband being approved for SSDI benefits. The SSI currently in place should not impact your husbands disability benefit.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 23, 2017  #172

  • Hi,
    My adult 19 year old disabled son just started receiving SSI of 490/ mo as of Nov 13 , 2017. ( back pay also from August )

    My husband may be applying for STD and then LTD after December. I know my husband has to apply for SSDI also. From what I am reading the LTD/STD Insurance can’t deduct our sons SSI but they make him apply for SSDI under my husbands disability? If my husband receives say 2700 a month and my son is awarded 1350 how would LTD not have to take only the difference of the 1350 and the original $490 that was HIS?

    If they can then it would be better for my son to just stay on SSI. Do they make him apply? Also does LTD deduct my job income? I assume if I work I dont receive SSDI from my husband? (We have legal guardianship and claim him on our taxes)

    Thanks so much,

    Julie Nov 22, 2017  #171

  • Robbin, you are most welcome. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 3, 2017  #170

  • Thank you so much Stephen Jessup.

    Robbin Nov 2, 2017  #169

  • Robbin, there would only be a potential repayment for any period of time that overlaps between the SSDI and the LTD. There does stand a chance that Liberty may not become aware or track your SSDI claim.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 31, 2017  #168

  • I worked for Wal-Mart Distribution for 27 years, paid for my short term and long term disability. I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension in 2015. I tried to work but could not do it so my doctor told me I was done. So I drawed my short term and long term. Long term was only for a year which was $1700.00 a month. So it has ran out. Now I am getting into my retirement money to live until I hear from SSD say it takes a year from when my long term ended since I had to use my retirement. Do I still have to pay long term back (Liberty mutual). If so can I just pay them back $1700.00 a month like they paid me? Thanks.

    Robbin Oct 29, 2017  #167

  • Jim, more than likely yes. If the language in your policy does not differentiate custodial rights and DSSDI, then they would have the ability to offset.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 31, 2017  #166

  • ME, unfortunately, the policy gives them a right to seek it. Are they aware of the dependent SSDI award?

    Stephen Jessup Aug 29, 2017  #165

  • I am not married. I am receiving ltd. The have been recieving ssi to there mother. I am not the custodial parent. Can Liberty Mutual come after me for SS awards payable to the children? Again, I am not married and their mother receives their benefits.

    Jim Aug 29, 2017  #164

  • I am disabled and received payments from LTD insurance for 1 1/2 to 2 years. I was declared disabled by SSA and repaid the LTD over payment. My son applied for back pay; on my disability; after he became an adult and was approved. He; as an adult; has received a check to him directly for his back pay. My LTD insurance company has moved to claim that amount as an over payment of what they paid to me. Can they really hold me accountable for money I have never received and have no access to because the claim was initiated and received by an adult? It seems very wrong that they can claim dependent over payment on money that was sought and paid to someone who is an adult and not a dependent.

    Me Aug 24, 2017  #163

  • I have the exact situation as “CURIOUS IN FLORIDA”. Do you have any more information on this situation?

    My children have been receiving child benefit on their father’s SSA for about 6 years now. Over the last 2 years our adult son who is disabled has been receiving an adult child SSDI because he is disabled on his retired father’s earnings record – otherwise he would have aged out. He lives independently from us and we have no legal right to his income. I don’t even know for sure what he gets. Our other two children are 15 and 16 in school.

    I just became eligible for SSDI and they want spouse and children’s income from SSA. Do you know yet if it is possible to get a determination that only the difference between the old amount and the new amount is due to them of the children’s benefit?

    They also list spouses income in their letters (I have requested the policy but have not yet received it). I do not know if now that I am disabled getting SSDI that the amount my husband receives is from his earnings record or based on mine. It is the same amount as before. I do not think they should be able to take my husbands benefit since he has his own earnings record. My earnings were higher so SSA said they will pay on the higher and I cannot request that they continue to pay on my husbands record.

    Patti Aug 23, 2017  #162

  • J.S., yes. The carrier will have to increase your monthly benefit accordingly.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 31, 2017  #161

  • My children receive SSDI benefits through me and this extra income has been off-set by my disability insurer for many years now. When my children loose this benefit by becoming adults will the insurer have the obligation to increase my month benefit to make up for the loss of this extra SSDI income?


    J.S. Jul 25, 2017  #160

  • Nan65, Hartford cannot garnish your SSDI benefit – only the government can. They will likely negotiate a repayment plan if you cannot satisfy the entire overpayment amount. Such plans will likely include applying your monthly benefit each month towards the overpayment.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 16, 2017  #159

  • And can HARTFORD Erisa take my social security to pay an overpayment?

    Nan65 Jun 15, 2017  #158

  • I may have an overpayment to HARTFORD. If I can’t pay back everything are they known to do a payment plan?

    Nan65 Jun 15, 2017  #157

  • Susan, unfortunately, yes. They will not adjust the LTD amount until the DSSDI benefit has ended.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 4, 2017  #156

  • My daughter will turn 18 this month. I collect SSDI and LTD. My LTD company deducts the amount I collect on her behalf. Now that the check will go directly to her for the next 3 months, I thought my LTD would go up. They say even though the check is in her name now, it will still go against my claim. I cannot get the full amount from LTD until she graduates in June. Is this right?

    Susan 62 Apr 3, 2017  #155

  • Danny, Reed Group is the third party administrator for Intel, which likely means that Intel has written and funded its own policy. As such, it might be very possible that the DSSDI as you described would not be an offset under the policy language. I recommend d you getting a copy of the policy to verify.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 14, 2017  #154

  • When filling out my paperwork for Intel LTD ,I called REED Group and asked if my daughters SSDI (under me)would affect my benefit. I informed them that her mother receives our daughters SS money . (Separate homes) and I don’t even know how much she received. They plainly told me it did not. But after reading many of these articles I must say Im worried that I may have been misinformed.

    Danny Mar 11, 2017  #153

  • Gale, your situation is different than most overpayment issues with a LTD policy. We would need to see the award letter (when you receive it) to determine what Unum may do.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 2, 2017  #152

  • I have been receiving Unum long term after fighting for over a year. I applied for ssdi and just waiting to go in front of judge to make decision. I have been on ssdi before and I have rating large overpayment to ssdi. Can unum still come after me if I get approved for ssdi? It’s going to overpayment not to me.

    Gale Jan 31, 2017  #151

  • Terri, typically, yes. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the offer letter and to help determine the reasonableness of the offer and how we may be able to assist you in maximizing the buyout.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 2, 2016  #150

  • My LTD provider has been vacant for over 16 years. They have used my minor child’s social security benefits to offset what they WOULD have had to pay me if I didn’t have a child. My child will turn 18 soon. Now the LTD provider is offering a buyout of the policy which would be in place until I am 65. I will be 53 when my child turns 18. I paid for this plan as an “optional” add on through my employer, premiums paid by me only, post tax.

    When they approached me on the phone one $$$ amount was given. Then in writing I receive an amount 1/2 of their original numbers on the phone.

    Is everything negotiable?

    Terri G. Nov 30, 2016  #149

  • Adam, they can’t techinically force you to- but the policy likely gives them the right to estimate what you would receive from SSDI and offset your benefit by same for failure to apply.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 9, 2016  #148

  • Can your LTD carrier force or compel you to fill out a SSDI application for yourself, or dependents?

    Adam T Nov 7, 2016  #147

  • Linda, the vast majority of disability insurance plans also state that the dependent SSDI award is a source of other income subject to offset. My suggestion at this point is to provide them any and all information that has been submitted to the SSDI so you are in compliance with the duty under the policy to apply for the DSSDI.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 1, 2016  #146

  • My husband was injured on the job in 2015, and was awarded LTD benefits (via the Hartford Insurance, through his employer) this year. He was also approved for SSI. We did receive a letter stating the amount we would need to pay back the Hartford based on his SSI income. We consulted our lawyer (the one my husband was working with on related Worker’s comp case), and he stated this is normal business practice. We paid this amount back to the Hartford.

    However, once he was approved for SSI, they sent a letter stating they were aware he had a dependent, and they would start taking some of his LTD pay to cover the dependent claim. This letter from Hartford arrived 30+ days prior to us receiving the official letter from the Social Security Administration notifying us that his dependent may be eligible for SSI payments. The SSA did not dictate a “must file by” date, but stated we should file within 6 months in order to have the retroactive date of dependent’s benefits moved back.

    As we have been working through getting this documentation from the birth mother, we have had several harassing calls from the Hartford regarding this “over-payment”. We have explained that we have yet to file, and the given “due date” by SSA is late December 2016. We are having some issues getting the required documentation from the birth mother, leading us to wonder if she listed my husband as the biological father (i.e., the child has her surname, which was kept from my husband until his son was a couple years old…).

    They are now withholding my husband’s LTD payments, AND threatening to put this “over-payment” claim into collections?!? How can they do this, when we haven’t even filed for the DSSI claim yet? Why are they not MANDATED to go by the dependent SSI Award date, as they are for the claimant??

    This seems like a very devious business practice!! They are basically putting the “cart-before-the-horse”.. What if the Hartford claimant does not have a relationship with their dependent and doesn’t plan to file–can they just withhold benefits and then turn the claimant into collections for an DSSI claim they will never file???

    This just doesn’t seem right. How can we rectify this situation? Do we have any ground to stand on in this situation?? Any advice is welcome.

    Linda Oct 27, 2016  #145

  • Curious, I have actually not encountered a situation as you have set forth so I cannot speak as to same. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss further.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 21, 2016  #144

  • What about cases of “dual entitlement”where children are collecting based on a family maximum of two disabled parents? How can LTD have entitlement to that complete payment when it is, indeed, based on the payments into the system of BOTH parents(not just the claimants, but another entity) and how can they accurately figure how much to take in these circumstances.

