• Why Does the Disability Insurance Company Request My Tax Returns?

Why does the disability insurance company request my tax returns?

Disability attorney Stephen Jessup discusses why a disability insurance company will request a claimants tax returns.

The insurance companies are going to ask for your tax returns for a handful of reasons. First and foremost, it’s just to make sure you’re not working if you’re telling them that you are not working. Secondly, they may ask for them and if you have a residual disability claim, that’s going to be a basis to determine what your previous ability income was and when it comes into determining what your benefit amount is going to be under that residual disability definition.

Also, they may look on your tax returns and see that you have involvement in other corporations, so they may want to investigate that to really determine what your pre-disability occupation was. Some policy provisions will have it that they will consider every job you’re doing. So the tax returns are a way for the insurance companies to fully investigate so they have an idea in their mind of what your job duties were, or in the event of an ERISA group claim, it may be something that you may be able to do for any occupation definition. So there are various different reasons for it, but it’s not uncommon that they ask you for your tax returns.

Comments (105)

  • Marty, disability insurers often verify information, such as your occupational duties, hours, pay, etc. with your employer, manager and/or human resources, thus why they request their contact information.

    Cesar Gavidia Aug 19, 2022  #105

  • Why would my disability insurance ask for name and number of my manager be requested on my claim form/application?

    Marty Aug 18, 2022  #104

  • Rochelle: Do you have a private disability claim? I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to discuss your situation and answer any specific questions you may have regarding your situation.

    Jay Symonds May 2, 2020  #103

  • I’m on gov. disability and my 2019 return is high because of crossing 9 trial work periods. I’ve been paying a private disability company for 33 years. I fractured my pelvic in January, 2020 and have many other previous injuries, but they’re asking for my 2019 return which my ss advocate says has no bearing. Will I have a problem with my Gov. Disability? I’m 63 and plan to earn the $1,260.00 allowed?

    Rochelle P. May 2, 2020  #102

  • Joe, yes, unfortunately, you are likely required to disclose your wife’s income to Berkshire under the proof of loss requirement of your policy. Berkshire is likely trying to determine whether your wife is earning a reasonable salary for her position and that the loss of income you are claiming due to your disability is accurate.

    Cesar Gavidia Jan 24, 2020  #101

  • I have a Private Ltd policy with Berkshire. I am a physician on partial disability. Obama w2 employee and my wife and I file jointly. My wife wears many hats and is also a w2 employee where I work. She is not a physician. The insurance company is asking for her payroll info and she doesn’t want to give it. Am I obligated to provide them with her private information? They are flirting with a fraud accusation and making me feel very uncomfortable.

    Joe Jan 24, 2020  #100

  • Marilyn, yes, depending on your policy and if it offsets work earnings of any kind you may have been overpaid disability benefits, which the disability insurer may claim back. You should closely review your long-term disability policy and determine whether work income from your LLC is income that they should have offset from your disability benefits.

    Cesar Gavidia Jan 23, 2020  #99

  • Hi: I have recently been approved for LTD. I have had a LLC for the past eight years in which I receive income. I am concerned that the insurance company will ask for my tax returns and retrospectively take back LTC payments. I only applied to LTD as the request of my employer as I exhausted my STD and wanted to go back to work on a full time basis but working from home three days a week. My doctor approved this situation and provided documentation to my employer. My employer requested that I apply for part-time LTD. Can you tell me if I am at risk for retro take back?

    Thank you.

    Marilyn Jan 23, 2020  #98

  • Osa, if your wife signed an authorization allowing them to collect tax information that is one avenue. Manulife services Canada, and since we only handle disability claims in the United States, I am not sure if there are different protocol/rules in Canada for the ability to gather such information. I would recommend you consult with a Canadian disability attorney to see what your options are.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 12, 2019  #97

  • My wife has been receiving disability claim for almost 3 years now from Manulife. When first applying she was asked to provide tax returns and go thru multiple interviews which resulted in getting approved and begin to receive a monthly income. I think in the past when they asked for my wife return we did not provide any tax returns as she had zero income. They have this year asked for a tax return for the 2018 period in order to reconcile their accounts. I file my return jointly to claim my wife but I do not feel comfortable providing my return. What resources, if any, do the insurance providers have to obtain access to our or my tax returns?

    Osa Sep 11, 2019  #96

  • Steve, I will email you as I think it would be best if we speak about this in detail. Mass Mutual is trying to get a handle on all the income you have earned over the past 7 years and whether you currently have the loss of income required to pay your benefits under the terms of their policy. Rachel Alters, Esq.

    Rachel Alters Sep 5, 2019  #95

  • I am a physician and began receiving private, soc sec, and employer disability due to cancer in March of 2018. I have complied with all requests for documentation. I have recently earned a few checks (less than $800 each) for being an expert witness in a malpractice case, which I reported to the private carrier. No other income other than previous employer disability, passive rental income and ss disability, which was reported to the carriers. I have received a request, from the private carrier, MassMutual, for my tax returns going back to 2012. They even sent a pre-filled out IRS release form for all returns going back to 2012 and are willing to pay for it. Why would they want them so far back and should I comply? I am suspicious of their motivation. They asked for a minimum of two consecutive years. I feel I should (reluctantly) provide 2018 and 2017 only.

