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Archive for the ‘Daily Buzz’ Category

Although my first obligation for time is dedicated to the clients who actually retain and pay me, I do try to return as many calls to insureds who take their valuable time to call or contact me.

Of late, I have been receiving inquiry messages from my website in addition to phone calls. The problem is that no one seems able to answer their phones when I return calls or respond to messages.The real tinker is when I hear messages that your mailbox has not been set up or is full. In this instance you won’t even know I returned your call because I can’t leave a message.

This blog was started as an offshoot to articles I wrote for Jim Mooney’s “Inside UnumProvident” newsletter approximately 15 years ago. At that time, there was so much inaccurate information out there about private disability insurance, the intent was to provide “information as least equal to that of the insurer who is reviewing and making decisions to pay or deny claims.”

I’m happy to say that the primary focus of Lindanee’s Blog is to “inform” the general public by giving accurate information about the claims process. In addition to providing fee-based consulting services, I do try to return as many calls and answer inquiries as I can.

To that end, if I call you back and you’re not answering your phone, it’s unlikely I will try a second time. A solution to this is to let my answering service know of a good time to reach you and when you will actually be available to answer your phone.

I’m happy to speak with you, but time is limited. If you leave a message because you have an important question, it may remain unanswered if you don’t answer your phone.

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In the last few months I’ve received many calls from insureds/claimants who are attempting to manage their claims on their own. During the course of our conversations it becomes evident that, due to lack of information, they may have set themselves up for denied claims. Hence their calls to me when the bell begins to drop from the tower.

Insureds describe how they’ve been having verbal conversations with their reps, asking insurers for advice on what to do, writing long letters to the claims handlers, trusting information given to them, have not read their Plans or policies, and in general, describe how well their claims have gone, until they are about to be denied.

I also know that those who read my posts sometimes tell me how fearful my articles cause them to be. At the same time, I am contacted by many insureds for advice, (even when they have attorneys), because they know I provide accurate information and won’t just tell them what I think they want to hear.

“Information” is the most valuable tool insureds have to protect themselves from a complex, deceptive, adverse private disability system that provides no long-term financial security when they need it.

Please think about this! Before you even open the cover of your policies, these documents are adverse to you. You don’t have to file a claim, you don’t have to do anything, and yet, most people are totally unaware that benefits provided are subject to “conditions” that must be met, and insurers are permitted to use their discretion whether or not to pay you. You don’t have to DO anything and yet your policies are already working against you.

Imagine what could happen when you DO actually file a claim and attempt to move through the process. Today more than ever, insureds/claimants need to know how the process works and what to do, and not do, when filing claims and moving through the process.

There are over 1,300 articles on this blog containing valuable information insureds need to know. It occurred to me recently, after another very painful call from an insured, how limited in scope Lindanee’s Blog really is.

Therefore, I’m asking the 800 or so people who read this blog everyday to share Lindanee’s Blog with others particularly those who may have need to file claims in the future. This is not an attempt on my part to solicit more business, but rather to “get the information out there” to those who need it, before they begin working against themselves and handing insurers their claims on a silver platter.

I have no stake in the ground as people do on YouTube videos. This blog isn’t monetized, and I don’t have to compete with “Subscriptions, Likes” or “thumb’s up” to get higher ratings. My only concern is getting information out to the public to prevent them from making mistake upon mistake that won’t get them a successful claim.

Therefore, I’m asking my readers to let others know where the resources are and how important information and knowledge is with managing a disability claim before it’s too late. I know my posts are uploaded to CFS/ME and FMS chat groups and websites. Please help if you have a resource my information can be referenced on.

The information contained here on Lindanee’s Blog is free and available to everyone.

A word of caution to DCS clients who sign confidentiality statements with me. DCS, Inc’s proprietary information cannot be posted or shared without my permission, but you certainly can direct others to this blog.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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Daily Buzz

“Cash not Care”

DCS, Inc. received multiple inquiries about Mo Stewart’s book “Cash Not Care”. As a well-known researcher from Great Britain, Mo Stewart’s book exposes Unum’s role in denying disability welfare to British citizens causing as much mayhem in Great Britain as in the United States.

According to Mo, her book  “is for sale on Amazon and various sources in the US.”

This is the Amazon link in the US.  It may be easier to type ‘Amazon books US: Mo Stewart’, which brings up the link.

https://www.amazon.com/Cash-Not-Care-planned-demolition/dp/178507783X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520945161&sr=1-1&keywords=Cash+Not+Care+-+Mo+Stewart

Mo also says, “If your readers want to see some reviews about the book they can see them online via Amazon books UK.  Again, it may be easier to type in ‘Amazon books UK: Mo Stewart’, which brings up the link and all the customer reviews of the book.”

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cash-Not-Care-planned-demolition/dp/178507783X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520945359&sr=1-1&refinements=p_27%3AMo+Stewart&dpID=51DT443HvCL&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

 

 

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This past week DCS, Inc. received several calls from avid readers of the Blog requesting assistance. Unfortunately, after talking with them I discovered their claims had recently been denied.

One of the most frequent topics I address on Lindanee’s Blog is the need for prevention of denials rather than having to deal with the risk of an appeal after the fact. DCS, Inc. is entirely about preemptive action and prevention of denials. This is not to say that I guarantee successful claims, but it does mean that having a claims expert on board to assist, particularly someone with direct claims experience does make a difference.