    For example, I was approved to have 729 paid as a total benefit to my auxiliary/dependents in benefits. However since their father also collects (we are divorced) the amount changed to 1578. This is paid through my number since I made the most money in the lifetime. However, if the father lost his benefits, my amount would go to 729 because they consider him, his pay-in and his information in determination of benefits.

    Surely, the language in policies is only applicable to the claimant. Additionally, the benefit of the child should outweigh all other arguments and since the rule was established by social security so the child could rightfully collect by BOTH claimants, if the insurance carrier offsets, they are inadvertently offsetting a nonclaimant and the benefit due to the children that should not be influenced by the policy as the other collecting parent is not party to that contract and the benefit from that parent is a separate issue.

    I am certain that many claimaints who have duel entitled dependents are facing this flaw and also there is culpability on the part of the LTD carrier, especially if they ask for the knowledge of an increase, know it is due to a second claimant’s influencing benefit and ask for repayment on those terms.

    Have you thought of this? Have you considered the considerable class-action that could be beneficial to many claimants in the outlier situation?

    Curious in Florida Oct 17, 2016  #143

  • Misty, unfortunately, Aetna policies typically allow for the offset of a disability benefit by the amount a dependent child receives from the SSA (DSSDI) on account of the disabled parent. It is also common that the offset is applied even though the child does not live with the parent. In some cases I have seen policies that indicate that the dependent has to reside with the insured. You husband could consult with his/a family attorney to see about a modification of the child support in light of the SSA paying monetary benefits to the children on his behalf.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 12, 2016  #142

  • Also – we paid monthly child support to his ex for 8 months that she never reported to SS therefore it was never reported to Aetna either. Why is it okay for benefits to be paid to one party but repayment paid by another that did not receive the funds? These policies are seriously messed up for all the divorced dads with biological children. Policy states “Other Income Benefits” but that doesn’t mean your income/household benefits. How can this be?

    Misty Oct 3, 2016  #141

  • Husband has ALS and receives SSI benefits monthly. Has a 70% LTD policy with Aetna. His children live with their mom full time, she has full custody & all supplemental child benefits are paid to her monthly. He cannot claim kids on his taxes. Aetna is withholding their benefits from him. Can they do this?

    Misty Oct 3, 2016  #140

  • Melissa, Hartford would only have a right to collect a repayment of the actual amount paid by the SSA less applicable attorney fees. With respect to your question as to taxation- as we are not tax professionals or accountants we cannot adequately answer your question and you will need to consult with one of the previously mentioned professionals for clarification as to same.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 12, 2016  #139

  • Our policy allows Hartford to claim the backpay from social security. We have been paying taxes on the LTD since we received it. I have 2 questions. The first is can hartford collect more than they actually paid us? The second is the SSDI backpay taxable if we have to repay Hartford where we were already taxed?

    Melissa Jul 7, 2016  #138

  • Melissa, any overpayment on account of SSDI will be less the applicable attorney fee your attorney received from the SSA in securing your benefit. If your back benefit check was $20,000 and your attorney received $5,000, then Cigna would be entitled to a $15,000 overpayment on account of the back benefit check.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 15, 2016  #137

  • I received LTD benefits from an insurance company Cigna. They paid 2 years with since it was a mental health issue. It was definitely an overpayment so I will be paying some back. I’ve not received a LTD insurance check since December (it’s now June), so my question is, does the lawyer fees come from the total amount of back pay from SSDI or is it just the insurances cut? FYI I’m ready to attempt to go back to work so what I’m getting at is if the lawyer’s cut comes from the entire amount, and the insurance gets their part, essentially it’s not worth it to go to court, because the attorney will get the 6 months of back pay that the insurance is not entitled to.

    Melissa Jun 10, 2016  #136

  • RF, you can certainly challenge them by way of appeal, but if the policy contains a discretionary clause legal deference will be given to Hartford’s interpretation and application of the plan.

    Stephen Jessup May 5, 2016  #135

  • Good Info. I believe you’ve covered but it’s still not clear to me.
    My ex-husband is receiving LTD from Hartford since April 30, 2013 for his occupation, then in April 30, 2015 for any occupation. In the mean time, we had filed for his SSDI benefits and became eligible SSDI on June 4, 2015 with an entitlement date of December 4, 2015. Our Divorce became final on December 22, 2015. We have two adopted children that we adopted in May 2008 that have their own disability, but were not eligible for SSI because I am gainfully employed. I was advised the children are eligible for Auxiliary SSDI benefits and am now Representative Payee and ex does not have access to those funds. The question is: Our Divorce Decree clearly states that they are my dependents and will be on my tax returns, and I also have full legal and physical custody for the children. Now, Hartford wants to offset my ex-husband LTD because of the children SSDI benefits. In the Benefits plan they defer what they mean by “Dependent” definition to SSA. However, when I read SSA definition of auxiliary dependent children benefits it clearly states that children CAN receive benefits IS or WAS a dependent of the parent; therefore, they DO NOT need to be a dependent nor do they have to be on the disabled tax return to receive the auxiliary benefits from SSDI. In essence, since we are legally divorced and will be filing our own tax returns, children on my tax returns, and on my dependents for their welfare and well being, including health care through my employer, etc. My ex is not able to provide any kind of child support and is unable to take care of the children. Lastly, Hartford explains in a separate section in their policy for Survivor Children Death Benefits – Children must be Dependent of the insured, living with the insured, on the insured last years tax return and under 25 in order to receive survivor children death benefits. My issue is that Hartford is being contradictory on how they define Dependents. In essence in both scenarios, there is a reduction and/or total loss of benefits because Hartford wants to reduce it for the auxillary benefit and would not pay out a survivor children benefit because they would not be a dependent based on the tax return and dependent definition when it comes to survivor children. I’m considering filing an appeal but want to understand what are the pros and cons of hiring an attorney now versus after IF we get denied and then need to file a civil suit. Is it possible that Hartford can truly offset my ex benefits based on the above scenario. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    RF May 4, 2016  #134

  • Kit, unfortunately, under your scenario the policy language would allow the carrier to offset your benefit based on the dependent Social Security benefit (DSSDI).

    Stephen Jessup Apr 5, 2016  #133

  • Thank you for your excellent article.

    If possible could you kindly let me know:

    Is it legal for an insurance company to lower someone’s monthly LTD check based on SSDI child benefits?

    Is this still legal if the child is an adult – the parent lives separately and receives none of this SSDI benefit?

    If this is not legal, do you have any suggestions for how someone could fix this situation?

    Thank you so much for your assistance.

    Kit Apr 1, 2016  #132

  • Cindy, I don’t know if your dependent children would be eligible for additional benefits in light of the fact they are receiving DSSDI on account of yours. If they are not eligible for additional benefits from the SSA on account of your husband’s claim then I don’t see how the carrier could seek an offset. You may need to consult with a SSDI attorney to determine the issue surrounding potential additional benefits for your children.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 25, 2016  #131

  • I became disabled back in 2012 and receive SSDI and also had private disability insurance. I receive a $1700 monthly payment from SSDI and a $1400 monthly payment from my private carrier (was $3100 but reduced by my SSDI amount). My children each receive $400 monthly from my SSDI that my private disability carrier does not offset. My question is this…. My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year and is now also eligible for SSDI. He also has private disability insurance (different carrier). He receives $2400 monthly from SSDI, and $2000 monthly from a private carrier (was $4400 monthly but reduced by his SSDI offset). His carrier has required that we apply for SSDI for the children under His name since his amount is higher and they could receive more. His private policy also has language that allows them to offset the children’s SSDI payments…. Since the children already receive this $400 on my account and have for years, do they have now have a right to that amount- or just the overages above and beyond that….

    Cindy Feb 24, 2016  #130

  • Shelley, Hartford would only have any potential right for any overlapping period of coverage in which they paid benefits and SSDI will pay benefits. When was your claim initially denied? You may still have legal remedies against Hartford. Please feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss the matter further.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 5, 2016  #129

  • I became disabled May 1st 2013. I received my 5 months STD, then LTD kicked in Nov 2013. I applied for SSDI in Dec 2013 at their requirement. (Hartford) They also referred me to their Attorney’s. All was going as planned, them paying 60%, me going to the Dr’s until my psychiatrist refused a conference call from their company health advisers after only 10 months of benefit’s. They stopped benefits and I appealed. They denied my appeal. Being mentally ill I didn’t know what to do next and their Attorney’s office did not offer any help. I had my day in court 16 months later and the judge found me fully favorable. My question is this: If me and my child receive back pay my only responsibility is to pay them back the full amount for the 10 months they paid me? If I receive enough back pay to pay them back in full from my back pay, would they still be able to take money from child too? Just confused about this part and I read every post. Good job on all the answers. Thank you for your time.

    Shelley Feb 4, 2016  #128

  • Micah,

    The disability carrier would only ever have rights to recover the amount they paid, or a max of $28,000. It appears they were paying somewhere near $1,166 a month to get to the $28,000 amount. If the SSDI and DSSDI equaled more than that you were being paid by the LTD carrier, then one of two things would happen: (1) if your policy has a “minimum monthly benefit” which is usually $100 a month regardless of all sources of offset then the recovery would arguably be less $2400, or $25,600; and (2) if there is no “minimum monthly benefit” then it would be the $28,000. I hope this helps.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 15, 2016  #127

  • Hi. After reading conflicting and/or patial responses related to my situation on Avvo, I’m hoping you can help. Ex. I no longer receive LTD payments but was just approved SSDI. If LTD paid me 2yrs total of $28,000, my SSDI backpay award is $36,000 (which includes a few months that don’t overlap) & children receive $18,000, is LTD entitled to all of this backpay or just what they actually paid out ($28,000)? Policy says “full offset”, but does that mean LTD would’ve deducted my & my kids monthly SSDI payment if LTD was still paying? Or does it mean they get everything paid from SSDI…the entire $54000? Thanks!