    Steve Sep 5, 2019  #94

  • Nikki, not unless they have reopened your claim at the administrative level or the Court has ordered them to do so. Generally, the administrative record closes for both the insured and the insurance company after the final denial of your administrative appeals.

    Cesar Gavidia Apr 16, 2019  #93

  • If I filed a lawsuit against a insurance company, are they allowed to request additional information if it’s under ERISA Law?

    NIKKI Apr 16, 2019  #92

  • Peter, unless you are on SSDI and your wife ends up getting a dependent SSDI benefit due to your disability, then the carrier is really not in a position to need to know you got married. That being said, if the question is asked directly we would not recommend being untruthful. You being married will not affect the administration of your policy with the exception of the SSDI issue.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 5, 2019  #91

  • Hi. I got married this year, my wife and I filled separate tax returns. I have not informed my long term disability with Prudential of my marital status as I’m worried that it might affect my payments. They have never up asked for my taxes. Do I need to inform them of my marriage by law?

    Peter Apr 5, 2019  #90

  • Tina, they can only get your tax returns if you sign a release. Otherwise you can send them your W-2 and your tax returns so they can verify your income. Your employer can also provide that information.

    Rachel Alters Apr 3, 2019  #89

  • Hello,

    What do it mean when a insurance company say they need to verify your income?
    Can they get your information from IRS ?

    Thank you,

    Tina Apr 3, 2019  #88

  • Roger, this could be a complicated situation and depends on a number of variables and factors. I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address your specific questions regarding your situation.

    Jay Symonds Nov 3, 2018  #87

  • Hi. I have been on long term disability for nearly ten years. I rent out two of my rooms on Airbnb to supreme my income. My SSDI and prudential disability payments are not enough for me to pay my bills. Mortgage, property taxes insurances etc. My partner maintains the physical espect of the business or cleaning, laundry bed making etc. as I cannot. I have not told Prudential about this as I was told it came under ‘soft income’. That does not need to be reported. Plus I don’t want any problems with my long term disability. I really don’t have any alternative as far as finances go. Could this create a problem for me. They haven’t requested any tax returns as of yet, but after reading some of the comments on here, it’s probably only a matter of time before they do.

    Roger Nov 2, 2018  #86

  • Charlotte, I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you are having. You would need to check your policy language under the “other income” section to see if the insurance company is permitted to take an offset for this payment. It depends what the payment was given for and whether your policy permits it.

    Rachel Alters Oct 18, 2018  #85

  • I am 63 years old. I was approved for “own occupation”, and have been on LTD since April of 2017 for depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities. The insurance company now wants more medical info, etc. to determine if they will continue to pay me for “any occupation”. Before I went on disability, in 2016, I had asked my employer for “accommodation” for the MCS, because the “chemicals” exacerbated my anxiety and depression. Without proper accommodation, my symptoms became worse and worse, so my Union filed a grievance. The fact that I can no longer work, having a grievance with my employer and having to go on LTD has been extremely stressful for me. Just last month, in September, I finally met with my employer and union to try to settle the grievance. I was given a small amount of compensation for my suffering, but ultimately, no accommodation will be forthcoming and I can no longer work at that job. I am still considered to be an employee on LTD. Over the past year, I have often discussed this workplace grievance with my doctors. I am concerned that the insurance company will want to know about this “settlement” and will try to take this small amount of money from me. Can they do that? Can the insurance company take the money the employer gave me in lieu of accommodation? Thank you.

    Charlotte Oct 17, 2018  #84

  • Sue, Northwestern is entitled to information necessary to properly administer your disability claim and that can include all pages, schedules and attachments to your tax returns. If your tax returns are consistent with what you have been reporting to Northwestern then you should not have anything to worry about.

    Victor Pena Jul 23, 2018  #83

  • I have a personal long term disability policy through Northwestern. I have been out of work since October, 2017, and receiving disability since December, 2017. I have sent them all paystubs, and pension statements. I complete monthly forms to request a continuation of benefits, and I have had my doctors complete an “Attending Physician’s Statement” twice over this time period. About a two months ago, I received a letter stating that I did not have to continue filling out the monthly requests. Yesterday, I received a letter requesting my 2017 tax returns (all pages-schedules, etc.). I wonder why they would ask for the return now? Also, is Northwestern entitled to all the pages and schedules? I totally rely on my disability checks for everything, and I am afraid that they may use my tax returns (which totally verify what I have sent them) to decrease my benefits.

