What To Expect From Disability Insurance Companies in 2021

2020 was a year of adjustment for everyone, including long term disability insurance companies. Now that 2021 is here, with some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, these disability companies are beginning to adjust to a new way of working. Below, read more about what the long term disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer have observed in 2020 and some of the main changes we expect to see in 2021.

We expect that there will be an increased number of disability benefit denials for a variety of reasons.

Although some insurance carriers extended claimants a bit of grace in 2020, especially with matters like telehealth vs. in-person medical visits, 2021 is likely to bring an increase in claim denial rates. Not only are many insurance carriers merging, putting a fresh set of eyes on pending claims, but many long term disability claims adjusters seem to be subject to more oversight than they were in 2020.

A lot more compulsory medical exams are being requested because claimants are seeing their doctors less. These exams are supposed to be independent, but often they are not.

When a disability insurance carrier isn’t satisfied that the claimant’s medical records support their disability claim, they may order an independent medical examination (IME). Though these exams have “independent” in the name, the physician who performs them usually has a vested interest in denying the claim – after all, they’re being hired (and paid) by the insurance carrier. In addition, these exams are compulsory, and a claimant who refuses to go through with the IME may have their claim denied automatically.

Can telehealth doctor visits be accepted over physical exams by your doctor? We think you should continue to be physically examined as much as possible while being safe.

If you’ve already been on claim for a while, you may not have much to worry about when it comes to seeking telehealth instead of in-person doctor visits. But for new long term disability claimants, it’s a good idea to opt for physical exams over telehealth exams whenever possible (though only to the extent that it’s safe to do so). Insurance carriers just aren’t likely to take telehealth diagnoses and observations as seriously as they take in-person exam notes, and at the beginning stages of the claim process, it’s even more important for your medical records to be as thorough and complete as possible.

We think video surveillance will be back and that claimants should assume they are being videotaped when outside of their homes.

It’s been a longstanding practice of many long term disability insurance carriers to engage in video surveillance of claimants to see if they can be “caught” doing any physical activity they claimed to be unable to do. In 2020, this practice dropped off a bit; many claimants simply weren’t leaving their homes very often, while some of the insurance employees who performed this surveillance also were subject to shelter-in-place orders.

But in 2021, with more people receiving the COVID vaccine and beginning to resume life as normal, this video surveillance is likely to return. Claimants should know that whenever they’re outside their home, their disability insurance carrier may be watching.

The mergers of many disability insurance companies will result in a full review of many long term disability benefit claims.

In 2020, some of the biggest names in long term disability insurance merged, including Cigna and New York Life. These mergers can result in increased scrutiny of claims as each insurance carrier begins to adjust to its new (and combined) processes. And with larger staffs at many of these newly-merged companies, claim adjusters will have more time to carefully pore over each claimant’s file.

Although the pandemic seems likely to continue into 2021, insurance carriers are starting to go back to business as usual – or at least business as usual in this new environment. With increased disability denial rates and a rise in video surveillance, claimants must do all they can to ensure their disability benefits continue. Regardless of whether you’re just starting the claim process or have been on claim for years, the disability insurance attorneys at Dell & Schaefer can help you protect your benefits and see that any gaps or omissions in your claim file are addressed. Visit our website to learn more about the services we offer or give us a call to schedule your FREE consultation.


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Disability Company Reviews
(641)
Showing 8 of 641 Reviews
New York Life

Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
Reliance Standard

Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >

Hartford

Former Hartford employee has had life insurance and accidental death policy's revoked for one late premium payment

Reviewed by Becky H. THOMAS on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | February 2024 date of disability
Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

Lincoln Financial

Never received benefits my entire leave - or help with them

Reviewed by Anna on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I used my short term disability insurance for maternity leave and started the process beforehand knowing when I would be out (scheduled induction.) It took a little over a... read more >
Sun Life

Unscrupulous Tactics

Reviewed by Misseekayy on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
Sunlife uses unscrupulous tactics in order to prevent payment of claims. They wait until it is close to the 30 day mark and then they ask for another form of information o... read more >
Sedgwick

Lame

Reviewed by Dennis T. on December 11th 2023   Verified Policyholder | March 2022 date of disability
My experience with Sedgwick and personell is as follows: Unhelpful, unprofessional and an overall unpleasant experience.
Unum

Low payments

Reviewed by Dorothy on November 30th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I was injured at work. I did house keeping in a hospital. I tore just about everything imaginable in my knee. I was let go from my job, because I was no longer able to do ... read more >
Lincoln Financial

Well Documented correspondence

Reviewed by Joshua on November 23rd 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I read other situations and it’s all very similar to my case. I have received STD from May 2023 and when my FMLA run out LF would not respond or answer my calls. My last... read more >
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Get Your Disability Application Approved

Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.

Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.

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If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.

Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.

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98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.

We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.

Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.

In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.

Who do you help?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.