Every year thousands of people are wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits from their insurance company. Often, these individuals will take early withdrawal from their retirement plan in order to meet basic living expenses while appealing the denial of benefits. As a result, they are left with nothing to fund their retirement and because of the disability, no means of ever earning that income again. To add insult to injury, once the disability carrier decides that they were wrong and should not have denied benefits, they also take credit for the income received from the individual’s pension, IRA or other retirement plan. The net result is that the insurance companies get a free ride. Not only do they get away with paying a significantly reduced amount of benefits, or in some case nothing at all because of this offset, but also the individual has lost the benefit of his retirement fund. This is outrageous. It is time for congress to act and stop allowing the insurance company to fleece America. When an individual is required to take an early withdrawal from their retirement plan because of a disability, it should be treated as a hardship loan. Upon acceptance of the claim, the disability insurance carrier should be required to refund the retirement plan with the back benefits. That would produce the more equitable result. Until such time, disabled individuals should avoid withdrawing from their retirement plan while going through the appeals process for their long-term disability claim. To avoid this situation, plan now. Get your disability insurance policy. Dust it off and become familiar with its provision.