There are two types of long-term disability policies. Some people may have a private policy, which means they went out into the market and bought it themselves. However, a lot of people have an ERISA group policy, so they work for an employer that provides a long-term disability insurance policy as an employee benefit.
Almost all of these group policies will require, no matter what your disability is, that you must also file for a social security disability claim if you’re being paid. Even though in some cases you’ll never actually qualify for social security disability, they still force you to file. In almost every group policy case, if you’re awarded social security disability benefits, you’ll likely have to pay back the insurance company who provided the group benefits. It’s called an offset. The insurance company gets credit for your social security.
Now, it’s different with a private policy. These tend to be more expensive, but they’re much better policies in the long run, and few require some sort of an offset for social security.
Should I Use The Lawyer Recommended By My Insurance Company?
A common question is, in the ERISA long term disability cases that do require a social security offset, should I use the lawyer the insurance company recommends? The answer is no, you should not use the lawyer the insurance company recommends. There are a few reasons why:
Number one, a lot of these firms are out of state and it’s hard to make them follow the ethics rules in Missouri or Arkansas.
Number two, sometimes they will refer them to a firm, and you’re actually not getting a social security disability attorney. You’re getting an advocate.
Number three is very interesting. Often these lawyers are “free”. Now think about that. Your insurance company, who likely profits if you lose your social security disability case (then they almost surely will not pay you) wants you to use the lawyer they picked and they are providing me a lawyer of their choosing for free.
Does that sound like a good idea to you? Sounds like you need to be finding insurance disability lawyers in Missouri you can trust to have your best interest.
Find the best social security disability lawyer for you that fits you. Never use the lawyer recommended by the long-term disability insurance company. Even if the insurance company’s recommended lawyer says there’s no charge, still get your own attorney. There’s no charge if you get your own private lawyer because the Social Security Disability Administration is going to pay them. There’s no advantage and there’s no reason to use the lawyer recommended by the disability company.