Jason Newfield Esq. has represented many claimants who pursued claims for short- and long-term disability insurance benefits with Lincoln Financial, Liberty Life Insurance, along with Lincoln National Corporation, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, and its other subsidiaries.  Liberty Life was purchased by Lincoln several years ago, and these legacy Liberty Life policies have been the cause of significant challenges for claimants who have held this coverage through their employers in ERISA LTD policies.

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Many claimants filing claims for disability insurance have experienced significant pushback when trying to navigate the claims process with Lincoln Financial.  We have helped hundreds of Lincoln Financial claimants obtain tens of millions of dollars by collaborating on the development and presentation of our clients’ claims for long term disability insurance benefits with Lincoln Financial.  From medical professionals working at hospitals to corporate executives with Fortune 100 companies, to the employees who support these executives, we have secured benefits for many different medical conditions.  

The formula that has been successfully developed and further honed over two decades as a long term disability insurance lawyer has allowed our clients to successfully navigate the often complicated process of securing disability insurance from Lincoln Financial.  Numerous claimants reported to us when seeking to engage the firm that the claim and application process for benefits was regularly met with requests for extensive documentation and a lack of timely responsiveness.  Complaints also were made about repeated requests for the same information, from different people, over extended periods of time – which seems to be a particular strategy of Lincoln Financial Disability.

We have helped claimants nationwide to recover hundreds of millions of dollars.

What Documentation Is Necessary to Support My Lincoln Financial Disability Claim?

As with most claims for disability insurance benefits, to succeed on your Lincoln Financial disability claim, you will need to provide medical, vocational, and other documentation to demonstrate how and why your disability insurance claim should be approved. As part of your Proof of Loss, you are required to prove that a condition, whether sickness, illness or injury impacts and impacts your ability to perform your occupation. Demonstrating this critical piece of your claim can be achieved with various sources.  We help develop the information and evidence to support your claim for benefits.

Lincoln Financials’ Well-Earned Bad Reputation

A review of Lincoln’s stock performance tells important information.  This insurer giant has earned its reputation, and has had many courts chastise its claim handling, often based on its bad faith tactics, and biased claim handling practices. Lincoln often issues mass denials for short-term and long-term disability claims, denying disability coverage for millions of dollars to thousands of disabled insureds. Often, denials and terminations of claims occur close to the end of a financial reporting quarter, to improve stock performance.

Essentially, instead of providing promised coverage, Lincoln Financial works hard to deny as many claims as possible – and engages in some significant practices, which they engage in regularly.  Lincoln Financial will often engage in the below activity to deny or terminate claims.

  • Overly rely upon nurse reviews rather than utilizing medical doctors to review complicated medical issues, despite ERISA requirements;
  • Engage in delay tactics and claim not to receive medical and other information which is necessary for the claim and without which the claim cannot be completed;
  • Employ medical and vocational personnel to consider, and selectively review claim forms and other supportive disability documentation, and actively seek to identify reasons, concerns or red flags to support denials or claim terminations, instead of finding why to pay, as a fiduciary should, and is its obligation under ERISA;
  • Utilize third party vendors through a heavily incentivized relationship, who secure medical professionals for the purpose of providing “medical expert opinions” to support the justification for denying or terminating claims, despite the medical professional never examining, seeing, speaking or treating with the claimant and whose claim is impacted as a result;
  • Issue denials or claim terminations and then engage in a poor flow of communications, frustrating people in hopes they’ll simply give up pursuing benefits they are entitled to receive or run out of time to submit an appeal of the wrongful denial or claim termination.

My claim was Denied – What Do I Do If Lincoln Financial Denies a Short-Term or Long-Term Disability Claim?

Knowing its reputation, all disabled claimants need to be vigilant to protect themselves from the claim practices with might result in adverse claim results.  To best protect yourself against Lincoln Financial’s bad disability insurance claim practices, maintain good records, engage in continued medical care and treatment, and ensure that your documentation supports all of the issues as to how and why you cannot work.  Check your medical records regularly.

Delayed Disability Claims

Be sure to keep records of every interaction you have with Lincoln Financial representatives. Send all documents to them in a manner that receipt can be confirmed, whether by email, fax, or certified mail. If your claim is delayed, ask for specific details concerning the process to justify any delays. ERISA has important time frames which Lincoln Financial must follow during the claim handling process. 

Denied Disability Claims

Often, toward the end of a quarter (because Lincoln Financial is a public company), chances are you will get a telephone call (often Friday afternoons), advising you that your claim has been terminated.  You will then sometime later receive a letter addressing why you were terminated and telling you that an appeal is permitted. 

At this stage, if not already working with an ERISA attorney, one must consult with an experienced disability insurance attorney to develop an action plan to file an appeal. For an ERISA appeal, you must do this in accordance with the time frames permitted. Once an appeal is submitted to the insurance company, they are required to respond within 45 days – although with special circumstances, they can seek an additional 45 days to decide the ERISA appeal. Because of the complexities of the process, the best course of action for most people at this stage is to hire an experienced Lincoln Financial disability insurance denial claim attorney who knows the ins and outs of Lincoln Financial and how to fight them. 

We have seen an influx of clients seeking us when they are being challenged during the short-term disability benefits process to secure benefits. A short-term claim needs to be properly developed, because the insurance company is seeking information that can be used to delay or deny a claim when it transitions to long-term and may use it to deny the short-term claim. Even if it is not the insurance company money at the short term claim, they may still look to deny these benefits, to prevent a claimant from getting to long term disability.

Here’s what you may not know about the long-term disability claims process that the insurance company knows:

You cannot receive long-term insurance benefits until the short-term benefits are exhausted or you have satisfied the “elimination period.”

This means the insurance company may try to frustrate your ability to satisfy the elimination period.

If your policy is an ERISA policy, that is, part of an employee benefit plan, then your appeal of this claim denial or termination is critical, since if you ultimately need to get to Federal Court, the only materials that a judge may review in any ERISA wrongful denial or termination of a claim are those that are already in the record and what has been created during the appeal process under ERISA.

Any materials gathered in your record are subject to intense scrutiny for both the long- and the short-term disability claim.

There are many different kinds of records, including vocational, medical, diagnostic, and clinical to support a claim, and often testing that may be conducted to provide demonstrative proof to support a claim.

We Know Their Tactics. We Have Seen It Before.

For more than two decades, we have seen Lincoln Financial and how long-term disability insurance claims are handled by this company and for many years, we saw the tactics of Liberty Life Insurance, prior to its sale to Lincoln Financial.  We have litigated against Lincoln Financial and Liberty Life Insurance and have secured millions of dollars for clients with Lincoln Financial and Liberty Life Insurance claims.  

Each client presents with unique circumstances, but we have seen all of your situations before. Our practice helps anyone having claim issues or problems with their Lincoln Financial Group disability insurance policy, at any stage of the process.

If your Lincoln Financial disability insurance claim has been delayed, denied, or terminated, contact the disability insurance attorneys at Newfield Law Group to discuss your situation, for a free consultation.  Send us your materials to review and allow us to share our experience, as to what we expect to occur in the next stage of the process. 

We lift from you the burden of fighting the disability insurance company – we become your champion and your voice, and this allows you to return your focus to your health and recovery.  Our office may be on Long Island, New York, but for more than two decades, we have helped claimants nationwide to recover hundreds of millions of dollars.

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    Newfield Law Group does not handle Social Security Disability Claims