Lincoln Financial Disability Denial: Determining a Date of Disability is Critical

Determining a date of disability is criticalApplying for disability insurance benefits is a complex process that requires a claimant to be familiar with all of the requirements in a disability policy. We often see that disability claims are denied benefits because a claimant does not select the correct date of disability.

A date of disability is not always the last date you worked or the first time that you saw a doctor. Many claimants suffer for weeks or months before they finally see a doctor. A disability claim becomes very challenging if a claimant stops working due to a disability and then sees a doctor shortly thereafter. Most ERISA disability policies require a claimant to be employed while they are disabled.

The following is a real life example of a claimant with a Lincoln Financial disability policy that was suffering with a psychological disability while employed, but did not see a doctor until a day after she stopped working.

I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 13 years for major depressive disorder, panic and OCD. I worked at the same company for 13 years and Lincoln Financial was the LTD carrier. Over the summer I was on FMLA with my son who is autistic and had major surgery. During this time my employer cut my job due to a funding cut, the employer offered me another job, with double the work and about 4 dollars less pay per hour. I had a major set back and was crippled with anxiety and panic, I ended up quitting my job when I was ready to go back after the FMLA was up because I was throwing up from the anxiety, I wasn’t sleeping etc. I was humiliated about the job change and all of my symptoms from my conditions came racing to the forefront.

I quit my job on the 11th of August, I saw my Dr on the 12 of August because that was the soonest he could get me in. He changed my meds and agreed that I was unable to work. I applied for LTD through them after calling them, explaining my situation and was told it was within my right to apply based on the 13 years of coverage. After 3-4 months and my ex- employer dragging their feet on getting the paperwork in, I was approved on February 9 for 2 years at 60 percent of my salary. They sent me a retroactive check for two months and approx one week after getting the approval letter and the check, they called me and told me that they made an error and they were denying my claim, because I quit on the 11th and I did not become disabled until the 12. I am devastated and scared to death. Why would they do this? I was so relieved to get some help and they even offered to help me with my SSD claim. They have records that I had pre existing conditions but they claim my disabiltiy didn’t officially start until I had the emergency appointment with my Doctor who could not see me until the day after I was to return to work. This has set me back miles wirh my mental health. It seems like a cruel joke someone has played o me, dangled an approval letter sent me a check and called me and said oops we made an error, so ‘forget it you are denied. i cant stop crying, I am riddled with panic and anxiety. I would have rathered they denied me from the start because this is just too much for me to handle. is this a common practice, they said it was done during a routine audit. Do they do a routine audit on a claim that was only approved for a week.. I am back to square one, no money, no way to work and humiliation at thinking I was approved.

There is a good chance that this claimant’s denial will be reversed, but an ERISA appeal is going to be required. This claimant could have likely avoided a claim denial had the proper steps been taken prior to filing the long term disability applications. Check out our video about applying for disability insurance benefits.

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FAQ

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 telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com 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 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer 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.

Reviews

Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

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