    Micah D Jan 14, 2016  #126

  • JC,

    Most policies read in such a way that if your child receives SSDI on account of your disability, regardless of when it is received, it would be an offset under the policy.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 8, 2016  #125

  • On LTD starting in 2004 for since legally blind. Started receiving SSDI at same time. In 2008 had child. Would or should the dependant benefits be offset since my child was born 4 years after initial SSDI Award for myself?
    Just getting letter now asking if I am getting SSDI for child.
    Thanks so much for this site

    JC Jan 7, 2016  #124

  • Susan,

    Most policies will allow the carrier to offset the dependent SSDI award your son and you will receive on account of his disability.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 16, 2015  #123

  • My husband has recently been approved for Social Security Disablity. He Also has been receiving LTD. I understand there is an offset. Our son is 37 and disabled himself and been receiving SSI since he was 18. He is now elgible to receive under his Dad’s disability. I can also receive a check for being the caretaker of his needs. Can the LTD company offset mine and his payments?

    Susan Dec 15, 2015  #122

  • Larry,

    The offset language more than likely allows them to offset the benefit until such time that your daughter’s dependent social security benefit ceases.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 30, 2015  #121

  • In addition to my LTD, I’m receiving SSDi and my daughter has received a derivative payment both of which have been deducted from my LTD payment. She has now turned 18 but is still in high school so her payment is being sent to her in her name. Should the LTD carrier still be entitled to her SSDI payment now that she has has reached her majority?

    Larry K. Nov 30, 2015  #120

  • Mark,

    You do not need to worry about any criminal action or going to jail. The carrier can send you to collections or place a lien against you for the monies. Are you still on claim? If so there stands a chance that the carrier would work out a repayment plan that could include withholding your monthly benefit and applying it to the overpayment.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 1, 2015  #119

  • I am on Ltd for about two years and then I was approved for ssd then the Ltd company told me that I old them 18000 dollars. But I was never told I would have to pay anything back. So I spent my back pay. What can they do to me? Can they put me in jail?

    Mark S. Sep 29, 2015  #118

  • Bob,

    It is more than likely that your employer did make the policy available. However, that usually means available upon request.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 15, 2015  #117

  • RE: Deliberate Indifference

    “Congress (ERISA)’ inclusion of the word “reasonably” demonstrates that it intended administrators to have an affirmative duty to act reasonably in discharging their disclosure duties under ERISA. That is, an administrator cannot avoid liability for untimely disclosure of information by acting unreasonably in permitting matter to be beyond its control.”

    Would a company that was suppose to provide/make available the “policy” annually (which stated dependent offset) and did not be liable to cover that amount because the employee used the bad information in the detailed SPD to make a decision as to whether he adequate coverage? There was NO disclosure about dependent offsets available to me until way after my disability began.

    The last page of the “policy” clearly states the employer shall provide and make available the policy annually.

    Bob B. Sep 14, 2015  #116

  • Ray,

    Unfortunately, the precedent set forth in the case you reference does not relate to overpayment issues. There are some cases where courts have held the carrier unable to collect an overpayment on a matter in very rare subsets of facts.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 14, 2015  #115

  • Deliberate Indifference

    Lee v. Benefit Plans Adm’r of Armco, Inc., 789 F. Supp. 856 (S.D. Tex. 1992)—–Congress (ERISA)’ inclusion of the word “reasonably” demonstrates that it intended administrators to have an affirmative duty to act reasonably in discharging their disclosure duties under ERISA. That is, an administrator cannot avoid liability for untimely disclosure of information by acting unreasonably in permitting matter to be beyond its control.

    Can Deliberate Indifference be used to resolve any issues in regards to overpayment of LTD since an insurance company did not request any information regarding payments to minor children on behalf of my disability until after the insurance company had issued a LTD check especially if an attorney is hired to assist in a remedy. It would seem very unreasonable that an insurance company would not ask a question about dependents before a LTD check was paid without first verifying such information.

    Thank you

    Ray Riccio Sep 11, 2015  #114

  • Peter,

    Unfortunately, no. Dependent children receiving DSSDI benefits, regardless of where they reside, are subject to offset.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 27, 2015  #113

  • My LTD (Unum) is reducing my benefit and requiring back payment for the SSDI money my children who do not live with me (they live with there mother who was divorced from me 4 years ago) are receiving.

    Through out the policy it states that they can reduce their payment form the money “You” (me) receive. Then when it comes to SSDI its says “You, Your Spouse and Your Children receive”. Do to the previous “You” statements and the “Your Spouse” statement isn’t it reasonable to conclude that the documentation is referring to those in your household?

    Thank you.

    Peter Aug 26, 2015  #112

  • Irv,

    I have never come across a situation like yours. Please contact our office to discuss, we would be very interested to see the letter from MetLife.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 30, 2015  #111

  • I am currently 63 and receiving LTD benefits from Metlife which were offset by social security disability. My wife is 62 and is receiving early social security. I received a letter from Metlife requiring her to apply for spousal social security and that benefit would be deducted from my LTD benefit. If she does not apply Metlife will estimate the amount and deduct that amount from my LTD. We checked with social security and at her age being 62 the benefit rate would be 37% of my social security benefit forever. If she waits to apply for spousal security until age 66 the rate would increase to 50%. Due to the fact that her own social security claim was started before my LTD and before my social security and was not due to my disability can they make her apply for spousal social security or deduct estimated amounts from my LTD ? Thank you.

    Irv Apr 29, 2015  #110

  • Bob,

    The saving clause is “because of your disability…” If your son’s benefits are paid and have been paid because of HIS disability, then it follows they are not because of your and thus not subject to the offset for dependent SSDI. Has MetLife advised otherwise? If so, please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 24, 2015  #109

  • My MetLife LTD policy states that my benefits will be reduced by other income, including “any disability or retirement benefits which You, Your Spouse or child(ren) receive because of your disability or retirement. My son is 30 and disabled. He is not a dependent and lives independently. His SSDI benefits are under my SS# because he has never worked. Would his SSDI payments be subject to offset? My argument is that A) he is neither a child nor a dependent and B) his benefits are equally due to his own disability as they are to mine. So I believe this a grey area. Am I not seeing this clearly?

    Bob Mar 23, 2015  #108

  • Lee,

    MetLife’s policy should only entitle them to recover dependent SSDI benefits stemming from your disability claim. The definition provided does not appear to be the complete one. I would suggest you verify to see if it contains language about receipt of dependent benefits based upon YOUR claim for SSDI.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 22, 2015  #107

  • I have received LTD through MetLife and the policy has this verbage:

    Your LTD Plan monthly benefit will be adjusted to offset the amount of your Social Security monthly benefit (disability and/or retirement), including benefit amounts received for your spouse and or child(ren);

    I have a disabled child who is 22 and used to receive SSI and since I received SSDI now, he receives SSDI as well. Can MetLife take his SSDI as an offset to my LTD payment?

    Thank you for your help.

    Lee Mar 21, 2015  #106

  • Phil,

    Yes, your MetLife benefit should increase in relation to the amount of the offset lifted when your children reach 18 and are no longer eligible for benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 17, 2015  #105

  • I became disabled in Oct 2013. I have LTD with MetLife. I am 50 years old.

    I filed for social Security benefits, and recently filed for dependents disability benefits. I reached the 1st year milestone, and Metlife decided that I could not perform other duties. I now will have a yearly review to see if there are any changes in my medical situation. If nothing changes, my LTD with Metlife will continue until 2029.
    My LTD is currently paying the offset of 50% of my last salary and social security is paying the rest. Metlife will offset my childrens disability benefits, and reduce my LTD payment.

    Question is, when my children age 13 and 16 will stop receiving social security dependents benefits, when they are 18, will my offset from MetLife increase the offset to match the 50% of my last salary again?

    Phil Mar 16, 2015  #104

  • Debbie,

    MetLife would be entitled to repayment of any overpayment stemming from the back benefit check. However, they would not have a right to the portion that was paid as a fee to your SSDI attorney. If MetLife is not aware you were represented for the SSDI claim I would suggest you advise them of same and secure documentation from your attorney as to the amount they were paid by the SSA.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 24, 2014  #103

  • So I have been receiving LTD for a mental disability from MetLife since Aug. 2013. They told me in Feb. 2014 I had to apply for disability through social security. They told me that if my case got approved that they would supplement my payment until Aug. 2015 to make up the diffrence from social security so like if MetLife paid me 200.00 a month and social security once approved paid me 50.00 then MetLife would pay me the other 150.00 so I would still be getting the 200.00 a month for the 2 year LTD. I hired an attorney and Social Security Benefits just got approved. Now MetLife says I owe them all of that money that Social Security just paid me but they will still be paying me the that % of money until Aug. to make up the difference. I really do not understand, can someone help? And to top that off, the money MetLife wants from me is thousands more than the settlement from Social Security payment because they took out the attorney fees. Please help.

    Debbie Dec 23, 2014  #102

  • Janice,

    Unfortunately, under most group disability policies DSSDI received on account of your husband’s disability would be subject to offset under the group disability policy. The SSA is right in stating that is your money (or your daughter’s) but that does not alleviate any potential obligation under the disability insurance plan.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 20, 2014  #101

  • Husband has been on LTD for 2 years, filed for SSD as requested by LTD. Received SSD and have paid back the so called overpayment. My husband was not awarded SSD until our daughter was 18. But the time period SSD was awarded for she was a minor, so now SSD has awarded our daughter who is 18 SSD money because of my husbands SSD. The LTD company is saying we now have to pay them overpayment for funds our 18 year old daughter received. When at the Social Security office the gentleman told our daughter this money was hers because she is 18 and no one could take it.

    She was awarded Dec 2012 to Jan 14. As she turned 18 in Feb. As she was still in high school She has filed for Feb – May, but has not received any funds for that time period.

