Can a Long Term Disability Carrier in Florida Take my Social Security Disability Benefits that I Receive in a Lump Sum?
No! In Herman vs. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (689 f supp 2d 1316 (MD Florida 2010)), Ms. Hermann did not have to pay back Metropolitan Life’s claimed lien resulting in her receipt of Social Security Disability benefits. Ms. Herman had “dissipated” or spent the long term disability benefits that had been paid in the past, she had no traceable funds in her possession. The only recovery that Metropolitan Life could potentially make was from Social Security benefits. However, by law, Social Security Disability benefits are protected from execution or the attachment garnishment or other legal process. However, that’s not the end of the case. Why? While there was no identifiable funds, MetLife could reduce any future long term disability benefits by the receipt of the Social Security Disability benefits. In Ms. Herman’s case, MetLife actually denied her claim for on going disability benefits. They were suing Ms. Herman asking her for a money judgment that would allow MetLife to levy on her general assets. Because the long term disability benefits had been spent, the only funds that Ms. Herman had available to satisfy the judgment was from the monthly Social Security check which judgment proof. Obviously then, the long term disability carrier’s right to reimbursement for the overpayment of Social Security Disability benefits is a complicated one and you should consult long term disability overpayment attorney Nancy Cavey.