    Spondylosis Sue Jul 22, 2018  #82

  • Patrick, it will depend largely on the language of your disability policy, and how the proceeds from the farm are reported for income tax purposes. If you have not been working on the farm, which you indicate you have not, then it will come down to simply advising them that your wife handles the business. The bigger issue would be how Mutual of Omaha will review “income” under the policy. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 18, 2018  #81

  • My wife and I own a farming business and both are listed on the business licence. We just started the business in the fall of 2015 and have operated at a significant loss for every year since due to equipment and livestock purchases. I was also employed and working at second profession and was totally disabled in June 2016 due to an on the job accident. I have Mutual of Omaha LTD and filed a claim soon after and it was accepted. I have been receiving benefits for last quarter of 2016, 2017, and so far in 2018. On my claim form they asked me to report any other income other than what my regular W2, 1099R etc… reflected and I just assumed since the farm had no income it was not included. (There has also been less than $1000 in sales to reflect which was eaten up by the loss.) Mutual of Omaha has mentioned they may want me to send my 2017 taxes. This is the first time tax returns have been mentioned. How might this effect my claim? My wife has equal ownership and financial responsibilities and since I am now unable, she has been trying to keep the farm up until we can figure something out. It never crossed my mind as a issue until I researched it and found that insurance companies could possibly nit pic about these sort of issues. How might I prove that I have not been “working” the farm if it comes up?

    Patrick Apr 17, 2018  #80

  • Laura,

    It does not sound right to me. I would call Unum and find out if they are they have asked Lucens to contact you about your Social Security claim. I have a feeling they did not. Don’t send anything to them unless Unum asks you to in writing.

    Rachel Alters Apr 17, 2018  #79

  • I received a letter from The Lucens Group who say they are a designated representative of my long-term disability insurance company UNUM. The letter states they are conducting a routine review of the status of my Social Security benefits. I also receive social security disability and am 54 years old. The Lucens Group sent along an authorization form for me to sign that gives them full access to my Social Security file. When I search The Lucens Group online it appears that they are a company that tries to settle disability claims by making one-time payment offers. I don’t know if I should turn over my Social Security file to them? I have nothing to hide but I don’t trust insurance companies. What should I do?

    Laura Apr 16, 2018  #78

  • Sam, they can request the P & L’s for any residual claim. Since you were still operating at the time and not totally disabled they will want to see those statements to determine whether or not your business was losing money due to your disability. It also depends on how your policy defines total disability vs residual disability. It is best if you have your policy reviewed by an attorney to determine what your rights are. Feel free to call my office and ask for me. I can provide you with a free consultation.

    Rachel Alters Feb 26, 2018  #77

  • I am a health care professional with several employees. 7 months ago I experienced an injury to my dominant hand which is essential to the care I provide. My staff all have 30 years experience and can actually perform many of the duties of the practice but unfortunately are not legally allowed to do so. In an effort to maintain the business and see whether my hand would heal, we were able to keep the practice alive. However, now the writing is on the wall and I need to sell the practice and move on. The Disability Insurance company is requesting Profit & Loss statements for the past 7 months. Are they entitled to that information or can I defer providing that until the practice sale which is 1 month away. They seem bent on the stance there is a residual disability versus a total disability. Likely they want to suggest that since the practice was “open” for 7 month, it can continue doing so. Has maintaining the practice (albeit ethically questionable) confused the situation beyond recovery?

    Sam Feb 25, 2018  #76

  • Robert, did Unum specifically request your SS#, or was the question contained in the context of a claim form? If it is the latter I would ignore it, as there is no reason they should need that to administer her claim.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 27, 2018  #75

  • My wife has been on disability since 2003. She has acute arthritis which has only gotten worse over the years.(numerous joint surgeries). Her LTD payments come from UNUM and SSDI. That is her only income. We have received requests for information from UNUM every couple of years asking for updates on medical info from her and her doctors. We have always complied with their requests in full. My wife also granted them access to her info at Social Security. Her policy covers her until her 65th birthday which is 16 months away. She has not worked a single day since going on disability.

    Now after all these years, in addition to their usual requirements for info they want her to provide MY SS#. I have been retired since 2009. My only source of income is SS, a small pension from a previous employer and a few dollars from some short lived minimum wage part time jobs I’ve had over the last few years.

    I was recently the victim of identity theft and am reluctant to provide them with My SS#. Why do they want/need it??

    Robert Jan 26, 2018  #74

  • Anne, in some cases, yes, but only when the benefit is listed in the policy as a source of other income. The only policy I have really seen offset VA benefits are Reliance Standard policies. If your policy is silent as to VA benefits, I would safely assume there is no offset for them.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 26, 2018  #73

  • Are Veterans disability benefits used as an offset? It is not listed under other income in my policy. These benefits are not taxable, so I do not normally claim them as income. I do not want to disclose unless required, however, I do not want to have to pay back. Please advise.

    Anne Jan 25, 2018  #72

  • Susan, it is not uncommon at all to request a copy of an employment contract in order to determine occupational duties. Arguably the production reports should make it clear to them, but they may be looking to see if you had administrative duties. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the request in further detail.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 9, 2018  #71

  • Can they request a copy of your employment contract? I have already given them paystubs, tax returns, job description, productivity data. Now they are requesting a copy of my contract with the hospital ( I am a physician) and I don’t see why they need it. They say they want information on my duties and also want information on the termination section. We discussed that I can be terminated if I am on LTD per my contract and they want to read that section. Do I have to give this to them? Or maybe it doesn’t really matter one way or the other?