    The LTD is withholding the payments they are to pay us monthly saying we owe them the overpayment from Dec 2012 – June 2014 for the eligibility of our daughter, although her last day of high school was May 22.

    Can LTD expect us to pay back what our daughter received at 18? SSD is saying this is her money and she needs to pay taxes on it.

    If they have the right to that money, how do we get that from our daughter? And if that has to be paid back, how can LTD request money she has not received?

    Janice Oct 19, 2014  #100

  • Ray,

    It is an unfortunate situation you find yourself, as the vast majority of plans clearly indicate that Dependent Social Security awarded based on your primary SSDI award is a source of other income subject to offset. I am not sure how your attorney or the insurance company attorney overlooked this. Some policies expressly indicate that the carrier has a right to recovery of an overpayment of benefits regardless if they made an error in the processing of the claim. At this point you are in a bit of a holding pattern until a final decision is made as to the DSSDI situation. When you do find out, please feel free to contact our office to discuss everything in detail.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 11, 2014  #99

  • You have answered a question for me in the past and for this I am very grateful but ERISA laws and those that have the ability to manipulate them makes it very disturbing and I hope I can get one more question answered as depending on what I hear from the insurance company next week I may need the advice of a legal opinion.

    I live in a state other than where my case was heard and had a Michigan attorney represent me under the own occupation clause of my Plan because of a denial. I was awarded two years retro and upon filing a claim for any occupation benefits I was not denied so I did not have to hire an attorney which was 4 years retro.

    Now when I was asked by this Michigan attorney to send him copies of my SSDI benefits form I sent him what my children was awarded. I was informed that these benefits do not count as a reduction and I was only to send him what I was to be paid (SSDI) which I subsequently did as I was looking for my payment of benefits forms while I sent him my children’s forms.

    My benefits were subsequently reduced by my benefits only but it appears the Plan states otherwise. A Release was prepared by the insurance company’s representative. I signed for the own occupation clause and then I was awarded both own and any occupation benefits, both were only encumbered by my SSDI (aside from the own occupation in which I did have to pay a lawyer a % of my benefits). Interesting.

    The insurance company is going to review the Plan next week and to be honest I am not hopeful a decision will be favorable and will have to pay back what I was told would not effect my benefits but I am sure both the lawyer for the insurance company and my lawyer will indicate they were unaware I had children which I know is a total fabrication and no one pursued the matter until now. Based on what I was told about the benefits to my children are not a reduction (I did question this), what should have been known by both lawyers and the insurance company if I have to pay the ERISA payments back I will not be a happy person.

    I was also made to sign a statement indicating the insurance company could access SSDI to find out what my payments are or would be basically a release. I will wait until I find out more hopefully next week but of course I am going to want to be made whole. I can tell you it does state benefits received by my children are to be counted. I know I am anxious but from what I have stated there appears no due diligence by either lawyer or the insurance company and I should not be held accountable. The claims manager is not sure why this was overlooked and will check with their SSDI expert and hopefully I will know more next week.

    Aside from waiting, who can be held liable of course other than me, and to what extent? The insurance company, the lawyers or all three? I do not think the Plan was even reviewed and I could be made to pay for other’s mistakes and I really find that difficult. If you respond or choose not to please know I am grateful for your time.

    Ray Oct 10, 2014  #98

  • Liza,

    Your insurance carrier would still have rights to seek a repayment of any applicable overpayment.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 26, 2014  #97

  • I received LTD from January 2011 to December 2013, at which time under the policy was the end of a two year limit. I’ve not received any LTD insurance since December 2013. All during this time I filed for SSDI and was just awarded the claim, almost three years later with retroactive pay back to January 2011. My question is, will I be required to pay retroactive pay for the period I was not receiving LTD (January 2014 to current?). Now that I’m no longer insured can I legally refuse to pay back the retro pay even for the original two year period?

    Liza Sep 25, 2014  #96

  • Lisha,

    If your son was awarded Dependent Social Security Disability benefits based upon your disability claim then it is very likely that your LTD carrier can offset the amount received by your son on account of same. If they have the right to do so it will be detailed in the provisions of the policy that pertain to offsets for sources of “Other Income.”

    Stephen Jessup Sep 25, 2014  #95

  • I have just been approved for SSD I am also recieving benefits from LTD who is trying to claim an off set for a child who is now 28 years old and does not live in my home. He suffered a brain injury from a automobile accident at age 16 and has never worked but has been denied SSDI.

    My question is can they claim this offset to lesson the amount of their payment portion to me… I had no idea they would do this. He plans to file for himself. How can this happen?

    Thanks for any help!

    Lisha Sep 24, 2014  #94

  • Sabrina,

    If you already have a copy of your disability policy, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 22, 2014  #93

  • Hi, I have a lot of questions.

    I feel so lost and confused about my situation. My LTD has just been approved through UNUM I have not receive money as yet but I am on the fence about cancelling my policy because I do not fully understand about the offsets. I also have a pensions plan from my company that I would like to cash out of and don’t fully understand if my LTD can collect an offset on it. I have filed for SSDI and know that it will be a long process before I am approved. On top of that I have a lawsuit because I was injured due to negligence will that also cause an offset.

    I need to figure out what exactly is my LTD entitled to.

    Sabrina Sep 21, 2014  #92

  • Todd,

    To the best of my knowledge, a private insurance carrier cannot garnish your SSDI benefit. The only times I have personally seen a SSDI benefit garnished is when the government has applied the garnishment.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 13, 2014  #91

  • My questions is, I was receiving long term disability for 2 years which was the limit from the insurance company mental illness and then a few months later was approved for SSDI. Back pay was paid however they allowed me to pay the back pay in payments. I have been paying those payments and now they have turned me over to a collection agency in order to collect the debt in full. They are telling me they are going to get a judgement against me in order to collect the debt. My only income is SSDI so my question is can they garnish my income from SSDI which is directly deposited in my account or can they collect from my account?

    Todd Sep 12, 2014  #90

  • Shawn,

    A disability claim is always dictated by the terms and conditions of the policy. Unfortunately, the courts have determined many times over that offsets for SSDI are quite legal. The only way to avoid such provisions is by purchasing an individual policy from an insurance agent, but individual policies come with premiums that many people cannot afford.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 1, 2014  #89

  • I am currently receiving LTD benefits for the past two years, I just received my approval from SSDI after two and a half years. I am appalled that anyone that has paid for LTD premiums through their employer should have to repay any overpayment by SSDI and here’s why. LTD Insurance Companies are guilty by “omission” on so many levels. When I signed up for LTD benefits while working fourteen years ago, I was not given a “policy” or “booklet” or anything of the sort to tell me what I was paying for. I was able to choose whether I wanted to pay a premium based on 50% or 60% of my salary, I chose 60%. We were not told that we had to be “without” income for six months before applying and collecting for this benefit. I along with other employees signed up for LTD benefits (with little information provided through the employer or LTD Co.) because that is what responsible adults do to protect themselves. I called the LTD Company requesting a copy of my policy (before I was even disabled) and their representative asked if I was applying for benefits and I told them “no” I just want to know what my policy states. I was told that when/if I become disabled they will send me a copy. There were other problems also but Long story short….. We employees sign up for LTD through our employers, we pay these benefits through every paycheck for years, we then become disabled to find out we have to be without any earned income for six months before applying for and/or for collecting, and after the six month waiting period, then you are at the LTD’s mercy to wait to see if approved through them, (even with your physician statement stating you cannot work ) they make you sign a reimbursement agreement to pay back any SSDI overpayment for you AND YOUR DEPENDANTS to them under “emotional and physical Duress” yes, I said it “Duress.” You are so physically or emotionally ill, no money coming in, you are DESPERATE and sign whatever they “require” you to sign before moving on with your claim. There has to be something so incredibly illegal about that! What an LTD plan is, is nothing short of an unknown “loan program” for unsuspecting employees that is a hit and miss of “will I get paid or not” based on the LTD’s “opinion” if you are disabled or not! remember most LTD policies whenever they do agree to eventually hand over your policy benefit handbook to you state “they do not base their decisions on social security rules of disability!” So employees pay “premiums” for years and then we are responsible for paying these LTD’s back, are you kidding me. It is no different than me paying premiums out of my payroll check for extra life insurance and when I pass away, the Life Insurance Co cannot legally ask for my Life Ins money to be refunded back to them just because I have more Life Insurance policies in my name I’ve paid for! LTD Companies are no doubt guilty of illegal acts through “omission of information upon signing up for a policy through an employer”. I, for one, am ready to start a class action lawsuit to get back what is legally ours as working class citizens. So Attorney Greg Dell, with all due respect, do we citizens have a case?

    Shawn Hofferth Esquivel Jun 30, 2014  #88

  • Donna,

    Under the majority of ERISA governed long term disability policies you have a duty to appeal the SSDI denial and failure to do so could result in Unum estimating what you would have received and reducing your benefit by same. I am not familiar with the quoted language and would need to see it as written in the policy itself.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 15, 2014  #87

  • I am receiving LTD from Unum and just received a letter asking for my award letters of both my disability pension from the place of employment where I purchased my Unum policy and SSD.

    The letter states “if you are awarded or are entitled to receive ssd I/trs/pers benefits your disability benefit will be reduced by the amount of your monthly retirement benefit when your benefits have been paid for 12 months or as September 12, 2014. If benefits have been Awarded please provide copies of the award letters”.

    I have been receiving a disability retirement from my employer effective December 30, 2013.

    And I have been denied SSDI.


    Can unum make me file an appeal for SSDI?

    Does the quoted statement above mean after 12mos or September 12,2014 is the time my benefits will start To be reduced by my retirement?

    Or will I have back payments due?

    Also they included a ” benefits payment option” requesting me to give all bank info to grant unum an equitable lien by agreement in an amount equal to the overpayment estimation will occur if I make a specific request to unum or if I fail to sign the form.

