If your employer offers optional disability insurance coverage from Lincoln Financial as part of your benefits package, choosing it may offer you an important financial safety net. This type of coverage replaces a percentage of your regular salary if you suffer an injury or illness that prevents you from returning to your job either temporarily or permanently. In order to receive your benefits, you will have to exhaust the listed elimination period and submit your claim. Lincoln Financial may still deny your benefits claim. If it does, the experienced disability attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law may be able to help you to win an appeal of your denial by Lincoln Financial.
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Lincoln Financial Group was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. A publicly traded company, Lincoln Financial is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as LNC. Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name used by Lincoln National Corporation, a holding company that is listed on the Fortune 250. It has more than $262 billion in assets.
Lincoln Financial offers both short- and long-term disability insurance. The short-term disability insurance benefits are available following a seven-day elimination period and provide weekly benefits for a short duration when you are temporarily unable to work. The benefits replace a percentage of your income for the time specified in your policy. Some workers also choose to purchase long-term disability coverage from Lincoln Financial. This type of coverage may provide benefits for a longer duration of a couple of years or up to age 65, depending on the policy. The elimination period is longer for long-term disability benefits. Some people who have short-term benefits exhaust them before their long-term benefits start for the maximum protection.
The way that short-term disability insurance from Lincoln Financial works is dependent on what your company and the insurance company agreed upon. However, there are a few characteristics that will be the same across all policies. There will be an elimination period, which means you’ll have to be disabled for a consecutive amount of days before you can start receiving your short-term disability benefits. The number of days you’ll have to wait will depend on what your company and the insurance company agreed upon, but you can find that information in your policy. Your weekly benefits will be based on a percentage of your weekly pay. There will also be a maximum amount that you can receive per week based on what your company and the insurance company agreed upon.
Overall, you’ll want to read your policy thoroughly to understand what you’re entitled to in the event you have to use your short-term disability insurance. Make sure you understand what the insurance company considers to be a disability and what might restrict you from receiving your benefits. Knowing this ahead of time will help you in the long run when you’re ready to file a claim.
Long-term disability from Lincoln Financial works much in the same way as the short-term disability period. The biggest difference between the two is that long-term disability benefit is paid out on a monthly basis rather than weekly. Other differences include a longer elimination period and a longer duration of the benefits being paid. The percentage of your monthly benefit may be the same as the short-term disability benefit or it may be more. This will depend on your company and the insurance company. You’ll want to read your policy in its entirety to understand what’s included and what’s restricted.
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 that’s honestly the easiest part. After the claim is submitted you’ll 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 you’re filling out your claims completely and thoroughly to avoid delay or being completely denied.
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, you’ll have to wait for the insurance company’s response.
The insurance company allows you to check the status of your claim by logging in to your account. If you haven’t heard from the insurance company regarding your claim, hopefully, an update will show up in your account. If there isn’t 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 you’ve done all of this and you’re 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.
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 won’t be able to try to recover benefits from Lincoln Financial for your disability in the future. You also must exhaust the insurance company’s appeals process before you can file a lawsuit against it in court.
You have a right to your claim file, and you should ask Lincoln Financial to send it to you. Bring your file and your denial letter to Osterhout Berger Disability Law. One of our experienced attorneys will review the information and advise you on how to proceed. You may be asked to help with your appeal by doing such things as keeping all of your medical appointments, securing statements from your former employer and your doctor about how your condition limits your functioning, submitting to additional evaluations and test and others. Your attorney may want you to do these things in order to make your claim stronger. This may make it likelier that you will win your appeal without having to later sue Lincoln Financial in court. If you are forced to sue, you will only be able to use the evidence in your file, making adding favorable evidence to it all the more important.
While it can be very disconcerting to have your claim for benefits denied by Lincoln Financial, it is possible to win your claim on appeal by listening to your knowledgeable attorney and following through. To learn more about the rights that you might have, contact Osterhout Berger Disability Law today.