    Susan Jan 8, 2018  #70

  • Nabulsi, it is questionable based upon how you file your tax returns together. Arguably, no, as he is not an owner of the business so they should not be able to demand your business tax returns. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your husband’s claim in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 18, 2017  #69

  • I have a small business and I solely own 100 percent share of the business, my husband works part time and get paid for the hours he work. We file joint tax every year, he filed for residual disability claim with private disability insurance company in 2015, he has been paid according the profit and loss and how many hours He work.

    My question is do they have the right to audit the business financial records and bank account and all related matters to accounting regarding the business even if he is not the one who own it?

    Nabulsi fida Nov 17, 2017  #68

  • Beth, although the policy may not explicitly state they can request your tax returns, an insurance company will often request to verify earnings (if the benefit is being paid under a residual disability provision) or to verify that you are not working for profit (which would be a potential offset source).

    Stephen Jessup Apr 18, 2017  #67

  • My disability insurance is requesting my taxes for 2015-2016 which I have not filed. There is no provision in the policy which requires me to provide this information. Is my right to privacy protected by the constitution??

    Beth Apr 15, 2017  #66

  • William, if your policy has a residual disability rider, which I assume it does, the Profit and Loss statements are to document the monthly loss of income to compute what percentage of the benefit would be payable under the residual disability rider. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 11, 2017  #65

  • I’ve applied for LTD many months ago and keep getting a request for a Profit Loss report on the first two months of my claim. I became diagnosed with a serious illness and I own my own business. When I was diagnosed, I cut my hours in half and continued to work these first two months until I was unable to work at all on the third month due to treatment. Why would they keep asking for a Profit Loss report for these first two months in order to approve my claim? I’ve sent them business income reports, and tax returns yet the want to know my losses in a P/L report.

    William Apr 7, 2017  #64

  • Teresa, many policies exclude 401(k) plans from the list of sources of “Other Income.” However, you would need to review your policy to confirm.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 28, 2017  #63

  • For the last 6 months and the coming months I have been pulling funds from my 401 k. Will this offset my insurance payments?

    Teresa W. Mar 26, 2017  #62

  • Juley, it would be strange that they are requesting everything now. Typically insurance carriers will only request tax returns if they have reason to believe that an insured is working. Guardian is a historically reasonable insurance company, I would suggest you contact the in writing in inquire why they are requesting the returns.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 27, 2017  #61

  • Recently the Guardian asked for a copy of my tax return for 2015. I have received benefits fir 20 years now, and I am only 10 years away from reaching age 65. I only recall them asking for my tax return once before, probably 5 years ago or more. I don’t have anything to hide, other than the details of my husband’s income, employer’s deferred investments, and other sensitive financial data which has no relevance to my LTD. They are insisting they have to have all schedules … none of them relates to whether or not I have another source of income, which I don’t. I feel it’s an invasion of my husband’s privacy; I wouldn’t mind of I were single & the information only pertained to me. There is yet another new claims administrator, and I feel like he’s fishing fpr any reason to discontinue payments.

    I vague;y recollect dealing with this issue by authorizing either the IRS or the State of CA to provide all copies of relevant 1099s & W-2s to show whether or not I had additional sources of income, but they are rejecting my suggestion this time around. I realize they probably have the technical right to require my tax return in order to continue payment of my claim, but what possible reason could they have to look at my schedules A & B, etc? My Joint Interest, Dividends, or Deductions really shouldn’t affect my eligibility.

    I have considered redacting my tax returns so that the only information showing is relevant only to myself, other than showing which schedules and deductions are being taken (but not how much.) The last time I did this, they ended up telling me about the other option, which I mentioned above, where I authorized one of the Tax Authorities to provide only the relevant W-2’s and 1099’s pertaining to myself, of which there were none except SSDI & LTD.

    Am I being unreasonable? If I were running my own business, by some miracle, what would they be looking for on my return? I have never had a business, so I don’t know what forms would be relevant.

    Juley Feb 25, 2017  #60

  • Larry, this likely isn’t a situation where there is any criminality rising to fraud, but the insurance carrier is likely due an overpayment based on your work earnings. More than likely if they find out they will be requesting money back if the earnings are such that it impacts your monthly benefit.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 23, 2017  #59

  • Jenny, your benefits may not be taken away but it could be considered earned income and impact the amount of your benefits. Ultimately, it all depends on the language in your policy.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 23, 2017  #58

  • I am receiving long term disability, I was working and providing private insurance company my pay stub which didn’t effect my monthly check. When I quit I informed them. I started back at same job, same pay but I didn’t inform insurance company, will this be fraud, will I loose my benefits, will I go to jail or pay them back. I screwed up.

    Larry Jan 19, 2017  #57

  • I am going on disability due to dementia. My physicians want me to build my memory pathways by learning new hobbies. If I sell these hobbies just to cover material costs will my disability benefits be taken away?