    Donna Jun 14, 2014  #86

  • Audrey,

    If there is an agreement between you and Sun Life as to the repayment, then most likely they would not send you to collections.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 5, 2014  #85

  • If I don’t pay back Sunlife the SS “overpayment”, but instead they take my monthly LTD checks until they re coup the money, can they still send me to collections? I’d be “paying them back” over $1300 per month. This is of course assuming that they continue benefits.

    Audrey Jun 4, 2014  #84

  • Ken,

    Unfortunately, I do not have an answer for you. The line “can be claimed” is open to interpretation, and if your policy has a discretionary clause allowing the carrier to interpret the terms and conditions of the policy you could be out of luck on the matter. Your child “can be claimed” on federal tax returns as is the case sometimes with shared custody or divorce agreements that set forth which party can claim a child on tax filings. I would suggest you write to your insurance carrier explaining you situation to see what they write back. Until their position is committed to writing, any assistance that could be provided is based on conjecture.

    Stephen Jessup May 8, 2014  #83

  • Lynn,

    You will have to consult with a tax professional as to your questions.

    Stephen Jessup May 8, 2014  #82

  • My LTD policy states in definitions CHILD (ren) means a minor related by blood, marriage, or court order that can be claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. I am divorced, my ex wife as the custodial parent is entitled to the dependent claim, and will receive back payment and benefits my son is entitled to. Can the Long Term Carrier actually offset my son’s benefits considering the language of the definition “can be claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes”? He can not be claimed as a dependent by me so that would seem to indicate the test as defined is not met and therefore and offset can not be claimed. The Insurance Analyst state my ex could voluntarily alternate the dependent claim and could hand over the back payment money… that sounds like a bunch of non-sense to me. Thank you for your help in advance on answering my question.

    Ken May 7, 2014  #81

  • LTD plans recoup all overpayments. My question, you can file taxes on LTD benefits; when you return the money to the LTD company you have no longer recieved ltd but now SS. SS is not an earned income like LTD. What does the LTD company recouping overpayment do to one’s taxes if anything?

    Lynn May 7, 2014  #80

  • Steve,

    Many ERISA disability policies allow for the offset of your benefit by SSDI and Dependent SSDI (DSSDI), which are benefits paid to your dependent on account of your disability. If your policy contains such language, then they can reduce your benefit by DSSDI. Additionally, ERISA policies typically require application for any sources of Other Income (to include DSSDI) and failure to do so can result in the carrier being allowed to estimate the amount that would be received and reduce your benefit accordingly. You will need to review your policy with respect to the language contained in the “Other Income” provisions.

    Stephen Jessup May 2, 2014  #79

  • Hi,

    I receive SSDI and also get LTD from a private insurance company, which pays me 60% of my salary, minus the offset amount I receive from SSDI. I recently had a child, and the private insurance company is now saying I should apply my child for disability benefits on my behalf being a parent with a disability with social security. This in turn would reduce my benefit I receive from my private insurance, another offset, I believe? Is this correct? Also am I required to even apply my child or can I leave everything as is, which is my child not to receive benefits from the gov. SSDI program?

    Steve May 1, 2014  #78

  • John,

    Usually the offset for an employer provided pension is limited to the employer you were working for at the time of disability. Review your policy, as often it clearly establishes that pension/retirement from a former employer is not a source of Other Income.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 16, 2014  #77

  • Yes Steve if Im getting ssdi,ltd,and a small pention from the company that im getting ltd from, can they offset a pention from a past employee that I worked for before I went on disability. or is the pention seprate from the company that I went out on with my diability. Can they offset both pentions while im still getting 60% of my ltd till im 65. PLUS SSDI OFFSET.

    JOHN Apr 16, 2014  #76

  • Joe,

    Yes, we have handled cases where SSDI and Pension benefits offset the monthly benefit. It all goes back to the language contained in the policy as it relates to applicable “Other Income” offsets. If the Pension plan is an enumerated offset, then the carrier can offset for same.

    Gregory Dell Apr 14, 2014  #75

  • Hello Greg, I do not see any complaints of using pensions on top of SSDI to offset Hartfords cost. Has your firm had any cases like this?

    Joe Apr 14, 2014  #74

  • Rob,

    The overwhelming majority of ERISA governed disability policies allow for the offset of your benefit by dependent SSDI benefits. If your policy states that the DSSDI benefits are in fact an offset, then they could seek a repayment of any overpayment on account of same.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 10, 2014  #73

  • Here is a good one. I was approved for SSDI back in January 2014. Unum is now telling me that I MUST add my dependents to SSDI. I am thinking they want the back payments on them. Well they are NOT going to get these back payments whatsoever because when I was approved and they sent me that offset form I called Unum and talked to the person who approved my LTD. Well I put him on speaker phone and my wife is a witness to this. I asked if Unum will request the back payments of my dependents and his answer was exactly “We do not mess with dependent retro payments”.

    1. Is it legal for Unum to write in a letter to me telling me that if I don’t add my dependents they will automatically add them to the offset and request these funds anyway? Unum cannot and will not force me to add dependents to my SSDI if I don’t want to. I am a 100% disabled veteran and Unum already wants every bit of my own back payment from SSDI and because this one guy who said they don’t touch the dependent payments we will have to take this up in court. I am wondering if Unum records their conversations? I sure would like to find out.

    Rob Apr 9, 2014  #72

  • John,

    If your wife’s policy is governed by ERISA, then most likely any state law claims would pre-empted by ERISA. If the dependent SSDI is an enumerated offset under the policy Prudential would be allowed to offset for same.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 8, 2014  #71

  • One question that hasn’t been specifically voiced: My wife received disability checks from Pridential. The policy was signed onto in CA, and she became disabled (MS) in CA in about 2004. She was awarded SSDI and the prudential payment was adjusted accordingly and COLA increases to her SSDI have no affect.

    Well, in 2012 she had twins. SSDI began paying 25% of her benefit to each, and Prudential reduced their payment accordingly. I understand they have the right to offset based on SSDI at the time of SSDI award, including auxiliary SSDI payments.

    But shouldn’t Cal. Ins. Code §10127.1, which states that no offset to can be made as SSDI ncreases over time, preclude Prudential from reducing payment for this SSDI increase that happened 8 years after the initial award?

    John Apr 7, 2014  #70

  • John,

    Most policies are written that the carrier cannot offset your benefit for any COLA increase to your SSDI benefit, and can only offset the benefit by the amount initially awarded by the SSA.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 29, 2014  #69

  • Chris,

    The carrier should only be allowed to reduce your benefit for dependent SSDI based on an award the child received on account of your disability.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 28, 2014  #68

  • Hey Steve,

    I’m on LTD thru my work and receiving 70% of my pay. Can the offset change since SSDI gave an increase, in the past 2 years for cost of living? Or can I receive the amount that my company received for their yearly cost of living raise. Just asking (don’t know), would it change? What should you report or tell them if they ask what you receive from the start or what SSDI is paying with the cost of living raise now? How does it work and shouldn’t they know what the gov’t gave us for the cost of living and automatically deduct the differents from year to year?

    John Mar 28, 2014  #67

  • If the child is 18 years old can Unum deduct child benefits based on the child’s own disability?

    Chris Mar 27, 2014  #66

  • Rob,

    As indicated in your previous post, Unum is lawfully entitled to repayment of the funds. As unfair as it may seem, the provision in your policy is completely enforceable. When Congress enacted ERISA in 1974 the insurance industry agreed to provide highly affordable insurance coverage to create an insured workforce. In offering policies at such a low premium rate the insurance companies required certain concessions, to include offset provisions.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 11, 2014  #65

  • What is sad about all of this are the years of paying PREMIUMS to companies like UNUM only to get slapped in the face when your SSDI is approved when they ask for the retro payments to be paid back to them. Its funny how the Federal Government is allowing this to go on and I can’t believe King Obama did “add” to the ACA he signed like other fats he and his party had added to it before he signed off on it. If a person pays PREMIUMS then its an INSURANCE but in these LTD cases its really not an insurance but more of a “We will lend you this amount for this many years, interest free, blah, blah”…In all reality that is all it is and companies like Unum keeps making billions on the PREMIUMS they receive each and every week, bi-weekly and month from people. LTD is good but its an insurance like if you die or get injured. Once it happens then you should be paid as like the rest of the insurance payouts without having to pay it back. Really think about it, those of use who don’t make much in the first place only get 60% or 80% (One of those two) of our wages in the first place and should be paid more because we are actually UNDERPAID in the first place if we have children. Yes UNUM will never take more than what they owe you, its written in all their policies from my understanding, but they do not consider that your being under paid causes bills to and problems later on. So a person now has to make a choice, pay their bills or pay UNUM back the so called SSDI Overpayment. What would be smart for a person to do is to tell the Judge you request that if a decision is made FULLY FAVORABLE only to disable back a maybe a month before the decision for payment purposes only. This way UNUM won’t get NOTHING. If people did this then maybe these LTD corporations will start crying to Congress and we can finally get a TRUE overhaul of the scams they are doing. BTW I think I posted somewhere else on here that I don’t see how Unum can count every known income to man as wages but NOT VA Compensation. Even if your child works to earn funds for him or herself UNUM will want you to add that as part of YOUR earnings. Crazy stuff. I am still in a toss up if I am going to pay UNUM back my SSDI Retro I have siting in the back right now in a different account. I just don’t know just yet…I might give them half but not all of it.

    Rob Mar 11, 2014  #64

  • Bob,

    I wish you the best of luck in your fight. With respect to the lack of a right to survivorship in your LTD policy, I would also check with your company to see if there is also has a sponsored Life Insurance plan for you.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 13, 2014  #63

  • Thanks for the reply Stephen.

    I have gone over the SPD in detail and don’t see where it makes any reference to a “policy” and we were always told we were self insured so I relied on the information posted on our benefits web site to make family decisions and would have purchased additional private coverage to assure my family was taken care of had I known they had to give up any benefit “they” received. I had no knowledge of a policy that should have been reviewed nor was one available.

