Hello Disabled Vet. Perhaps I can assist -- my own sister just went through this exact same situation. I know you don't want to hear this, but Met Life does have a right to the return of the portion of payments made to you, but, by your explanation, there is no way the amount is $60,000. But, perhaps I can help you to understand what is happening.
Here's how it works - in the LTD policy
there is language stating that if you are disabled for one year or more, you MUST apply for social security disability benefits
-- in many instances, the LTD insurer will even provide you with a lawyer to apply for the benefits (nice of them, huh?)
Now, on the date you apply for benefits, your SS claim is automatically made retroactive for one year (if you have been out longer than a year) and Metlife has a provision that if you are awarded SS benefits that are backdated (made retroactive), and during that period while you were applying for and waiting for the SS benefits MetLife paid your full monthly check, MetLife is entitled to receive a portion of the retroactive check to pay them back for the monthly payments that were awarded to you by SS.
If you look at your SS award letter there is a DATE that SS says that your SS benefits BEGIN. It is from that date forward, that MetLife should be requesting that a PORTION of each monthly payment that they made to you be returned to them. The portion Metlife is/should be requesting is ONLY the amount that SS says they awarded you for that month -- Metlife is NOT entitled to the return of the full monthly payment they made to you, just that portion that was paid to you by SS in the lump sum check.
Because I do not know the exact number of months you were awarded by SS, when you filed your claim, etc., I can take a guess based upon the numbers provided by you as to what you might owe MetLife for the "double payment" (as they call it):
It looks to me like you received approx. 30 months of retroactive SS benefits -- about $39,000 (30 x 1315 = $39,450)
During those 30 months that SS just paid you for, Met Life also paid you $2300 per month, then because, in the final calculation of your SS benefits, you were awarded $1315 for those SAME 30 months, then MetLife is entitled to recover $1315 for each of the months that they paid you $2300. SO, MetLife is entitled to receive approximately $39,000 of the SS check you just received. NOT $60,000.
My guess is that METLIFE is calculating that $60,000 incorrectly and is askng you to repay them in FULL for either the entire time you received benefits from MetlIfe (which would be incorrect because SS only pays retroactive benefits for One year prior to the date you filed for those benefits - so the first year you collected LTD from Metlife should probably NOT be calculated into the situation) OR Metlife is trying to say that you owe them the FULL $2300 for each month that SS only paid you $1315 (which is also incorrect).
Finally, You state that the difference between the SS benefits and the MetLife FULL benefit is $985.00 per month. MetLife is required to pay that additional $985 to you for as long as the terms of their policy require it (as long as you are permanently disabled, I expect). BUT -- if you do not pay them the $39,000 from the large SS check that you received, they are entitled to withhold that $985 until the $39,000 is repaid to them (which, by my calculations, appears to be about 40 months or 3.5 years). When those monies are paid back to them, if you are still disabled, you will begin to receive that $985.00 again every month if the terms of your MetLife LTD policy require that you be paid for the full term of your disablement.
What you need now is someone to sort out with them exactly what is owed so they do not keep hitting you with the $60,000 balance (mind you, I have not seen the documents or reviewed this, so I cannot say with certainty that you do not owe that much, I just find it highly unlikely, as my colleague explained to you earlier).
Try to find a trusted friend or relative to review this with you. OR go to cityhall in your town or city and determine who is the veteran's affairs officer or the elderly services officer (every city and town has at least one) -- sit down with that person and ask them to go over these things with you. They can also help you to draft a letter to MetLife to tell them that the calculations are incorrect (if that is the case). In the letter, also address the request from MetLife for $1,000 per month extra -- tell them that you are on a limited income and cannot afford to give them anything further, so they have to satisfy themselves with holding the $985.00 every month until the back payments are finished. Be sure that the letter is sent certified mail, return receipt requested so you have proof of mailing.
Met Life will probably threaten you with a collection agency -- if all you have is the SS benefits, tell them that it will not do them any good to go to collections because they are already receiving 985.00 per month (the withholding) and a court will not attach your SS benefits for them when they see what you are living on and what MetLife is withholdig every month. My educated guess here is that they will back off.
At this point, unles you pay an attorney a few hundred dollars up front, they will probably not look into it for you (unless the veteran's services can direct you to an attorney who will do it free or for very low cost).
The lawyers here at Just Answer also could not handle something like this for you because we are not permitted to engage in legal work outside of the site with individual customers. You asked what happened here, and I have done my best to explain to you what happened and why MetLife is making the requests that they are making. But I do think you should challenge them on that $60,000 figure, because it does sound way off.
I hope that my detailed answer helped you to understand your situation a little bit better and I have at least pointed you in the direction of where you can get some help to straighten this all out with METLIFE.
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