NU Online News Service, May 29, 1:43 p.m. – CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, has hired Allsup Inc., Belleville, Ill., and Advantage 2000 Consultants, St. Louis, to help it assist severely disabled disability insurance claimants with applications for Social Security benefits.

Many disability insurance policies contain provisions that enable insurers to reduce their own, private benefits payments once Social Security begins sending out disability benefits checks. But people who are disabled often have a difficult time going through the slow, confusing disability benefits application process on their own.

The new CIGNA program uses case managers who will review long-term disability claims to see whether claimants have the potential to qualify for Social Security assistance.

When case managers believe claimants can qualify, they will notify the claimants that CIGNA and its partners will help with the application process, eliminating the need for the claimants to fill out forms or call government agencies on their own, CIGNA says.