Ask A Lawyer
Dec 03, 2013 | 669 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This week Allison Jones provides part two of our answer to Derrick from Cordova’s question about Long Term Disability and Social Security.

I applied for Long Term Disability insurance benefits through a policy purchased at work. A company “recommended” by the LTD insurance carrier contacted me about also pursuing a social security disability claim. The LTD carrier suggests I hire this other company to help me get social security benefits for me while I also pursue benefits under the LTD policy. Are they up to something? Derrick from Cordova



LTD insurance policies usually require that you apply for Social Security Disability. This is because the LTD carrier gets a set off from any SSD benefits awarded. It is never in your best interest to use the representative suggested by your Long Term Disability insurance company. The insurance company’s interests are not the same as yours. We strongly recommend against signing up with a representative handpicked by the insurance company handling your LTD claim for the following reasons:

1. IF YOU ARE DENIED AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY HEARING AND YOU WERE REPRESENTED BY THE LTD INSURANCE COMPANY’S HANDPICKED REPRESENTATIVE, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THE REPRESENTATIVE WILL PURSUE YOUR CASE THROUGH THE APPEALS PROCESS.

The LTD Insurance Company has little interest in making sure you appeal a denial of your Social Security claim before an Administrative Law Judge. It is not in the insurance company’s best interest to appeal your Social Security case because a win on appeal of your Social Security case will also be evidence that you are also qualified for Long Term Disability benefits. Therefore, do not expect the LTD carrier’s representative to appeal your case. Even if that person handles your appeal, do not expect the handpicked representative to forcefully argue on your behalf. Therefore, you would need to find a new attorney for your appeal. That may not be easy if the hearing record was not adequately developed in terms of medical and other evidence. It is best to never start with a representative suggested by the LTD insurance company.

2. THE LONG TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE CARRIER’S HAND-PICKED REPRESENTATIVE MAY NOT EVEN BE AN ATTORNEY.

When the LTD insurance carrier sends you a letter saying you should be represented by a handpicked representative on your Social Security Disability case, they may never tell you that the firm they employ uses primarily people who have little court experience or who may not even be attorneys. Even if it is a law firm, these law firms frequently often employ people who are not lawyers to handle these claims. The non-lawyer’s legal knowledge and experience may be limited and not adequate to properly represent you through the complicated Social Security Disability appeals process. Also remember that representatives who are not lawyers do not have any ethical obligations pursuant to Bar Association rules because they are not members of the Bar. Therefore, they can put your interests last. Any thing you say, do, or give to such an individual can be shared with the insurance company even though it would be unethical for an attorney to do so.

Nelson, Bryan and Jones represents clients in the following areas: Social Security Disability, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death Cases, Personal Injury Actions, Defective Products, Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith, Fire Loss cases, Trucking Accidents, Worker’s Compensation, Drug Recalls, Employment Law and Property Damage Claims.

Please send the questions to:

Ask the Attorney

P. O. Box 2309, Jasper, AL 35502

205-387-7777

or email to Bob@NelsonBryanJones.com

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality legal services performed by other lawyers.