If you have a disability insurance claim with Lincoln Financial, there are several traps that you need to watch out for as you interact with them and as your claim progresses.
First, we have noticed over many years that Lincoln Financial often does not follow the time deadlines. If they take too long, you can actually gain rights in your case. They have 45 days after your original claim, with two 30-day extensions available, for a total of 105 days. For an appeal, Lincoln can take 45 days to decide, with one additional 45-day extension adding up to a total of 90 days. If Lincoln takes longer than that – as they have been known to do – you should consider speaking with an attorney regarding the right to file a lawsuit.
You should also be cautiously aware that Lincoln uses in-house doctors that review files and try to call your doctors without your knowledge. These are strategic attempts to get your doctors to say things in the course of discussion that Lincoln’s doctors will use toward building evidence to deny your claim. We recommend to all of our clients that they withdraw authorization from Lincoln’s doctors to speak to your doctors. Your doctors are busy and may not recognize why Lincoln’s doctors are calling, and they may inadvertently say something that hurts your case. Tell your adjuster, “Send any questions for my doctor in writing and send a copy to me” and this will likely limit such occurrences. Let the adjuster know they have no authorization to talk to your doctor.
A third trap with Lincoln is their false “friendly” adjusters who are trained to call with a warm tone and attitude in order to get information from you that will be used to deny your claim. It is often the case that before a client hires us they have spoken with an adjuster as if that person is trying to help them, and that is a mistake. Part of an insurance adjuster’s job is to look for ways not to pay claims or to limit the time that claims are paid. Sometimes they’ll say they paid you but stopped because they don’t believe you are disabled anymore. You may be more comfortable telling them you want any questions in writing, so you can take more time to consider the information you give to them. Watch the video to learn more.
At Tucker Law Group we handle Disability cases every day. If your claim with Lincoln has been denied or cut off, or if you have any additional questions, call Tucker Law Group at (866) 233-5044, or review our videos and media library for more information.
Video TranscriptYou have a disability insurance claim with Lincoln Financial. Here are some traps you need to be aware of with Lincoln. I'm John Tucker. I'm a disability insurance attorney and I represent clients all over the United States that have had claims or have active claims with Lincoln. When you have a claim with your group employer and their disability plan, it's covered by a federal law called ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. That matters because there are federal regulations that describe what group insurers have to do when they insure those plans. One of them, are time deadlines that apply to the claims.
One of the problems that I've observed over time with Lincoln is that they will not always follow those time deadlines. And when Lincoln takes too long, you actually have additional rights you can gain, if you file a lawsuit. Now, if you file an original claim, they have 45 days and they can take two, 30-day extensions for a total of 105 days. If they take longer than that, you should consider filing a lawsuit. If you're already in an appeal, Lincoln can take 45 days to decide that appeal and they can add one, 45-dayHave a Disability Insurance Claim With Lincoln Financial? Beware of These Traps! extension. That's 90 days. Again, if they take longer than that, you should consider consulting with an attorney about your rights to file a lawsuit.
Another thing that we've seen with Lincoln over the years, they use in-house doctors to review files and those doctors will call your doctors to have discussions about you that you never know about. I recommend to all of our clients, withdraw any authorization those doctors have to talk to your doctors. Why? Your doctors don't always realize that the insurance companies doctors are calling, asking specific questions. Oftentimes those are laced questions. They're designed to get information that helps Lincoln and doesn't help you. And your doctor is a busy person. They don't have the time to do this. It would be a lot easier and better for you to understand what's going on, if you simply told the adjuster, "Send any questions for my doctor in writing and send a copy to me." We tell all of our clients this and we rarely have a problem with it. Don't let your doctor sabotage your claim unknowingly. They don't even realize when they cause you a problem. Tell the adjuster, "No authorization to talk to my doctor."
The other thing you need to understand about Lincoln is that their adjusters are trained to call you and get information out of you. We see over and over where a Lincoln adjuster calls, very friendly attitude and they're trying to get information out of people that have contacted us. So before people hire us, they're dealing with the claim on their own. And they're talking to that adjuster like the adjuster's their friend, they're on their side. That's not the case. Adjusters wouldn't keep their jobs if they paid everybody. In fact, most insurance companies are looking for ways not to pay most claims or to pay some claims for a very short period of time. So they can say, "Well, we paid you. But then we cut you off because we don't think you're disabled anymore." Don't get yourself into that trap. Be wary of dealing with the adjuster. And there's nothing wrong with saying, "Please send me any questions you have for me in writing." That way it gives you some time to think about the answer you're giving them.
If you're dealing with Lincoln and you have questions or Lincoln has denied your claim or cut you off, call us at the number you see on your screen. We've handled hundreds of Lincoln claims, all the way back to when they were Jefferson Pilot, years and years ago. We can help you. I'm John Tucker. Thanks for watching.