    Jenny W Jan 19, 2017  #56

  • Ella, I have not seen a Unum policy that designates such money as a source of Other Income subject to offsetting your benefit.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 2, 2016  #55

  • Hello–I am going to refinance my home at a lower interest rate. I was going to get about 10000 extra out because I have two upcoming surgeries and would like to have money to pay towards them instead of going into debt. Will UNUM consider this extra 10000.00 as income and keep it? If they do, I won’t be able to meet my mortgage payments etc.

    Thank you.

    Ella H. Nov 29, 2016  #54

  • Steve, without reviewing your policy we would not be able to determine how the sale of your practice could affect your claim. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss in further detail.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 15, 2016  #53

  • Hello,
    I own my own business and I’m currently collecting disability from a private insurance company. I’m thinking of selling my business and I want to know if I do sell am I still eligible to collect my benefits? My doctor has told me I can not work for at least a year. Thank you!

    Steve Nov 13, 2016  #52

  • Tim, if your plan is an employer provided policy, depending on the policy language, the retirement proceeds could be a source of Other Income subject to offsetting your benefit, and potentially resulting in an overpayment. If the retirement benefits are from the employer you received the disability policy from, then it likely is an offset. A possibility to consider is a potential buyout from MetLife- but they will still review for any potential overpayment. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim further.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 26, 2016  #51

  • I receive disability from both SS and MetLife. I receive disability due to a stage 4 diagnosis 9 years ago and the post cancer problems I’m experiencing. I have continually given medical reports but just recently MetLife is asking for my tax returns. I have not worked in any capacity since my cancer diagnosis. However, over the years I have pulled from my retirement plans showing 1099’s. Is there a possibility they will consider this as income to cancel my disability? It has been the only way to help pay bills and I bought a home with a lot of it. It was that or pay high rent. Thought that would be a good thing. My only concern is the 1099’s from those retirement plans. I have not received any from any types of work. I would appreciate any advice on how I should approach this with them. Currently I am having kidney problems and trying to avoid a transplant or dialysis. My doctor mentioned that it would be foolish for them to cancel on me if I have to end up having to go that route. I’m only 48 and this is so difficult for me.

    Tim Oct 21, 2016  #50

  • Kae, it will certainly lead them to make an inquiry, but if you were not working in furtherance of a business then the likelihood it will be a large problem seems relatively low. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim and review the correspondence/Policy from Aetna.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 20, 2016  #49

  • I have aetna LTD disability and they requested the last two years of my income taxes under suspicion I’m operating a business at home. For 2014 my now ex husbands taxes are included filed jointly. For 2015 my tax consultant wanted me to claim the sales of farm animals I sold off because I was no longer able to take care of them after my divorce. Are they going to use this tax information against me to say I’ve been working? The taxes show a several thousand dollar loss in profit and I never actually sold any animal or chicken eggs for cash but traded them for hay and help cleaning my house.

    Kae Sep 17, 2016  #48

  • Ann, you will need to review your policy to determine what the carrier deems to be a source of other income subject to offset. If the money in the IRA stems from benefits originating in your employer’s retirement plan it could be an offset that would prompt an overpayment from the carrier.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 11, 2016  #47

  • Hi I had taken money out of my iRA and didn’t know if ERISA considers this as income. And half the money was my money that I put in the IRA. I didn’t report this since I filled out my LTD form before doing my taxes for that year. Will there be a penality for not reporting this if it’s income? I would plan to repay or would they adjust my payments? Thank you

    Ann Apr 9, 2016  #46

  • Ryan, request for tax records may just be Guardian confirming you have no other sources of income that would be deductible under the policy.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 23, 2016  #45

  • Hello. I receive ssdi and ltd via Guardian through age 67 (started 13 years ago). I have Aids and many complications (neuropathy,kidney issues, brain fog, autonomic nerve disease,etc). For the first time in 13 years, Guardian asked for a copy of my tax return. They couldn’t say why. I sent returns and am being told claim is good through end of year. Recently I passed out and was transported to ER and admitted for 4 days. Why do they now need to see my return? They withhold taxes, and deduct my ssdi. Concerned. I don’t work. Please help? Afraid they are trying to deny my claim.

    Ryan Mar 22, 2016  #44

  • Richard, any disability insurance attorney would tell you that the carrier would have a right to seek repayment of any benefits paid for SSDI that overlap with a period of time that the carrier was/is paying you. Whether the carrier finds out if you received the benefits after your claim comes to an end is another matter.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 19, 2016  #43

  • Attorney Jessup,
    Thank you for the quick response! My LTD claim will end Feb. 2017. Yes, I am represented by a SSDI Attorney and WC Attorney. I asked my SSDI attorney and she didn’t have an answer to my question. Do I need to seek a LTD Attorney or some other Attorney to get an answer to my question? Thanks, Richard

    Richard Feb 17, 2016  #42

  • Richard, your carrier could have a right to seek repayment. How long ago did your claim with the carrier end? Are you represented by your own attorney for SSDI?

