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LTD insurers have you file for SSD because they don't want to pay you what they owe
I came across a post in a forum and the poster essentially said: "I was approved for SSD disability benefits and had previously purchased a long term disability insurance policy. Now, the insurer is saying that they will offset my benefit amount by the amount of my monthly Social Security Disability benefits. Are they allowed to do this?"
Unfortunately, they are allowed to do this if it is spelled out in the provisions of the long term disability insurance contract (and it is always is). Why do insurance companies do this? The answer is simple---so they don't have to pay you the money you are entitled to...even though you dutifully paid the premiums of your long term disability insurance policy.
And it is for this reason that most LTD insurers will also require you to file for SSD disability benefits. They just don't want to pay.
The real question, in my mind, is -- should insurance companies be allowed to get away with this sort of nonsense? Again, the answer is simple and obvious. NO. It is unethical and immoral, and so typical of big business. Insurance is not an entitlement. It is something that an individual or family decides to pay premiums for to account for the possibility that they may suffer a loss of some kind (e.g. death or infirmity). Keywords in that last sentence are "pay" and "premiums".
Meaning that an LTD policy holder has held up their part of the bargain by paying premiums. Why, then, should the insurer be allowed to get out of their ethical responsibility to pay when a person becomes disabled?
In short, they shouldn't. However, they are allowed to because the current environment allows insurers to build these types of provisions into their policies.
The answer to this problem. In our representative form of government, the answer is Congress. Legislators should protect citizens in such a way that big insurance companies do not have the option of bilking policy holders out of premiums that they have little intention of making good on.
Unfortunately, Congress in the current climate cannot be counted on to protect the citizenry, not even those who are disabled or suffer from severe impairments. After all, the Social Security Disability backlog that exists has grown to near-epic proportions yet there is hardly a collective peep out of the legislative branch about doing something about it (hint: it takes additional funding to hire more warm bodies to get more work done so the backlogs can gradually be whittled down--doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out folks).
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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
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