The purpose of disability insurance is to provide you with coverage and income to handle your needs should you suffer a disabling illness or injury and you can no longer work. While the insurance policy was attractive when you selected your plan, when you actually file a claim, the outcome might surprise you.
Claims can take an excessive amount of time to process, and what you receive may be far different from what you expect. A great many insurance companies, like Lincoln Financial Group, regularly give their customers the runaround when it comes time to pay out on a legitimate claim.
Improper denials are also a common way that insurance companies might try to avoid paying out. If you received a wrongful denial of a valid long-term disability insurance claim from Lincoln Financial Group, you should know your best options.
If Lincoln Financial Group failed to provide your long-term disability benefits as you deserve under your policy, do not wait to reach out to a disability insurance attorney at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara to discuss your case and explore your options.
Lincoln Financial Group Does Not Work for You—It Works for Profits
While insurance companies are selling you security in a time of potential need, it is important to remember that insurance companies do not work for you. Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that are often publicly traded. This means that the number one priority of an insurance company is profit and keeping shareholders happy, and Lincoln takes steps from the top down to maximize profit in their operations.
The easiest way for the company to profit is through the maximization of revenue and the minimization of cost, and for insurance companies, this means paying out as little as possible on claims or seeking to pay out nothing at all.
Lincoln Financial Group and other disability insurance companies may engage in practices that discourage their customers from collecting benefits in full or from collecting on legitimate claims at all. When you receive a denial of your proper benefits under an insurance plan, a disability attorney can help you determine what your options are to seek and make the most of your compensation.
Lincoln Financial Group Operates by Collecting Premiums on Disability Plans
Insurance companies generate their revenue by collecting premiums from customers, and Lincoln Financial Group offers both short- and long-term disability insurance policies. The purpose of the short-term policy is to provide you with financial resources and protection in the time following an injury or illness when you are recovering.
Long-term disability plans protect you by ostensibly providing support and financial resources in the long term should an injury prevent you from returning to work and continuing to earn so that you can support yourself and your family. In many cases, while the insurance companies are happy to collect your premiums, they are not happy to pay out on your claims, leaving you to deal with the financial repercussions without assistance.
Short-term disability policies cover individuals who suffer the effects of disabling injuries or illnesses for up to one year, although some companies offer short-term disability plans that extend beyond a single year
Long-term policies generally offer coverage for a period between two years and the retirement age of the policyholder. This is supposed to provide protection when someone loses their earning ability indefinitely, and some benefits provide support for the rest of someone’s “working” years if they do not regain the ability to work.
Selling Disability Insurance Policies
Within the realm of marketing, an age-old trick has been to capitalize on the fear of the consumer in response to a threat or prospective threat. For example, many companies experienced substantial success selling products aimed to protect against the various effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that made false claims are now experiencing the legal fallout of doing so and facing lawsuits.
Disability insurance companies often cite vague statistics about the likelihood that a person will experience an illness or injury that prevents them from working and thereby end their ability to financially support themselves and their families during their recovery. Should the injury be catastrophic, the plans advance the potential of long-term coverage that keeps the household above water should it lose a major source of income.
What disability insurance companies are truly selling is the idea of coverage in the event of the unthinkable. Many disability policyholders never have reason to file a claim, and Lincoln Financial Group simply collects premiums without ever having to pay any benefits to such consumers. However, these companies also try to take advantage of people who genuinely need to file a claim and receive the disability benefits they paid for.
Disability insurance companies like Lincoln Financial Group generate billions of dollars in earnings each year by selling premiums on plans that might never lead to benefits. They also plan to challenge the payouts on valid claims, often leaving policyholders wondering why they bothered to pay premiums and what their next options might be.
Why Might Lincoln Financial Group Deny My Claim?
While Lincoln Financial Group makes it quite easy for you to pay your premiums and the company is very open about answering questions and providing information during the marketing period, it can be vastly different after you file a claim.
Adjusters might treat you in a manner you do not expect, which can involve delays, a lack of communication, several duplicate requests for documents, and finally, a claim denial. Insurance companies profit more by denying or delaying claims, so this is a common occurrence for claimants like yourself.
There are a variety of reasons that you might hear from Lincoln Financial Group that the adjuster denied your claim.
These can include:
- Your condition does not meet the definition of the term “disability” under your policy.
- Even with a qualified disability, the insurer believes you can perform work – either your previous position or any other position (depending on whether your policy is “own” occupation or “any” occupation).
- The adjuster states they do not have adequate evidence of your disability.
- There were other administrative errors that you made during the claim process.