    Stephen Jessup Feb 16, 2016  #41

  • Hello,
    I would like to ask if there is a statue of limitation for LTD Insurance Co. to go after your SSI/WC settlement.
    I was awarded the max 24 mo. disability for Mental illness. I was told by a person that LTD can only collect for the year I was paid, so if I get paid for 2016 and my SSI/WC claim is settled in 2017 can LTD still collect for 2016 wadges paid from my 2017 settlement? Thanks, Richard

    Richard Feb 16, 2016  #40

  • Tara, there typically aren’t situations where a carrier will not clarify a plan provision; however, not being responsive as to the exact nature of a request for information is another story, but generally you can get a general idea. I would also suggest one more certified letter to your former employer requesting a complete copy of the plan document- advise them that the request is being made pursuant to Section 1332 of ERISA and that failure to provide same could result in civil penalty.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 1, 2016  #39

  • Dennis, with respect to your wife’s information the only realistic thing you may be able to do is white out her SSDI. Only your W-2 would be needed. Unum is looking to determine if (1) you potentially owe them any money back based on your earnings and (2) will likely review your claim for continued benefits. With respect to any actions you have against your employer you will need to consult with an employment attorney to determine if you have any legal rights.

    Stephen Jessup Feb 1, 2016  #38

  • Thank you, Attorney Jessup. I have sent two certified letters asking them why they wanted the information and they refuse to answer. I have also asked both my ex- employer plus the plan administrator by certified letter for my full Plan/ Policy to see what language is in there regarding tax returns, but none has been provided for over three months .
    Can they legally refuse to clarify policy provisions and stonewall me as my fiduciary ? Regardless, I recently sent them 3 years worth of tax returns which is all I could find . My monthly check did not arrive yet so we will see……..

    Thank you.

    Tara Feb 1, 2016  #37

  • I receive LTD from UNUM since 2010, and also SSDI. I have a Hobby shop that I repair, clean and work on saddlery & tack. This a hobby for me since I was in my youth. I have a new case manager assigned and she asked me what I do and I told her of this. Their is little or no income received from my hobbies as I explained. The new case manager has requested my Tax information from all years since I began receiving LTD. I’ve read through the threads and understand the right to request, and what I should do to omit my spouses information.
    What if anything, are there clauses that I can go back and collect extra monies from my insurance company and employer for my demise that caused me to be placed under LTD?
    I’ve been seen by all of my Dr’s on a semi-annual basis and they still concur that due to my physical and mental suffering brought on by hours worked, traveling, work related stress and hostile,work environment I should be entitled to more. Is there such a potential to do so even after 5 years has passed?

    Dennis A. Jan 31, 2016  #36

  • Peter,

    Unfortunately, your fact pattern is too complicated to allow for any meaningful response. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation and what may happen with respect to your claim in light of your policy language.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 22, 2015  #35

  • Tara,

    The carrier most certainly thinks you have some source of other income that might be an offset under the policy (passive income is not). I would request in writing an explanation as to why they want the information. The will respond in writing, which will confirm what they are up to.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 22, 2015  #34

  • I have been on LTD for 5 years. I started an LLC a couple of years ago which required significant start up costs and ongoing expenses that impact revenue. The business does not at present make a profit. I elected to pay my wife a salary that was over the salary of what she would have expected in her profession due to the 24/7/365 day need for her to be available and unsocial working hours. As the LLC has revenue and significant expenses how will the private disability company view the fact that I pay my wife and not myself? How do they determine what are reasonable business expenses and what are not? Is the offset negotiable in cases like these?
    I am planning on paying myself next year and will declare with the company so they can offset my LTD claim.

    Peter Dec 20, 2015  #33

  • Hello. I have been on claim for 20 years under an ‘own occupation’ policy and have never worked since my disability started. I do have passive income including dividends and rental income. My erisa insurer asking for tax returns for 10 years. There is nothing in the policy regarding this–just a clause saying my payments will end on the date I fail to report my’ general income sources’ like ss benefits [i have none].

    I do not have copies of the requested tax returns. This seems to me to be overreaching and abusive claims management by the insurance company. I would really appreciate your perspective.

    Thank you and happy holidays !!!

    Tara Dec 19, 2015  #32

  • David,

    I don’t see how they would be entitled to your wife’s taxes as they have nothing to do with you and your income.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 13, 2015  #31

  • If I am married and file taxes separately, can UNUM ask for and would I have to provide them my spouse’s Tax Returns?

    David Dec 12, 2015  #30

  • Johnnie,

    I do not understand the nature of the policies you are inquiring about. If any income is being derived from the policy and it is taxable then they request a W-9. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation in greater detail.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 18, 2015  #29

  • My mother just passed May 4th we buried her May 9. I took over payments of the insurance policies she was paying on and changed over to my name as one making payments. There’s about 10 different people policies (my brothers and sister, my kids). Many of these policies are already paid for.I receive SSI , I haven’t worked in years. I only got myself a extra policies because my old one is only for 3000 . So why all the sudden now I’m being asked for a W-9 form? What’s would/could the reason be for me to need fill out a W-9?.