Once an ERISA or IDI private disability claim is denied insureds basically have two choices: 1) do the appeal yourself, which I do not recommend, or 2) attempt to find an experienced attorney who is willing to take your case – a very expensive option.

There are many things that can be done to place medical, occupational, and financial information in Administrative Records (ERISA), or claim files (IDI) that support disability. I can’t tell you all of them here because this information is proprietary to me and DCS, Inc. and represents a total strategy that consistently produces a 98% success rate.

Please give some thought to the benefit of assistance vs. claim denial. I would like to help, but you really need to contact me before your claim is denied, not after.

 

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Just a quick note to inform those receiving Residual benefits for self employment that Unum is apparently contacting Dun & Bradstreet to obtain business credit reports. This reminds me of the phrase, “Leave no stone unturned” when it comes to investigating insured-owned businesses.

The most recent inquiry I found out about was made by Unum who is currently investigating pre vs. post occupational duties. According to my conversation with a representative from Dun & Bradstreet this morning the company provides data of a business nature only.  The D&B is the #1 leader in providing business information to over 285 million businesses. Online marketing describes the company’s purpose with the phrase, “enabling correct associations”, whatever that means.

I asked the representative “What other information do you provide? Do you accumulate private information about individuals?” The answer was, “No, we only provide information about businesses” Theoretically classified as a credit agency, D&B is yet another source of information for Unum “to spend time investigating.”

The scope of investigation for disability claims is overwhelming. A few years ago I discovered that Guardian checks the FBI’s most wanted list every day. Can you imagine anyone on the FBI’s most wanted list filing a disability claim? Sometimes you just have to use common sense.

Please be aware that for some claims, investigations reach out to Dun & Bradstreet for information regarding businesses and self-employment.

 

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Daily Buzz – Unum

Who am I talking to anyway?

Insureds and claimants report seeing different numbers showing up on their phones for verbal “interviews.” Although most Unum insureds are used to seeing the Maine area code of 207, area codes such as 617 and others are coming up on caller IDs. My guess is that Unum is once again outsourcing administrative work to other companies and agencies. DCS, Inc. recommends that all communications should be in writing anyway, therefore there is no need to be “watching the phone” to find out if Unum is calling.

This is even more important today when Unum’s reps are looking for more reasons to deny claims. Today, claimants are probably unaware who is on the other line, particularly if it happens to be a HUB investigator. if you request all communications in writing, you’ll always know who you’re talking to!

GENEX

Speaking of phone calls….Unum insureds are receiving phone calls from GENEX, a company with a long on again, off again relationship with Unum. A decade ago, Unum used GENEX to assist claimants in obtaining SSDI, but also to conduct interviews, any occupation investigations and triage claim reviews. At the time it was surmised that GENEX was a fully owned subsidiary until regulators pointed out the conflict of interest.

It’s interesting to me that since then, the actual relationship of GENEX and Unum remains a mystery. Although attorneys tried to “follow the money” in order to discredit the company, it’s still not very clear who pays what company for which service.

Claimants are reporting to me that GENEX is selling its services to aid in the application of SSDI as a mandatory service offered by Unum. GENEX’ involvement in the SSDI application process is not sold by the company as an option or choice, but as a mandatory service. Cold calls from GENEX take claimants by surprise, and again they may find themselves buying into the service without realizing what they are getting in to.

No claimant is required to use GENEX in the SSDI application process, but you wouldn’t really know it. Claimants report multiple problems with GENEX to include, no attorney involvement, lack of communication, long application wait times, and general “bungling” of applications. DCS, Inc. doesn’t recommend GENEX at all since the company doesn’t really represent you, but Unum. What GENEX knows, Unum knows. Those who wish to keep their SSDI information private shouldn’t consider using GENEX at all.

It’s also my understanding that GENEX reviews Unum’s disability claims and is involved with providing other services in addition to SSDI assistance. Getting a cold call from GENEX is also a scary thing for those who may not know who the company  is.

DCS, Inc. recommends local, specialized SSDI attorneys who have knowledge of, and have worked with, county administrative SSDI judges in the state. There is no requirement that any claimant must use GENEX services, and “no”, you need not take their calls.

At one time Unum actually told claimants they would not allow a reduction of the 25% attorney fee in repayment calculations unless GENEX was used – an unfair and discriminative trade practice. To my knowledge Unum no longer does that, and claimants can choose who they want to represent them.

I recommend local experienced attorneys who represent YOU, not an outside third-party looking to benefit from an offset.

By the way, I don’t recommend ANY outside third-party for SSDI assistance. This includes Allsup and Advocator Group.

 

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Landmark 1 Million Reads Reached

For those who may or may not be watching, Lindanee’s Blog recorded over 1 M reads in the last few days. I only found out today because of the storm we had in Maine this past Monday. We lost power, phone and Internet for several days.

Thank you to all of my readers who made this tremendous achievement possible. Based on the feedback I’ve received over the years the articles have been extremely helpful and informative for those of you with disability claims.

I am looking forward to the many articles yet to be written in the future. If I’ve helped one person or family with a successful claim I’ve fulfilled my objectives.

I know that for many of you who are trying to manage your disability claims on your own it has been quite a struggle. Thanks again for staying with me over the years and providing tremendous feedback!

 

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