Court Watch: Cases Affecting ERISA and Disability Claims

Although we’re not lawyers or a law firm, paying attention to recent court cases and rulings helps us keep up with the constantly changing rules and regulations of disability insurance claims. In the recent past, we’ve seen two cases taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a few other cases that affect the way the disability insurance companies treat insureds and their claims and the options to be considered by claimants. These court rulings set precedents and rules for many future claims and help form the disability claims process almost as much as claims examiners or company policies.  Today’s blog post is going to explore a few of the more relevant cases and their effects on disability claims.   Continue reading

March Madness: Our Elite Eight Blog Posts

What a difference a year makes! Where does the time go?

We’ve been writing articles for this blog for over a year, and we’ve learned as many things from our readers as we hope you’ve learned from us. As our topics have grown and more readers have found us, we wanted to make sure that some of our posts don’t get lost in the noise of the Internet and buried deep away where claimants would less likely be able to find help. In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament, we’re going to go through our most popular blog posts as well as highlight some posts that we think include topical, valuable information that may be helpful in your disability claim. Thanks again for reading our blog over the past year and making us one of the top-rated destinations for disability claim advice and help.  While we hope you never have any problems with your conditions or your claim, we’ll continue to be here to read, just in case, for years to come!

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10 Ways to Protect Your Disability Claim in 2013

The new year is always a good time to review the events of the past 12 months and see what you can do to improve your life over the next 12 months.  If you’re dealing with health problems and a resulting disability insurance claim, this is also a great time to review the status of your claim and find ways to make the claim process stronger, simpler, and better.  This can be done in whichever stage of the claims process you’re in.  Whether you are still considering filing a claim, are waiting on a decision from the insurance company, are receiving benefits, or are facing a claim denial, it’s important to stay on top of your claim.  Insurance companies are always looking for new strategies to increase profits and reduce claims, so you should always try and stay one step ahead of them.  These 10 ways to protect your claim can help reduce your stress and work required on your disability claim over the next 12 months.  Like most things, maintaining a strong disability claim is easier than rehabilitating a claim when it breaks (or is denied).  Continue reading

Happy Holidays From All Of Us!

From all of us at Royal Claims Advocates to you and your loved ones, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!  This blog normally provides you with advice and tips on filing a successful disability claim, but today we’re going to take a break from the normal claims grind – and explain why you should too. Continue reading

6 Potential Pitfalls of Your Chronic Back Pain Disability Claim

Almost everyone will experience some sort of back pain during the course of their lives.  This can extend from the cervical to thoracic to lumbar, not to mention shooting into arms and legs, and range in severity from a minor, short-term twinge to protracted, excruciating pains that last for months.  For people who deal with chronic back pain on a daily basis, performing what used to be simple tasks and normal work functions can become difficult and sometimes unbearable.  Even with surgical intervention, the pain may prove too overwhelming for many people.  In addition, this pain can lead to a host of other conditions such as depression and anxiety.  When this occurs, sufferers of chronic back pain may need to consider applying for their disability benefits.

The claim process is full of unexpected pitfalls and hurdles that may weaken the claim and cause benefits to either be delayed or denied, preventing you from having the money you were counting on to pay the many bills that crop up when you become disabled.  These following six tips represent some of the most common problems our clients have experienced when filing their claim for benefits based upon conditions that cause chronic back pain and the ways to avoid these problems, helping you receive your benefits as soon as possible when you need them most.   Continue reading

Dealing With an Aggressive Claims Examiner

When you file a disability claim, your main point of contact with the insurance company is usually a claims examiner who has been assigned to your claim.  These individuals are trained to act as your lifesaver during your time of need, but they’re specifically trained (and sometimes even rewarded) to search for reasons to deny claims and goad claimants into making statements that are not representative of the truth and can be twisted to the insurance company’s advantage.  There are many different ways that the insurance companies try to reach their profit goals, but one of the most obnoxious techniques seems to use aggressive and pushy tactics in the claim departments to force mistakes or cause anxiety and fear that cause claimants to reconsider whether they should even pursue their benefits.  Knowing the fragile state of many claimants when they file for disability benefits, some claims departments capitalize on these weaknesses and manipulate LTD claims process to their advantage. Continue reading

Uncovering the Secrets of Insurance Company Surveillance

Surveillance is an issue that has been mentioned in several past blogs and creates tension and stress for claimants and insurance companies.  Disability claim examiners are trained to recognize certain “red flags,” ranging from incorrect statements on claims forms, to inconsistencies with medical information, to the experiences of a claims handler, that can trigger different types of surveillance.  In response to several questions about specific surveillance techniques and how to handle them, I’d like to explain some of the more common tactics used on a regular basis by insurance companies.   Continue reading

Watch Out for Your Social Media Presence

Post on Facebook!  Tweet on Twitter!  Re-pin on Pinterest! 

Social media is breathlessly changing the way our world communicates, shares news and pictures, and forms relationships with other people.  Recently, there have been several articles in the news about how social media has been used by insurance companies to accuse people of committing disability claim fraud.  Many people do not think about what they put on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, but claims examiners, field representatives, and private investigators sure do.  These sites are some of the first (and best) sources of information used to delay or decline paying a disability claim.  While Internet searches are not always misused in a claim investigation, the possibility for abuse is there by misconstruing what’s posted or putting information in a wrong or misleading context.  This is why we educate our clients on how to be clear and careful about what they put online and how to have a consistent social media footprint when filing a disability claim.

It might sound funny, but Google yourself.  Get an idea of what may be floating around the Internet about you.  For another example, try Dirt Search and you might be surprised what one free, simple, quick public record search is able to find. Continue reading