Long-term disability (LTD) insurance is a particular type of policy, offering benefits in the event that you are unable to work for an extended period of time due to a disability. It can offer a financial safety net during a stressful period of time. Yet when a major insurance company, such as Lincoln Financial, unfairly denies LTD benefits, it can be devastating.
Founded in 1905, Lincoln Financial Group is based in Radnor, Pennsylvania. In 2018, it had a net income of $1.6 billion. It is a Fortune 250 American corporation, operating multiple insurance and investment management businesses through subsidiary companies.
Despite its tremendous financial success as a company, Lincoln Financial has developed a reputation for denying or delaying legitimate claims LTD benefits — leaving policyholders without the income that they need in a time of crisis. If you are planning to file a long-term disability claim with Lincoln Financial — or if your claim has already been denied — a Cherry Hill disability benefits attorney can work with you to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Filing a Long-Term Disability Claim with Lincoln Financial
Lincoln Financial offers both short and long-term disability insurance. Depending on your policy terms, LTD benefits are available after an elimination (or waiting) period of between 90 and 180 days after you become disabled. If you are approved for benefits, you will receive a percentage of your income, typically 50 to 60% each month for anywhere from 24 months to retirement age.
While Lincoln Financial claims that filing for LTD benefits is a simple process, it can be complex, requiring you to fill out multiple forms and submit extensive documentation of your medical or mental health condition and how it limits your ability to work. There are two options for filing a claim with Lincoln Financial: online or by phone. You can obtain the complete LTD claim form via Lincoln Financial’s website
You will be required to submit a substantial amount of information in order to file for LTD benefits. This includes:
- Employee statement
- Employer statement
- Attending physician statement
- Authorization form to release medical information
It is important to gather the necessary documentation and to carefully craft your statement, ideally with the assistance of a New Jersey disability benefits lawyer. Doing so can make it more likely that your claim for LTD benefits will be approved.
Your Lincoln Financial LTD benefits claim form can be mailed, presented over the phone, faxed, or emailed. Once it has been submitted for approval, you will have to wait for a response from Lincoln Financial.
What to Do If Lincoln Financial Delays or Denies Your Claim
Even if you file all requested information and have a strong claim for disability benefits, Lincoln Financial may still delay or deny your claim. For example, you may not get a response for an extended period of time. In that situation, you can check the status of your claim online or call a representative directly.
If you still cannot get an answer about the status of your claim, a disability benefits attorney can advocate on your behalf to demand response under the terms of the policy or the law. Alternatively, Lincoln Financial may request more information — or even documentation that you already provided. This type of delay tactic is commonly used to put off paying policyholders; an experienced lawyer can intervene and request a response based on the evidence already submitted.
Lincoln Financial may also deny your claim, potentially for unfair or incorrect reasons. The company may claim that:
- There is insufficient objective medical evidence of your disability;
- Your doctors did not return forms or questionnaires;
- You are exaggerating your symptoms;
- Their surveillance shows that you are not disabled;
- You have a preexisting condition;
- Your medical condition cannot be verified;
- Your documentation does not meet the definition of the term disability under the policy; or
- Their peer review physician has issued a report disagreeing with the findings of your doctors.
If Lincoln Financial denies your claim for LTD benefits, you will receive a letter that explains the reasons for the denial and your rights. It will also outline the steps required to file an appeal, including any deadlines for filing an appeal. If you miss this deadline, you may be prevented from filing an appeal or seeking redress in a lawsuit.
While each case is unique, Lincoln Financial may have denied your application for LTD benefits in bad faith or for another illegitimate reason. In these situations, an experienced Cherry Hill disability benefits lawyer can work with you to file an appeal in a timely fashion. If that appeal is denied by the insurance company, then your lawyer can counsel you on filing a lawsuit against Lincoln Financial.
Work with a Disability Benefits Attorney
Long-term disability insurance is a way to protect against the uncertainty of the future. Yet too often, insurance companies refuse to pay policyholders the benefits that they are owed when they are unable to work due to a disability. If Lincoln Financial has wrongly denied or delayed your claim for LTD benefits, a long term disability benefits attorney can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.
Bross & Frankel represents clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as they navigate the complicated insurance system. With more than 20 years of experience, we know how to get results for our clients — and we are dedicated to our clients’ well-being. To schedule a free disability claim review, contact our office today at 856-795-8800 or reach out online.
Rich Frankel is the managing partner of Bross & Frankel. He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars. He has focused exclusively on disability and social security benefits since 2005.
Mr. Frankel joined what is now Bross & Frankel after having watched his father struggle with disability, fighting a lengthy illness. Mr. Frankel founded the firm’s veteran’s law practice and substantially grew the social security disability practice, focusing Bross & Frankel’s ability to fight for all of the disability benefits available to his clients.
Mr. Frankel additionally fights for clients in court, obtaining frequent victories in Social Security appeals and against insurance companies in Federal court.