    Johnnie O. Nov 17, 2015  #28

  • Jose,

    Yes- you very much need to worry as your carrier is more than likely investigating your claim as it thinks you are working. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation in detail.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 11, 2015  #27

  • I have a long term disability claim with an insurance company. They recently did a field interview and now they are requesting my taxes. My brother is using my name for a couple of business he has due to his bad credit. I file the business tax returns under my name b/c the businesses are under my name, however there is no business income due to losses. I didnt let insurance company know about this. Do I need to worry about anything since there was no actual income and the businesses had losses?

    Jose G. Nov 10, 2015  #26

  • Margo,

    I have never seen a tax refund be considered income, so you should not have anything to worry about.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 15, 2015  #25

  • I am on Unum Long Term Disability. Do I have to report my tax refund as income to Unum?

    Margo Apr 14, 2015  #24

  • Jim,

    Have you recently been assigned to a new claim manager? If so, it would not be uncommon for them to seek updated information ahead of schedule. With respect to what has changed, one can I only guess as to the increased interest. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail so we can better advise you.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 8, 2015  #23

  • I have been receiving LTD from Guardian since 2006, offset by my SSDI amounts, and I have coined with every request for APS and all other documentation. Last year they advised me that I would only be reevaluated once a year in October. I gave them the data this past October, and now they called I say they are sending me a functional capacity form, a request for doctor’s visit notes, my 2013 tax return, educational and work experience form, and a continuing LTD form. Why the change? Are they looking for a reason to kick me off disability? I have not worked a day since separating from my employer and my condition gets worse every year. I have both physical disabilities and psychiatric diagnoses. Why would there be a sudden flurry of activity? I haven’t done anything wrong, but they make a person feel like a criminal with all this snooping and telling me one thing and then doing another. Thanks for your feedback in advance!

    Jim Kanderly Apr 7, 2015  #22

  • Kathy,

    Unfortunately, as our focus is on private disability insurance policies, you will need to consult with an attorney that handles SSDI claims as to your questions.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 27, 2015  #21

  • My husband had applied for disability through SSA and was denied. He then appealed. Now the SSA is asking him for his W2’s and tax returns. We are legally married but not legally separated so we file together. Is this a normal process in the appeals process. We are questioning as to why they want this information?

    We are not together as a couple but have not gotten a divorce yet either. He hasn’t worked in over a year and a half.

    Thank you!

    Kathy K. Jan 26, 2015  #20

  • Jack,

    Without seeing the information and policy we would not be able to advise you of any liabilities you may have under the policy. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss same in further detail.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 29, 2014  #19

  • Hello,

    I have been on LTD through Cigna since a July 2009 injury. They have done all of the normal items as far as investigators following us, IME visits and constant requests for medical evaluations and reports. Today we received a letter requesting tax returns for 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013. This is a new one.

    There are a couple of reason this causes concern.

    #1 – My wife has a one person owned LLC that goes on our taxes as if it were personal income. It is not filed as business taxes and doesn’t specify that it is only earned by my wife.

    #2 – In each of those years we exercised stock options with my previous employer and that employer held out taxes and sent us a 1099.

    How do we handle the request and are these two items going to be an issue?


    Jack Nov 28, 2014  #18

  • John,

    If SSDI is an offset under your disability policy then they might have a right to obtain information as it relates to your SSA disability claim. I would suggest you review any authorizations you may have signed allowing release of information. That being said, it is not at all uncommon for a disability carrier to request information from the SSA.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 9, 2014  #17

  • I have Occupational Insurance. Do they have a right for my SSDI file from SSA?

    John Sep 8, 2014  #16

  • Dot,

    If your disability insurance carrier is requesting your tax returns I recommend you omit your wife’s Social Security number, but it may be difficult to avoid providing her earnings. Regardless, the carrier should only be relying on the amounts attributable to you when determining eligibility for benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 26, 2014  #15

  • What if I file my taxes with my wife and I am asked to show tax returns to my disability insurance company? How do I make my wife’s information private? Or do I not have a chance?

    Dot Jul 25, 2014  #14

  • @Eric,

    For what it’s worth, my carrier used my passive income (in my case, rental income) to reduce my benefit by the corresponding amount. Of course, that reduced my premium, but was still frustrating.

    Bob May 7, 2014  #13

  • Eric,

    Stocks are passive forms of income not typically considered a source of other income that can reduce your benefit. That being said, I would suggest you review your policy to determine how the carrier will treat same.

    Stephen Jessup May 5, 2014  #12

  • I have stocks that I have before my disability. If I sell off some of my shares to aid me, how does that impact my disability income?

    Eric May 4, 2014  #11

  • Bob,

    It standard for the underwriters to ask for your tax returns. You may be eligible for more coverage than you think based upon some other income. There may also look at your other income to determine what occupation class you should be in. Are you applying for benefits or are you applying to get a policy. The issue with other income is much more complicated when it comes time to apply for benefits as they carrier will look at that income as method to say you have multiple occupations. At the end of the day, most disability carriers will require your tax returns.

    Gregory Dell Feb 21, 2014  #10

  • I am applying for disability insurance and the underwriters are asking for my last 2 years’ full tax returns. I have already provided a W2. Why do they need my tax return if I’ve already shown them my wages that I’m trying to protect?

