What You Need To Know About Lincoln Financial Disability Claims
Lincoln Financial states that their claims process is simple. However, the claims process is rarely simple. There are multiple forms that need to be filled out completely, but thats honestly the easiest part. After the claim is submitted youll essentially have to wait to see if your claim was approved or denied. Sometimes insurance companies delay this process as a way to prolong having to pay out benefits. Other times they flat out deny your claim. Fortunately, this is not the case across the board. Policyholders have been approved to receive benefits. In any case, you want to make sure that youre filling out your claims completely and thoroughly to avoid delay or being completely denied.
Tips On Appealing Your Lincoln Financial Disability Denial
The appeal becomes part of the administrative record which is the crux of your case. The administrative record holds every form, letter, questionnaire, physicians statement, doctors note, vocational evaluation, functional capacity evaluation, medical illustration, witness statement, or other evidence in one complete package.
Trying to appeal on your own, without expert legal help, only invites mistakes that can permanently damage your claim. You have some major hurdles to overcome:
- You are appealing straight back to Lincoln Financial Group who denied your claim initially. The company decides again whether to approve or deny the claim.
- Under ERISA rules, your appeal is the last chance you will have to submit evidence to support your claim. If you are forced to sue and your case goes to court, only in rare circumstances can new evidence be entered. In short, the judge can only review the same records that the insurance company denied.
- In most ERISA lawsuits, the standard of review is about the insurance companys abuse of discretion. At this point, the judge is not considering whether you are disabled or not. The judge wants to know if Lincoln acted reasonably in denying the claim, or if the company abused its discretion by denying benefits.
Your appeal has the difficult burden of proving the extent of your impairments and your inability to return to work, in a way that no reasonable person would deny.
Common Reasons Disability Claims Are Denied
Of course, an insurance company cannot simply refuse to pay out promised benefits just because they dont feel like it. They wouldnt stay in business. They need to provide some justification.
But that doesnt mean every denial is legitimate. Some are, but if there is any ambiguity over the interpretation of the fact or of a policy, the insurance company is likely to give themselves the benefit of the doubt.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the most common reasons that Lincoln Financial disability claims are deniedincluding denials for both short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits.
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How Bryant Legal Group Can Help With Your Lincoln Financial Disability Appeal
Because you only have a limited time to file an appeal, and in many cases, you only get one chance to add new evidence to the record, handling your appeal on your own is a risky choice. Even simple mistakes could cost you your chance at winning your appeal. And Lincoln Financials insurance adjusters will be all too happy to let you make them. They are looking out for their profits, not you.
At Bryant Legal Group, our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with Lincoln Financial Group disability cases. We are familiar with their policy language, the tricks they use to avoid paying benefits, and in many cases even the attorneys that they use to defend against legal claims.
Our team can review your policy and claim file with you and give you an impartial, realistic assessment of your legal options. If you hire us to handle your appeal, well handle the paperwork, stay on top of deadlines, and do the digging necessary to make sure youve gathered and submitted all the evidence you need to prove your disability. And if your administrative appeal is still denied, our experienced trial attorneys can defend your rights in court when necessary.
Lincoln Financial Disability Phone Number
If youve been diagnosed with a disability that prevents you from working, you may be wondering if you can qualify for Lincoln Financial Groups long-term disability insurance benefits. Heres what you need to know about applying for LFGs disability benefits.To start, youll need to have been employed by a company that offers LFGs long-term disability coverage as part of their employee benefits package. If youre not sure if your employer offers this coverage, check your human resources department or contact LFG directly at 1-800- 498-3363.Once youve verified that your employer offers the coverage, gather all of the required documentation needed to apply for the benefits. This includes medical records detailing your diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis information about any other income sources you have and proof of your work history with your employer.If youre ready to apply for benefits, there are two ways to do so: online or by mail. To apply online, visit www.lfgdisabilitybenefitclaims.com and create an account using your policy number and personal information. Once logged in, follow the prompts to complete the application process.If you prefer to submit a paper application, download the form from LFGs website or request one by calling 1-800-498-3363.
Lincoln Financial Group Salary Faqs
The average salary for a Short Term Disability Case Manager is $52,316 per year in United States, which is 14% lower than the average Lincoln Financial Group salary of $61,441 per year for this job.
The salary trajectory of a Short Term Disability Case Manager ranges between locations and employers. The salary starts at $46,159 per year and goes up to $104,855 per year for the highest level of seniority.
What To Do If Lincoln Financial Denies Your Disability Claim
Lincoln Financial denies some claims for disability benefits. If it denies you, it will mail you a letter explaining your rights and the reasons for its denial. You have the right to appeal the denial, and the steps required for doing so will be detailed in your letter along with the deadline for filing your appeal. This deadline is important. If you miss it, you wont be able to try to recover benefits from Lincoln Financial for your disability in the future. You also must exhaust the insurance companys appeals process before you can file a lawsuit against it in court.
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What To Do If Lincoln Financial Delays Your Disability Claim
The insurance company allows you to check the status of your claim by logging in to your account. If you havent heard from the insurance company regarding your claim, hopefully, an update will show up in your account. If there isnt one and you feel as though your claim is being delayed, you may want to try to contact the insurance company directly to see if a representative can help you. If youve done all of this and youre still not getting an answer, it may be time to seek legal intervention. Experienced disability lawyers know how to identify the methods insurance companies use to avoid paying benefits. If the insurance company is purposely delaying your claim the experienced lawyers at Osterhout Berger Disability Law may be able to intervene on your behalf.