Most reasons for denials are avoidable with the help of a disability claims lawyer from the start of the process. However, if you already filed your claim and received a denial on your own without legal help, you still have options.
Legal Options if Your Lincoln Financial Group Denied Your Claim
If you experienced the denial of a claim, unnecessary delays, or an impartial payout from Lincoln Financial Group, it is not the final say, and you should learn about your options. Your options will depend on the facts and circumstances of your situation. These include the type of coverage that you have from Lincoln Financial Group, the evidence you presented of your illness or injury, and other factors that led to the denial.
Reaching out to an experienced disability attorney at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara to discuss your situation can help you determine how to best pursue your appeal and how to maximize your benefits and begin receiving them as soon as possible.
Federal Law Governs Coverage from an Employer-Purchased Group Disability Policy
The source of your short- or long-term disability coverage will impact your best course of action following a claim denial. When your coverage is through an employer-purchased group disability policy, there is a federal law called the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that serves to govern your rights.
While ERISA claims to protect employee-policyholders, this is not the most claimant-friendly law on the books. However, it does provide you with the right to appeal your denial from Lincoln Financial Group – though you must do so in a very specific manner. If you purchased your policy directly from Lincoln Financial Group, the process of appealing your claim denial will be different, as ERISA does not apply.
You always want help from an attorney with specific experience handling ERISA disability claims.
The limitations regarding the appeal process include:
- You have a short deadline (often 180 days) to request the insurance company to reconsider your claim. Your lawyer will need to examine your disability policy to determine your specific deadline.
- You cannot file a lawsuit against Lincoln Financial Group right away, as ERISA requires you to first exhaust all administrative remedies directly with the insurance company.
- If your lawyer files a lawsuit after you exhaust your administrative options, they must do so in the federal district court, as ERISA is a federal law.
- You do not have the right to file a bad-faith lawsuit against Lincoln Financial Group, as you might have with non-ERISA policies.
ERISA disability appeals are complicated – no matter which company is your insurer – and the last thing you should try to do is navigate the policy on your own. This can lead to errors that can cost you the benefits you need.
How an ERISA Disability Lawyer Can Help with Your Lincoln Financial Group Claim
One of the key values of a disability insurance attorney is that they step in on your behalf to handle every aspect of your initial claim or your appeal if one is necessary.
When you cannot work, are dealing with medical treatment, and adjusting to life with your disability, you are not in the best position to prepare and submit a comprehensive claim and negotiate with insurers. This is especially true if it involves navigating the complex rules under ERISA.
There are many ways we can assist you during this process so that you can focus on your new challenges and potential recovery.
- Examine your disability insurance policy and advise whether your situation should qualify you for benefits.
- Prepare your disability benefits claim and file it with all available evidence and documentation of your disability.
- Challenge any claims by the insurance company that you can still work.
- Obtain expert analysis of your condition and restrictions when necessary.
- Review the reasons for a claim denial and properly request the insurance company reevaluate its decision. We can present any additional information needed for the best chance at a successful administrative appeal.
Should the insurance company be unwilling to negotiate, a disability attorney like J. Price McNamara can file a lawsuit in federal court to formally challenge the denial and seek the benefits you deserve under your policy.
Too many people think they might save time and money by handling the claim process alone, but this tends to only extend the process and increase your financial stress. We know how the adjusters at Lincoln Financial Group work, and we know how to best fight for our clients who are already facing devastating disability diagnoses.
Always know that it is never too early or too late to contact our team to discuss how we might help. Whether you would like an evaluation of your rights under your Lincoln policy, or you are already well into the claims process and feel overwhelmed, we can provide the guidance you need. This is not the time to take on Goliath on your own, and we have the experience, understanding of complex policy language and ERISA provisions, and the resources to obtain any disability benefits that are appropriate in your specific situation.
Connect With a Lincoln Financial Group Long-Term Disability Insurance Lawyer Now
Our experienced disability insurance attorney at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara handles cases involving ERISA disability claims and appeals with Lincoln Financial Group and many other insurance companies regularly. We can help you recover your full benefits for your disability whenever possible.
The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you’ll have an advocate stepping into your shoes to handle the negotiations for you, removing the stress from your day-to-day life. Reach out to our legal team for your free consultation at (504) 420-6962 to discuss your long-term disability case today. We are ready to help.
Following graduation from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 1990, Price McNamara served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable John M Shaw, Chief Judge, United States District Court Western District of Louisiana.
Mr. McNamara founded the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara, and began putting his past experience to work for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies in personal injury and long term disability and other insurance disputes in both federal and state courts