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Why Disability Insurers Pick on Older Workers

Picking on older folks is not just for families and friends anymore. Except, when it is done by disability insurers, the consequences are far more severe.

In general, people are not lizards. We degenerate and do not regenerate. For that reason, most disabling conditions become worse as the aging process proceeds. The insurers act as if this simple fact just does not exist.

Add to this the problems that older workers have obtaining new employment. Regardless of their experience in their respective fields and prior dependability, older workers are commonly viewed as being greater liabilities in terms of increased health care costs, safety concerns, lacking mental flexibility, age-related productivity concerns, and inability to work with younger workers. Further, employers are faced with older workers whose skills have become obsolete and are reluctant to invest in training them. Older workers require extended training as compared to their younger counterparts who tend to learn quicker. This is particularly difficult in an era when many industries are undergoing rapid technological change. Again, disability insurers just invent their own logic which runs contrary to reality.

So, what do disability insurers do? They deny claims for older persons who are making new claims or have been on claim for years. This is done on purpose as it is nothing more than a numbers game. The disability contract only pays to retirement age (ranging from age 65 – 67). So, the insurer will only be liable for a few more years of disability payments at the most. This provides only a small sum by which to decide whether to hire an attorney to fight for the benefits. Many times, the amount is low enough as to preclude contingency fee interest for most attorneys since ERISA-governed benefits are not eligible to sue for compensatory or punitive damages. This gives insurers a distinct advantage and a savings mechanism. Fewer paid claims increases their profit.

Moreover, most of these older claimants are receiving Social Security Disability and are eligible to receive retirement account payments. The other sources of income serve as disincentives for these workers to fight for their private disability payments as they do not wish to be bothered with a legal battle.

We have represented older workers in many of these cases and take insurers to task on these issues. It is patently unfair to treat older worker claims in this fashion. Insurers have a lot to answer for if the case is prepared correctly and all the disability issues are covered. For this reason, you need an experienced disability benefits attorney who is willing to go to court in these cases. It is important to ask about an attorneys experience and court record in advance before making this important decision.

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