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One Of Our Disability Claims Cases Against Lincoln
Our client was a successful Clinical Neurologist, practicing in the area of movement disorders in a busy hospital with a focus on complex, advanced stages of Parkinsons disease and dementia. Her tasks required the ability to perform physical and labor intensive activities while working at an equally high level of analysis and cognitive abilities.
She developed a number of complex symptoms, including severe fatigue, weakness, muscle atrophy, shortness of breath, and painful muscle cramps and spasms. These were later diagnosed as early motor neuron disease, neuron mitochondria disorder, and pulmonary insufficiency.
Our client was no longer able to perform the tasks of her highly demanding occupation. She filed a claim for short term disability benefits with Lincoln and was denied, based on a paper review of the medical records conducted by a staff nurse.
In preparing her appeal, we worked closely with our client and her treating physicians to further develop the medical support in the record, clearly documenting the tasks that her job required, and the restrictions and limitations of her illness. We vigorously attacked the credibility of Lincolns paper medical analysis, highlighting the many flaws in their medical review, and made it clear that they had failed to fully and properly review our clients medical records and to understand the tasks required for her to perform her profession.
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Instructions And Help About Lincoln Financial Group Short Term Disability Claim Form Physician’s Statement
Hi I’m Nick Ortiz I’m a board certified disability insurance attorney today I’m here to talk to you about Lincoln Financial Group and the specific reasons why Lincoln Financial may deny long term disability claims please note that these are not presented in a particular order of importance number one Lincoln Financial says there is insufficient medical records to support the claim so for example the insurance company may have requested medical records from your doctors and the doctors never got around to providing the records the insurance company number two Lincoln Financial says there is insufficient objective medical evidence they may have medical records, but they argue that those medical records don’t support the disability the types of objective evidence they’re looking for are x-rays MRIs CT scans and the like number 3 Lincoln Financial says that your medical condition is non-verifiable or based primarily on self-reported symptoms number four your doctors didn’t return forms or
How To Submit A Disability Claim To Lincoln Financial
You can submit a disability claim by phone or online. If you choose to submit a claim online, select Claims under Business Category and your state. If you select STD Claim Form or LTD Claim Form, you should have the complete claim form. This should include statements of the employee, employer, and attending physician as well as an authorization form to release information. You can submit the completed claim by either mailing it to the address provided on the claim form, over the phone, by faxing it to the number provided on the claim form, or by emailing it to the email included on the claim form. Once submitted, youll have to wait for the insurance companys response.
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What To Do If Lincoln Financial Denies Your Disability Insurance Claim: The Appeal Process
If the insurance company denied your disability claim, you have a right to appeal that decision.
Most Lincoln Financial disability insurance plans are governed by ERISA, a law that applies to all employer-provided insurance plans with few exceptions. This means that you will need to go through an administrative appeal process directly with Lincoln Financial before you can file a lawsuit.
Its critically important to take these appeals seriously and be sure to include all the paperwork and evidence you need. If your appeal goes to court, the decision will be made based on the same records from your administrative appeal. In other words, you usually cannot add any new evidence that wasnt already provided in your claim file.
Heres a quick appeals process checklist, but be sure to click the link below for more details:
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What You’ll Be Doing
Communicating with claimants, employers and various medical professionals through phone and e-mail to gather information regarding the Short Term Disability claim.
Collaborating with fellow case managers, nurse case managers and consulting physicians to make appropriate and timely claim determinations.
Reviewing complex medical records and effectively leveraging a variety of tools and resources to understand appropriate approval durations and future action planning
Completing accurate financial calculations consistent with company and state guidelines.
Providing exceptional customer service and proactively recognizing customer needs and areas of opportunity.
Rely Solely On Paper Medical Reviews By Hired Doctors
Many insurers, including Lincoln, perform paper only medical reviews of your records. They hire a third-party doctor to review your file, without ever meeting with you in person. The problems with a paper-only review are numerous. It is very common that the consulting doctor:
- has insufficient information about your condition
- has never examined you or spoken with you
- ignores medical evidence from your treating physician
- selectively finds evidence that works against you
This doctor makes the final judgments about your disability status, stating you can perform gainful work and supporting claim denial. Without attorney representation, you may never realize this occurred.
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Lost Medical Records And Demands For More And More Private Information
Frankel & Newfield has worked with many claimants who signed up for short and long-term disability benefits with Lincoln Financial. They were willing to have money deducted from their paychecks to make sure that their families were protected if they were to become unable to work. In return, many claimants report customer experiences that reflect a company that is doing its best to push back on claims.
Many claimants report that their application for benefits was met with requests for extensive documentation not required by their disability policy and been treated like tennis balls bounced back and forth between different departments. Repeated requests for the same information, from different people, over extended periods of time, seems to be a particular strategy of Lincoln Disability. Another is saying that they have not received information. Doctors reports that are faxed to the number directed by a company representative are a repeated complaint. Or one person decides that the extensive medical records that have been requested are not enough and wants personal finance information that is not required by law.
Clients Choose Us Because We:
- Have recovered $200M+ for our clients.
- Have seen your situation before.
- Are aggressive in our approach.
- Know the tactics used by the insurance companies.
- Hold high AV Ratings & received the Super Lawyers designation each year.
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