Assurant Employee Benefits and Long Term Disability
Assurant Employee Benefits insurance company, also known as Union Security Insurance Company, offers group disability insurance that helps give employees income protection in the event that they are unable to work due to an illness or injury.
In most of Assurant’s long term disability plans, the qualifying period begins the day the insured cannot perform at least one material duty of his or her occupation.
Unfortunately, Assurant often seems more interested in getting people back to work rather than paying them disability benefits. This quote is taken from Assurant’s own website:
Our integrated WillReturn® program is a unique blending of demographic and psychographic information processing designed to get employees back to work more quickly. WillReturn® combines information from two studies commissioned exclusively for Assurant Employee Benefits, the Menninger return-to-work study and the Gallup will-to-work study, to help case mangers identify the rehabilitation services and training interventions most appropriate for each individual.
Assurant’s goal is clearly to get employees get back to work quickly. Assurant uses its custom “return to work computer programs” in order to create artificial recovery periods for disabled policy holders. Assurant’s claims handlers are trained to rely on computer data to determine how long a claimant “should” be out on disability based on the claimant’s medical condition. Assurant’s analysts are further trained to look for specific medical documentation in connection with specific medical conditions. If the documentation is not available in the claimant’s medical record, the analysts are trained to deny claims. This is no small operation. By some estimates, Assurant Employee Benefits has more than 1,000 employees, including medical consultants, vocational consultants and private investigators. Again, Assurant’s own website gives clues that it is looking for more reasons to deny claims than to approve claims:
Assurant Employee Benefits integrates medical and disability claims analysis to target cases that are under medical case management and identifies cases appropriate for early intervention with disability management practices. Our in-house special investigations unit assists in examining potentially fraudulent claims. Having this unit in house assures that investigators understand the LTD contract, protect the confidentiality of the claimant and his or her relationship with the policyholder, and assures that surveillances are complete.
Assurant Employee Benefits Long Term Disability Plan Options
Assurant does give employers options to choose from to custom build their LTD plans. One key feature is the option of selecting the most appropriate definition of disability to meet the needs of different employee groups. Assurant offers three distinct definitions of disability, including a distinctive “dual” definition that triggers benefit payment based on a loss of duties or a loss of earnings. A loss of both is not required.
Assurant’s Critical Illness benefit provides a lump-sum payment, in addition to disability income protection, to claimants who suffer specific critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or trauma resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Assurant’s Activities of Daily Living Benefit (ADL) pays an additional benefit that will increase the policy’s overall benefit rate to either 80% or 100% of pre-disability pay to claimants who suffer a severe disability. This benefit was designed to help those severely disabled claimants pay the additional expenses that they often incur.
If an Assurant disabled insured dies while receiving Long-term Disability benefits, the Survivor Benefit provides income to the insured’s survivors while they are in the process of settling the estate.
Assurant’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) gives employees access to a confidential short-term counseling and referral service, designed to help them deal with family, legal or financial concerns.
Assurant’s Business Income Benefit provides an additional benefit to be paid to the policyholder if one of the organization’s primary income-generating employees becomes disabled.
Appeal of Assurant Employee Benefits Denial Letter
If you have a group plan Assurant Employee Benefits disability policy, your policy is likely governed by ERISA. ERISA does have strict appeal procedures and deadlines. ERISA requires an internal or administrative appeal if your benefits are terminated or denied. The time limit to file an appeal is very limited, usually only 180 days. Under some policies, you may have a second, voluntary appeal. You should consult with an experienced disability attorney to determine your legal rights.
Assurant Employee Benefits Long Term Disability Attorney
Disability attorney Nick A. Ortiz offers the following legal services for disability claimants that have a long-term disability insurance policy purchased from Assurant:
- ERISA appeal of an Assurant denial of group LTD insurance benefits;
- ERISA appeal of an Assurant wrongful termination of group LTD insurance benefits;
- ERISA Lawsuit against Assurant after final denial of group long-term disability benefits; and
- Lump-sum buyout or settlement of an Assurant long-term disability insurance policy.
Call Assurant disability attorney Nick A. Ortiz at 850-308-7833 for a free case evaluation.