Insurance money for homeless disabled veteran proves evasive

Dear John: My brother passed away in February 2018 and for two years I have been stalled by the insurance company in my efforts to obtain the insurance money.

I am a disabled veteran, now homeless, and paid out of pocket to bury my brother, relying on the proceeds from the policy.

I read your articles regularly, and I remember reading a similar case where your intervention was successful.

I have enclosed a copy of my last letter to the insurance company for your review and pray that you will intervene on my behalf. E.J.

Dear E.J.: I did intervene on your behalf with Global Life Insurance Co., and the insurance money was finally paid — only not to you.

Understand that in these situations, the company usually won’t discuss details with me. Most of the time they say it’s none of my business and they have a legal obligation not to share details with me. But more often than not, they’d rather I not butt in.

So I called you and here’s all that they told me — the situation was settled a month ago.

I had to speak with you to get the details.

Global apparently paid the money to a cousin of yours who lives in California. The amount was $5,000, and the cousin gave you $1,000 of it.

The question is: When was the beneficiary changed from you — as you claim — to your cousin? We will probably never know why it was changed, if it was, because your brother is dead. But I can see some reasonable explanations, such as: You were homeless and couldn’t be reached, so she was the person who would have an easier time collecting. Whether she was supposed to share the money with you, or give it all to you, is an answer that went to the grave with your brother.

But since your life is in the state it is, I asked Global the following questions: One, why did it take so long to pay out this money? Two, was a fraud investigation undertaken to determine if the cousin really was the beneficiary? And when was the will changed (if you are telling me the truth on that)?

The way this will work is: Global won’t answer these questions for me. But, if it is smart, Global will eventually get back to you with the answers. And you’ll have to contact me with those answers.

If I don’t like those answers I will call the NYS Insurance Department and have it investigate.

Hope this helps a little.

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