    Again the issue is the bank or mortgage company won’t consider their SSDI benefit amount so now I’m left use only what “I” receive which is less than the 60% company provided LTD and the 10% additional coverage I purchased so I feel I have been damaged and my ability to obtain credit amounts has been reduced due receiving <70% of my pee-disability income.

    I'm still having a problem that the benefit ends when I die and my wife and son who gave up the SSDI will only have that. Doesn't seem right especially because they would get their SSDI whether or not I had LTD coverage.

    Thanks again for all your guidance on this issue. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up and roll over yet though :)


    Bob Feb 12, 2014  #62

  • Bob,

    I don’t know if you would have any enforceable action against the employer. The language of the policies are usually written in a way that indicates you would be eligible to a percentage of your pre-disability earnings subject to any other terms and conditions in the policy.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 6, 2014  #61

  • Hi Stephen,

    We talked a while back about Liberty Mutual and the offset they want to make for benefits my wife and son might receive. I have just one quick question: do I have a suit against my employer for stating that our LTD was 70% of my income? If I want to get a mortgage or loan like I have in the past on my own the bank and mortgage company won’t let me use my wife or sons SSDI benefit. I may be damaged very soon because I would possibly like to purchase a different home and by that time my wife and son would be receiving SSDI.

    Thank you again for all your help. You’re the best!


    Bob Feb 5, 2014  #60

  • Liz,

    You would have to contact the Social Security Administration or a Social Security Attorney to determine if there are any benefits that could be received on account of your child’s condition.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 28, 2014  #59

  • If a child is born with a disabling syndrome, he needs 24/7 care, feeding tube, does not walk or talk or communicate, needs medications, has had 3 open heart surgeries, can he not receive disability benefits because both parents work? Parents both work to put food on the table for the family and their other child. I am shocked that they get no help.

    Liz Jan 28, 2014  #58

  • Michael,

    Depending on when the SSA determines your date of disability to be, there might not be an overpayment. If your carrier has not been paying you benefits for over a year due to a claim denial, or cessation of benefits due to a limitation in the policy, then they would have no right to any overpayment repayment for that time. Your carrier could, however, be entitled to recovery of and SSDI and dependent SSDI awarded during any time that overlaps with a period in which they were paying benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 17, 2014  #57

  • I received LTD for two years then it stopped. I have had no income for almost a year now. I just had my SSDI hearing and my attorney said it was approved. We are waiting for the approval letter to see if it will be Fully Favorable or not. I was wondering, if I am approved for a lower monthly rate than what LTD paid us, can they still take some of the back pay for the year that they didn’t pay for me to offset the difference? Also my LTD carrier paid my monthly child support obligation. Will they require me to pay them any lump sum my ex may receive? I have read some of your questions and frankly they scare me! My ex wife will pocket any lump sum she receives and leave me to hang if I am required to pay her portion too.

    Michael Jan 16, 2014  #56

  • Nancy,

    You will need to consult with an attorney specializing in Social Security Disability as to your questions regarding your son’s case.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 15, 2014  #55

  • My son turned 18 yrs just 2 weeks after a disabling injury I received in May 2011. He has been disabled since birth, we had registered him at age 10 with Social Security Disability but they stated as long as both parents were working there was no benefit. I was told at that time by Social Security personnel that my son would need to re-apply when he turned 18 years of age for his disability… So, after my injury, it took a very long time to get Social Security to approve my disability, which they did in July 2012. Even though my son applied when he turned 18, the letter from Social Security states that he needed to now apply for benefits and that if awarded, they would use July 2012 as his effective date.

    The Social Security packets/info explain that if you are under the age of 22 and your parent is legally disabled, that you qualify for Social Security Disability and he can also apply for Medicare. When my son turned 18, I was 2 weeks into my disabling injury and since Social Security awarded me in full, I feel he should have retro back to his 18th birthday if awarded (we are appealing a denial ourselves). He applied within the timeline to retro to his birthday. Otherwise, the government is getting advantage by denying viable claims of people with disabled children over 18. They benefit by their denials, and could be interpreted as deliberate denials of my benefits so they could delay the start of his benefits as long as possible. My son’s denial said that although their doctor found he was unable to work, they have determined he can do menial work (which is impossible for him).

    Is this possible? Should they not retro his benefits to age 18 (May 2011) if awarded? Or can they use the date they finally decided to award me benefits July ’12? (after a hearing – I have had 3 spinal surgeries for thoracic burst fracture and just had 7 level spinal fusion again 2 months ago).

    Nancy U Jan 14, 2014  #54

  • Terry,

    More often than not the language of the policy is any money received from the SSA is an offset, which the insurance company reads to mean the total amount regardless of deductions for Medicare or taxes. The only exception is an attorney fee award paid out to an attorney who helped secure your benefit.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 5, 2014  #53

  • Sir since SSDI deducts money for Medicare and you have no choice in this deduction, should a LTD insurance company still recieve an offset credit for this payment? Thanks. Terry

    Terry Jan 4, 2014  #52

  • Gary,

    You are correct. Once you stop receiving benefits for your dependent child, then either MetLife or Mass Mutual should start paying you more money each month. Also, they can only deduct the actual amount you receive from SSDI.

    Gregory Dell Dec 28, 2013  #51

  • I am disabled from a heart transplant back in 1993 and receive Social Security Disability plus a benefit for my child who turned 18 back in August 2013 and will graduate high school in May 2014 at which time his benefit will end. I also receive monthly benefits from MetLife and Mass Mutual private disability insurance policies on top of my Social Security. In May 2014 when the Social Security benefit drops (by approx $850.00) will this cause either or both of my private insurance disability policies to increase by that amount?

    If Social Security is now paying me less than they were, then wouldn’t the disability companies need to make up that difference?

    I have filled out forms over the past many years indicating my Social Security income including the child amount and so their offsets should have been calculated and deducted from what they’ve been paying me.

    Thank you!

    Best regards,

    Gary M. Dec 27, 2013  #50

  • Bob,

    It is not uncommon for a group disability policy to indicate dependent SSDI benefits as a source of “Other Income” and offset your benefit by same. You will need to obtain a copy of your policy and review the section that refers to “Other Income.” If it does indicate that dependent SSDI is an offset then Liberty Mutual will be able to offset your benefit by the amount received. Liberty will most likely require you to apply for the dependent benefit.

    With respect to paying “what the judge says the legal fees should be”- under ERISA the only time attorney’s fees will be paid is if you prevail at trial and then on separate motion to the court the judge awards attorney’s fees.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 5, 2013  #49

  • I have been receiving LTD from Liberty Mutual through my employer. The plan summary and description states they would offset any SSDI that “you” receive but Liberty is saying that “you” includes spouse and children. If my employer didn’t pay me based on my family or the amount of money they needed how can Liberty Mutual say they can. I’m sure that my employer hasn’t kept up the plan documents as they should have and that is what it may have been in the past but when I filed I closely reviewed the plan description and summary posted on our benefits website. It also states that if I’m denied in whole or in part and file a legal recourse and am successful that they will pay what the judge says the legal fees should be. I just was approved for SSDI 2 weeks ago and am afraid that Liberty will begin reducing my monthly benefit from them for both my amount my sons, and spouse even though we haven’t applied for them yet. What do I do? Thank you.

    Bob Dec 4, 2013  #48

  • Bmoss,

    The carrier is only entitled to receive as repayment of an overpayment any monies actually received by you from the SSA. They should not be entitled to any portion of a lump sum back benefit check from the SSA that was apportioned to an attorney as a fee.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 14, 2013  #47

  • Can a LTD company ask more from you in an overpayment that was given to you by Social Security?

    BMOSS Nov 13, 2013  #46

  • Mona,

    I will respond to your questions in order.

    (1) Receipt of SSDI benefits is not a guarantee that you will receive benefits under a private/group disability policy, but it does constitute strong evidence of disability that the carrier must consider. From your comment I assume you did not appeal the decision denying your benefits, but if you had, providing the SSDI information would have been helpful.

    (2) If your policy indicates that any amount received is subject to offset, then you would be responsible to refund any SSDI funds that correspond to any period of disability the company was paying you benefits for.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 12, 2013  #45

  • My LTD company stated that to them I am no longer disabled and stopped payments in August 2012 after 2 years. I was awarded SSI in September 2012.

    I have a few questions:

    How can they say I am not disabled and no longer pay me when SSI has awarded me disability?

    Since they are not paying me anymore, do I have to pay them back?

    And no where on any paperwork did it state anything about my childs payment. When I call and ask what I owe, I am told that they don’t know yet. If I am no longer a client, why do I owe them?

    Mona Nov 11, 2013  #44

  • Hiking,

    If the policy indicates SSDI as an offset then you do have an obligation to repay the money received. Whether Hartford finds out about the SSDI award or you do in fact pay them back is another matter.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 10, 2013  #43

  • I have been receiving LTD through Hartford for almost 3 years when they terminated me several months ago. Have SS hearing soon and if awarded do I have to pay Hartford back the back pay that I would receive.

    Hiking2007 Nov 9, 2013  #42

  • Bill,

    Contact your carrier to get clarification as to how they are determining the overpayment amount. You’re right- they can’t take something you didn’t receive.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 20, 2013  #41

  • Hello,

    I’m currently on SSDI. I received and over payment check from Social Security that I’m going to remit back to my LTD carrier. The problem is that the check from SS if about 1K less than what my LTD carrier is asking for. I have no problem giving the money back to my LTD carrier. But why would I be expected to remit more than I received from SSDI?


    Bill Sep 18, 2013  #40

  • Christine,

    Yes. Most disability policies indicate Primary Social Security and Dependent Social Security (child in this case) awarded attributed to the disability of a parent are offsets under the policy. From the sound of it, you only have an information brochure from the employer as to the policy and not the actual plan document. Request a copy from the employer for full detail. If the policy allows for the offset for dependent Social Security, then MetLife is entitled to recollect overpayment and offset the benefit.