    In my opinion, if I have outside income – i.e. rental property or other passive income – it shouldn’t matter to them because I’m not asking for that to be covered by the policy. Am I wrong or crazy?

    Bob Feb 20, 2014  #9

  • Cynthia,

    Typically, in order to calculate your monthly benefit, the carrier would need financial documentation to verify earnings. It is not uncommon for them to request tax information. As I do not have a copy of your policy to determine what qualifiers there are to benefits, I cannot speak as to your inquiry regarding earning 40k.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 13, 2014  #8

  • If I haven’t filed my tax returns and did work the last 2 years, can they deny me? I provided a letter from my accountant as well as a 4506. Also the rep asked if I made over 40K each year? Why is that? in 2011 I did not, but in 2012 I did make over that. Can I be denied by not making the 40K? I asked for a copy asking where in my policy does it state over 40K as well as me providing the other paperwork. So far they have the info requested letter from accountant as well as the 4506. Is that enough? Can I be denied?

    Thank You!

    Cynthia Jan 12, 2014  #7

  • Elaine,

    Under ERISA, it is your former employer’s duty to provide you with a copy of your policy upon written request. I would suggest that you put your request in writing and advise them that it is being made pursuant to Section 1332 of ERISA. Please note that failure to cooperate with requests for information could result in the rendering of an adverse determination on your claim.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 5, 2013  #6

  • I currently have a LTD claim with UNUM. They recently scheduled a field interview of which I refused unless they could provide my a copy of my contract showing that I was obligated to do a field visit. They did not provide that. They then wanted to do a telephone interview, and I refused that as well. Now, they are requesting tax returns and a copy of my SS file along with a blanket consent for them to check all records.

    I have repeatedly asked both my former employer and UNUM for a copy of my contract and policy, and to this date I have received nothing. The last letter said that I could be cancelled for non-compliance if I failed to send tax returns within 30 days. That time frame ends next week. However, I feel that it is my right to be provided with a copy of my policy so that I know what my duties are as the insured. I have extensive medical records that should prove my ongoing illness, yet they have not asked for updated medical records from my doctor. I have no problem sending W-2 records of which I only have UNUM and SS, but I don’t feel my husband’s income is of their concern. What should I do? Is there a penalty that UNUM could be hit with for not providing a copy of my policy?

    Elaine Oct 4, 2013  #5

  • Claimant 646,

    They can ask for 10 years, but it does not mean that they can request an overpayment that goes back more than 5-6 years. If you don’t have the documents then just send what you have.

    Gregory Dell Feb 21, 2012  #4

  • Mr. Dell thank you for your assistance. How many years of taxes can they ask for? I have been on LTD for 10 years and they are asking for all 10 years. I have signed authorizations for them to obtain my SSD file (I receive monthly benefits), wouldn’t that have any income made stated? My husband has his own business and as a result of a search which UNUM did online, one of those company information selling has me down as Secretary/Treasurer. I got a letter from his accountant stating that I have never ever been an employee of the company to send to them. Do they have the right to request his company taxes for the past 10 years as well? I am completely stunned by these recent requests. Never have they challenged me before other than the normal 2-3 year papaerwork update.

    Claimant 646 Feb 21, 2012  #3

  • Claimant 646,

    Your Unum disability policy probably gives them the right to request your tax returns. Unum is requesting this information so that they can verify that you have not earned any money from working. You can cross out any information that is not related to you. Unless your claim is denied, Unum will probably not provide a copy of your claim file. It is not unusual for Unum to request your tax returns.

    Gregory Dell Feb 17, 2012  #2

  • How many years do you have to give them? If you are collecting SS and you have given them the right to your file, wouldn’t that state whether you have been working using your Social Security number? Do I have to send complete taxes with all schedules and attachments? Finally, do I have the right to ask for my complete file with all notes from my LTD Insurance company, prior to submitting this information? I have never been asked for such information before, they have always accepted what I have sent them without challenges. It is Unum.

    Claimant 646 Feb 17, 2012  #1

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Questions About Hiring Us

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Karen F. (New York)

I applied for and was denied my LTD insurance a little over two years ago. I was distraught, I had no idea they could just refuse you. My Social Security disability lawyer gave me Dell & Schaefer’s name and phone number. I called the next day, and they immediately called me back and set up an appointment the next day, for me to speak to Alex Palamara on the phone. They are located in Florida.

He was extremely empathetic and friendly. He took all of my information and he and Danielle Lauria, who works with the lawyers, prepared a statement to the insurance carrier. They also send me copies of everything that they send out. They sent a very professional and informative letter explaining why I should not be denied the insurance. The insurance company immediately decided to pay me the insurance that I signed up for.

I have always received quick information and phone calls, whenever I request assistance. They did have to do another appeal for me, recently. It was very involved, but written up extremely well. I was offered a settlement, and they were even able to get the in Insurance company to increase it for me. I would recommend Mr. Palamara and this law firm to anyone who has a problem with their LTD insurance. I don’t have a single complaint about the way I was treated. I’m extremely thankful for their help over the last few years.

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