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Life Insurance: Living Benefit: How Apply For

How To Apply For A Living Benefit If You Have A Group Policy

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  • Call the insurance company and ask for an application to obtain the proceeds for a living benefit. Don't be surprised if the insurance company tells you that you have to obtain the application from your employer. If this is the case, ask your employer for the application. If you haven't previously disclosed your condition, read Disclosing your Condition To Your Employer. Keep in mind that you do not have to tell your employer more about your condition at this point than you want to. You may not be protected against discrimination because of your condition unless you formally make a disclosure for that purpose to your employer -- see Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • If there is a part that has to be completed by your employer, give the form to your employer first to complete that section. Ask that the completed form be returned to you. Find out how long it will take to complete the form and set alerts in your computer or note dates on your calendar to follow up.
  • When you have the form back, check the employer's statements for accuracy. Then complete your section.
  • Make a copy of the form "just in case" and send or take it to the doctor who is willing to provide a "life expectancy".
  • Find out how long it will take the doctor to complete the form, set follow up alerts as above. Follow up on the due date if you haven't received the form by then.
  • Review the completed form, including the doctor's statements, to be sure everything is completed as desired. When you look at the "life expectancy" keep in mind what we said above about statistics. Also keep in mind that the doctor is trying to help you and is indicating a life expectancy as short as he or she can specifically for the purpose of helping you obtain this benefit.
  • Make a copy of the form for your files. You can submit it as is without a cover letter. However, it is preferable to send the form to the insurance company with a letter that references your policy number and states that you are requesting a Living Benefit under the policy. Mention the amount of money you want to receive as an advance. If you want a check, tell the company to whom it should be payable. If you prefer a wire transfer directly to your bank account, give the insurance company the routing information as well as the name on the account. Ask that your request be attended to as soon as possible. Tell the company to call you if there are any questions. Be sure to provide a phone number at which you can be reached during business hours. Send the letter via certified mail or similar means which will permit you to trace it and to prove that it was received.
  • Follow-up with the insurance company periodically to find out the status of your application. We recommend that you follow up a day or so after you send your information to confirm its receipt -- even if you already know it was received because you track it through the carrier. At this time, ask how long it will take to process. You should then set alerts on your computer or note dates in your calendar to call at least once a week to find out the status of your application.
  • Before you receive payment, think through what is the best place to park the money until you are ready to use it.

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