    Stephen Jessup May 16, 2013  #39

  • Hi,

    My husband receives LTD benefits from MetLife and now they found out about our son’s child social security disability check that comes in my name, not his. His employer’s LTD coverage states that depending on your personal circumstances, the benefits you may receive from sources other that the LTD coverage may significantly reduce any benefit that the company’s LTD coverage might provide. It doesn’t state anything about child’s social security payments. Now they are claiming an overpayment because of this, can they win this in court?

    Christine May 15, 2013  #38

  • Moore,

    If the SSA did not award disability benefits to your dependent child due to your disability, then Assurant may have no right to the benefit. If your daughter receives primary SSDI (not associated with yours) then under those circumstances it is unclear how they could assert the offset. Please note that a majority of employer provided disability policies do allow for a carrier to collect for an overpayment to a dependent receiving SSDI benefits on account of your disability.

    Stephen Jessup May 2, 2013  #37

  • I was awarded SSDI last year, dating back to 2010. My LTD required me to apply and was approved with no issue. I understand the overpayment for myself is to be signed over to my LTD carrier but my daughter is disabled as well. No where in the policy with Assurant does it state they can collect on a disabled dependent. They are now trying to collect on her and we do not have the money as we used it for medical, living, therapy care for her. What are some options? Thank you.

    Moore May 1, 2013  #36

  • Zack,

    Technically, the LTD company could seek reimbursement from you, but if you are no longer dealing with them, then the chances of them ever contacting you again are slim to none. If you plan to seek more benefits from the disability company, then they will definitely seek an overpayment.

    Gregory Dell Apr 19, 2013  #35

  • I was receiving long term disability for exactly two years. The company stopped paying me in December. In January, one month after I stopped receiving payments from them, I was awarded SSDI. I received a lump sum payment from Social Security in January. Am I required to turn over the lump sum to the disability company?

    Zack Taylor Apr 18, 2013  #34

  • Chad,

    You may be a candidate for a Hartford disability buyout, but whether it is a good case for a buyout depends on numerous factors. Please watch our videos discussing lump sum buyouts here and here. Please call us if you would like to discuss your options.

    Gregory Dell Apr 12, 2013  #33

  • I became disabled in 2010. The Hartford paid me LTD as per the policy – 60% of my wages. When there 2 year “decision” period came in early 2012 they approved me as totally disabled and able to receive benefits until age 65. I applied for (as per the policy) for SS and was approved as of Dec 2012 at age 35. They sent me a bill for a $37,500 overpayment which I paid them right away. Then in Feb 2013 I received another letter saying I own them $20,700 for another overpayment for my son (now 15).

    Now I understand if the money is coming into the household they reduce your benefits… bla bla, it’s BS but it is in the paperwork. Here is my complaint, I do not have custody of my son, my ex-wife does. I get him 35% of the time (Oregon overnight caculations). She received a lump sum payment of $27,500 and also receives $873 per month due to my disability. The Hartford has sent me a letter stating they are reducing my benefits by $873 per month and oh yea I need to pay them $20,500 in overpayments for him before they will start giving me my $764 a month again.

    They never helped me pay for a single thing for him for the 3 years I was waiting for SSDI to kick in. I don’t have custody, file him on my taxes, and due to HIPPA laws Social Security can’t even tell me who they’re paying the money to for him!

    Now I know it’s going to his mother and it will be a cold day in h*** before she would pay them back. Furthermore why should she? I am just seeing what you think of this situation. How can they take all this from me? I don’t have another $20,700 to give them, I gave them everything I had for MY overpayment. As it stands now I receive $1644 after medical deductions from SSDI and if I am stuck with this $874 deduction per month AND have to pay back the $20,700 his mother received (that they spend on nice trips and car etc.) I am paying app. $1650 per month for 1 child. I PAY MORE THAN 50% of my income to his mother! It has left me unable to take care of myself let alone my son the 35% of the time I do have him… HELP!


    Is this a good case to just go for a lump sum payment? If you take the $873×39 months left paying my son and the $20,700 overpayment for a total of $54,747 in deductions they would still pay me (if my math is correct) $505,752 over the life of the policy.

    Chad V. Apr 11, 2013  #32

  • Gary,

    We are not accountants, but you can report the income in a manner that works best for you and provide a reasonable explanation to the IRS if they ask. You should ask an accountant for an official opinion. You should send a letter to the disability carrier explaining the problem with what they did to your wife as back you for yourself.

    Gregory Dell Apr 4, 2013  #31

  • My wife, who went on LTD in 2010 through a LTD insurance policy, finally won her case with the SSA in 2012. She received a check from the SSA for back pay in late December 2012 and was required to send the proceeds to the insurer.

    The problem: although she immediately wrote and mailed a check to the insurer the same day that she received the SSA check, the insurer did not post it until early January 2013. So both the SSA and the insurer are showing on their respective 2012 tax year SSA-1099 and W-2 that my wife received pay, without showing the credit to the insurer, effectively resulting in $30,000 that she did not receive benefit of. The insurer indicated they will show it on her 2013 W-2. But that means we’ll have to pay tax on the $30K now. I don’t know if we would be allowed to deduct the net credit — the insurer benefits that will be paid in 2013 will be less than the reimbursement they received from SSA — on our 2013 tax year return. I’m sure this has probably happened to others. What can we do about this “timing” situation? Thanks!

    Gary Parker Apr 3, 2013  #30

  • Regina,

    I have rarely ever heard that you are required to sign an ETF for your SSDI funds. You should demand this requirement in writing to verify if it is true.

    Gregory Dell Mar 23, 2013  #29

  • I am close to getting my retroactive pay from SS. I have been contacted by lawyers that work for my LTD company. They want me to sign an Electronic Funds Transfer form so they have approval to take the money as soon as I deposit it. They want all banking info. I have heard of LTD companies getting all the retroactive pay and then cancelling the LTD policy. I read over the letter that stated I am approved through them until the year 2044, but they stated right after that saying, “UNLESS REVIEWED BY OUR HEALTH EXAMINERS THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER DISABLED”. I feel as though they are trying to be sneaky and trick me. I want it in writing from them of what I expect and then we will negotiate $. Not being ugly but, I think 2 can play this game.

    Regina Moore Mar 22, 2013  #28

  • Daniel,

    Most ERISA disability policies also have an offset for minor children that receive benefits as result of your disability. I have not seen your policy so I can not specifically answer your question.

    Gregory Dell Mar 13, 2013  #27

  • Dear Attorney Dell,

    As with the others here I have been on SSDI for 4 years and received short / long term benefits and since that time and was awarded a hefty check which as with others had returned to Mutual of Omaha. Now my son is 17 and he was awarded also a lump sum as well last year living with me and having slight Crohn’s disease. I was required to send back overpayment also from his sum to Mutual and since this time we used the monies for bills , home improvement etc. Problem is my son moved out and wants his lump sum and reported it to S.S. Mutual has reduced all my future benefits to the minimum of $100.00 and will continue to do so until this money is repaid.

    Now S.S. is calling me saying the money are owed to son. The insurance co. too want their money or they will keep the reduced rate towards me and may even sue. Since the $$ is now gone who gets what ??. I would be happy to give my son this $$ back in payments each month out of my SSDI if the SS ADMIN does this and pay him off in a few years. Now if I arrange this with S.S. if even possible who pays for my deducted benefit and me. S.S office advised me last year to give the $$ to my son and then sue him to pay back the insurance co. That is just plain outrageous to advise.

    So, in a nutshell, who gets what and who pays my insurer for payment?

    I was in a contract with Mutual and Integrated benefits and all monies were to be repaid according to IBI and my disability carrier. I was told by one attorney friend that S.S does not have the right to make or force payment when monies are to be repaid to the insurance companies

    Thank you and keep up the great work. It is always good to know their are still good folks in this world.

    Daniel B. Mar 12, 2013  #26

  • Steve,

    If your son received the check from SSDI as a result of your disability, then it is likely that you will need to return the funds to Liberty Mutual.

    Gregory Dell Jan 21, 2013  #25

  • Greg,

    First, thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions. I have been disabled for the past 3 years with a seizure disorder. Liberty Mutual was paying for my STD and LTD since the beginning. I was awarded SS recently. Received a back check for about $12,000. Gave it back to Liberty Mutual. Now my son Aaron received a check from SS for about $7,000. Is this our money? Do we have to also give that to Liberty Mutual since they took my first check? How do I find out what to do? We could really use that money since I am losing helath insurance at the end of the month and the costs are just too much for our family to do.

    Steve Olson Jan 18, 2013  #24

  • Regina,

    You should always deal with your disability insurance company in writing. Send them your specific question in writing and they will provide a written response. Tell them that you want a written response. I don’t know the specific facts of your claim so I cannot answer your question. We have other frequently asked questions on our site about SSDI overpayment claims which may have the answer you seek.

    Gregory Dell Dec 21, 2012  #23

  • My question is how Reliance Standard figure up the overpayment amount the will get if SSD approved and I recieve retroactive payback. I called them and they would not give me an example amount of this. All they would say is that they will get all or most of it no matter what it is. Can LTD companies not give you an answer or example for this so you can see how this is done? They state that if I am approved for backpay, the LTD benefit are recalculated, and I will be required to reimburse RSL the amount of overpayment and that is usually all of it. I dont understand how this is calculated? Can u help?

    Regina Moore Dec 18, 2012  #22

  • Lindsay,

    The setoff request is only legal if your policy contains language which specifically allows ING to take the setoff. You need to ask ING to send you the language they are relying upon to offset your policy. It may be possible that your disability policy with ING does not have the setoff language.

    Gregory Dell Oct 6, 2012  #21

  • I’m writing in regards to getting a better understanding regarding Rose’s question.

    I myself have been on disability for 18 years with SSDI and ING as my LTD. In March of 2011 SSDI asked me why had I not applied for my 3 children to receive benefits since I had been disabled for so long. So I did, and they actually retro-paid 1 year. I was told by SSDI that since it was for in my children’s names, that it did not affect my LTD. I live in California and my LTD is in Minnesota. I reviewed all my LTD paperwork and the only thing it states is that I would receive 66 2/3% of my base salary and would be integrated with any other disability benefit payments that I would be receiving. It does not have anywhere that it mentions any ofsets regarding any dependents SSDI payments. I just got a request by my LTD company to update income earnings and of course I mention the children’s income and they have stated that this is additional income to my earnings and that my LTD will be stopped because this is considered offset income even though it is for my 3 dependents. Is this legal, and do I legally have to pay back to them my children’s money based on my disability?

    Lindsay Oct 5, 2012  #20

  • Amy,

    The disability carrier is not entitled to come after any funds that your disabled child receives a result of his or her own disability.

    Gregory Dell Jul 28, 2012  #19

  • My husband was on long term disability for a year and half when he was finally awarded SSDI. We have 3 children who also received it in their names as well and we received retro checks for all. LTD company sent me a letter of total I owed them for retro SSDI and I paid, then they sent letter to say all was paid. Since then I’ve received 2 more letters saying I owe more for family and each time the amount increases even though we are no longer on LTD due to 2 year limit. The form I signed with LTD company stated we would have to repay for any other money “he” received for that disability and nothing about family. Also one of my kids is “disabled” and we even filed with Social Security while my husband was disabled. Can LTD company still come after “disabled” child’s money as well as my other children?

    Amy Jul 27, 2012  #18

  • Pam,

    Great question. If the guardian is receiving SSDI benefits as a result of your disability, then it is likely that MetLife will still be entitled to a setoff each month.

    Gregory Dell Jul 20, 2012  #17

  • Can MetLife take the lump sum for my children that was paid out to a guardian instead of the parent? Parent did not receive this money.

    Pam Gaddis Jul 20, 2012  #16

  • Rose,

    If your husband’s MetLife disability policy contains language providing an offset for any dependents, then MetLife can legally take the offset. We agree with you that it is not fair and should be illegal.

    Gregory Dell Jun 25, 2012  #15

  • My husband was awarded SSDI in 2011. At that time, both of our children were also awarded SSDI due to his disability. Now MetLife, who originally told my husband that the children’s money did not needed to be reported, is asking for his payments to be reduced because of it. They also want the government document that states the money our children is receiving, which I am refusing to provide, right now.

    I view this as they are taking money that the government awarded the children, not my husband. Their money goes into their own account and my husband is not allowed to touch it. Unfortunately, the children will not have these benefits moving forward if this is legal.

    Rose Jun 21, 2012  #14

  • Candy,

    Hartford cannot garnish your SSDI payment, but Hartford can stop paying you until they recover their overpayment. Hartford can also sue you to recover the overpayment. Hartford cannot touch your child’s money.

    Gregory Dell Apr 15, 2012  #13

  • I just got approved for my SSDI. I had waited two years. I got approved 4/2012, but I started short term in 2010, until the term was up for short term and I started long term in 8/2010 until today. If I don’t repay Hartford back, can they garnish my benefits fromm SSD? Also, if I put my retro-pay into my minor child’s name, can they withdraw the money out of my child’s account?

    Candy Stone Apr 15, 2012  #12

  • Chris,

    If you earn any money then you will lose your SSDI benefits and no longer be eligible for Reliance Standard Benefits once the overpayment is completed. Reliance Standard has the ability to negotiate a repayment plan with you should they want to.

    Gregory Dell Jan 25, 2012  #11

  • Thank you for making this forum available. This is Mary’s (from above) brother again with an update – I hope to read your comments on the matter.

    Reliance Standard, my LTD insurance company, is now going to reduce my LTD payment each month to the legal minimum (I believe under these circumstances they can go as low as $0) until the $20k they claim they overpaid me is recouped. This will take well over a year and reduces our income to well below our overhead. Of course, this effectively cancels my upcoming required bone marrow transplant as we could not possibly absorb any of the usual lingering medical costs. This also now also forces me to find some kind of employment just to survive and to try and keep our home.

    Reliance Standard knows very well my medical condition – that the bone marrow transplant is a necessity and that my blood counts are critical (my absolute neutraphil count – these are the white blood cells that protect against infection – is an alarming “0”). My proximity to any sick persons – even the common cold – is cause for extreme alarm. When I get a cold it turns into Pneumonia within days as well as several awful days in the hospital. A critical infection will simply be a matter of time in the workplace. Never mind my ability to physically actually do the work at hand. How can an insurance company force a customer into harm’s way like this? Are there no laws to protect people in my situation?

    So what should I do? What is the best course of action for relief from Reliance Standard? And, if I can pull it off physically, can I earn money without jeapordiing my SSD payments and those separate SSDI payments that go to my daughter in Texas?

    BTW – I am in Denver – I think it’s the 10th District Court. I hope to hear from you soon – and thank you in advance.


    Chris Jan 25, 2012  #10

  • I am Mary’s brother from the previous comment, fighting cancer and standing by for a 2nd bone marrow transplant. Reliance Standard has started deducting $700/month from my LTD payments and now wants $20k for “overpayment” of SSDI for my daughter within the next 10 days (14 days from date of letter). Although my daughter has not lived with me, nor have I claimed her as a dependent since 2002, when she was 2 years old, Reliance Standard defines her as my dependent by being my “biological child”… which, of course, she is. I have never been involved in any of the SSDI process, that having been initiated and administered by her mother, both my daughter and her mother live in Texas. It was always out of my hands. I have never had any contact with any of the SSDI money associated with my daughter, those payments go straight to her mom. Reliance Standard is going to reduce my monthly LTD to a minimum (they can go as low as $100/month) to recoup the “overpayment”, which puts my transplant clearly out of reach and this also requires me now to seek some kind of employment in spite of my critical health (critical blood counts with an ANC of 0!).

    This is all very wrong. How can an insurance company hand down a death sentence to someone who paid their policies in good faith for many years?

    Please help me fight these people. And win.

    Best regards,

    Chris Mickle Jan 14, 2012  #9

  • Mary,

    If the daughter is not his dependent, then he may be able to avoid the offset. He can also try to work out a payment plan with Reliance.

    Gregory Dell Jan 13, 2012  #8

  • My brother is on disability for lymphoma and he is very sick. He is supposed to have a bone marrow transplant this month. He has a young daughter, 11, that lives with an ex-wife in a different state. He only sees her once a year and cannot claim her tax deductions. His ex-wife filed for SSDI for the child because of his illness and the money goes to the ex-wife for the child. Reliance has decided that that they are going to do an SSDI offset on his disability, and now say they overpaid him by nearly $20K. Yesterday, they notified him that they want their money by the end of the month. If they don’t get it, they say they will stop his payments until the money is paid back. He has no other income. He is canceling his transplant because he had no income now to even pay his medical deductible. He is severely immuno-supressed and is not supposed to be out in public with germs. This company, Reliance, is forcing him back to work, which will kill him. Are there any options? Thanks.

    Mary Higgins Jan 12, 2012  #7

  • Brian,

    They may be able to only go back as far as the statute of limitations in your state. You can also attempt to negotiate with them if you think they are entitled to an overpayment.

    Gregory Dell Dec 16, 2011  #6

  • Like many others on this site, I have a question regarding a LTD company seeking to collect over payment of “Family Benefits” received by children of a parent with a disability.

    From the very beginning, the benefits received were in the name of my children and they filed taxes each year along with my wife serving as the Personnel Representative. I do not include the amount in my filed taxes. Now, I presented each LTD company with this scenario each time they inquired about the income reported and in all cases the offset was not applied thinking the particular scenario trumped what was in the policy. The individuals I spoke to told that their children were exempt since my wife was the Personnel Representative. I have even documented the name of the person I spoke to at UNUM and have documentation sent to the company.

    Is it legal for them to collect because I did the right thing on several occasions? How far back can they collect as I have been on disability since 2005? Thanks.

    Brian House Dec 16, 2011  #5

  • Mary,

    I am assuming by PR, you mean Personal Representative. If you are the guardian or have legal custody of your child, then there would still be an SSDI setoff for SSDI benefits that are paid as a result of your disability.

    Gregory Dell Nov 16, 2011  #4

  • If you are not the PR for your child’s benefits they receive from you, can your LTD require you to reimburse the retro and deduct your childs from your retro?

    Mary Cromer Nov 15, 2011  #3

  • Wendee,

    It is sad that many disability companies limit mental nervous claims to two years. The companies that write these disability policies are in business to make a money and based upon the number of mental nervous claims they receive each year, they have determined that a 2 year limitation is necessary in order to limit their financial risk. The government and department of insurance have not done anything to regulate this issue as they don’t really have the power to disturb the terms of the contract. When your employer purchased the MetLife policy, they could have paid more money and asked MetLife to exclude the 2 year mental nervous limitation.

    Gregory Dell Sep 5, 2011  #2

  • I was receiving LTD through Metlife as well ass SSD. At the two year mark, (2009) I was cut off from LTD because my illness (mental) had a two year cap in the LTD contract. All other illnesses are covered until age 65. I have checked with several local attorneys, who had all said that this was common practice and perfectly legal, so I know this isn’t going to change for me. My question is, in these enlightened times with so much focus on equity in the workplace, how can this still be a legal practice. It saddens me on so many levels, it seems so totally 19th century, is burning the mentally ill at the stake next? I might also add that my income was cut in half, which has of course added a major additional strain to my already fragile condition. Any thoughts or advice?

    Wendee Saint James Aug 31, 2011  #1

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