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Auto insurance company requested for SS number after I filed a 3rd party claim letter due to PI - Should I give it?

San Jose, CA |

The auto insurance requested for my social security number (or HICN number, which I do not have) after I sent a third party claim letter due to a car accident personal injury. The fault is on the other party. No argument there. The letter stated they are required by Federal law to determine Medicare entitlement. Section 111 of the Federal Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 requires liability, no fault and workers' compensation insurers to determine whether a person making a claim is entitled to Medicare benefits on any basis. I made no claim to Medicare and I am recovering. Is this a correct request, what is the purpose, and is it OK to give the SS number to the insurance company?

Attorney Answers 9

Posted

If you are not over 65, on Midicare or Medi-Cal, you can refuse to provide the SSN number.

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Charles Owen Geerhart

Charles Owen Geerhart

Posted

I meant "Medicare"

Posted

The real question is what are your intentions. If its because you've been injured then you should consult with a local and qualified attorney. He/she will probably advise and counsel you. If you are not injured then there is no reason to give your private information.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

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Posted

Medicare reimbursement verification is becoming more common due to recent changes in policy regarding collection. However, they are asking for your social security number for more reasons than that. They are trying to run an "index check" to see if you have filed personal injury claims before and any number of other things.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.

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Frank Marvin Nunes

Frank Marvin Nunes

Posted

Do not give out your social security number if you do not receive any MediCare or MediCaid servies. Ask the insurance compnay to send you a form that allows you to check the box "no" that you do ont receive MediCare or MediCaid and return it to them. On that form, if you check "no" you do ont have to give our your social security number. As my colleague said, they really want it more to run a claims index on you to see how many claims you have submitted in prior matters, etc.

Posted

I concur with my colleagues. If you have any prior injuries or accidents, they will come to light. As far as Medicare, the carrier does want to confirm in order to avoid any headache down the road.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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Posted

there is a form and usually he ins co will furnish you a copy, which has a box on the first page you can check indicating you are not and have not recd medicare benefits. Thenon the second page, there is a place for you to sign stating you decline to give your ssn. There is a space for the reason. Most of my clients say it is for privacy and to protect against identity theft.

If you havent consulted with a PI atty yet, you should at least get a free consult. there are many things you need to do and thing you should not do frm the beginning of the process, that can seriously impact the value of your case later.

I am in downtown San Jose. You can reach me at 408-293-4000

Good luck.

Robert

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Posted

Either you at they will have to send madicare a verification form indicating that you are not on Medicare so that when you settle your case, the insurance company doesn't issue you payment with Medicare listed as an additional payee. This would be a nightmare for you and delay you payment by months. So to protect your identity, submit it yourself or have your attorney do it. Good luck!

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Posted

I agree with the other attorneys and verifying that you have not received medicare benefits is a legitimate issue. However, instead of goving your social security number, you can offer to get a statement from medicare that you have received no benefits.

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Posted

You should NEVER give your Social Security number to an auto insurance company who represents a party that may have caused you harm. Under federal law, Medicare is entitled to be reimbursed for its payment of medical bills related to injuries sustained in an injury causing incident if compensation for the injuires is obtained from the party causing the incident or his/her insurance carrier. Although the federal government now requires that liability carriers report settlements, a letter sent to the carrier indicating that no beneifts were paid and that you will not disclose your Social Security number as a result of the privacy privlege provided by our State Constitution, is sufficient. A colleague of mine recently had this issue come up in court after settlement of a claim. The defense actually made a motion to obtain the Social Security number. Pasting from the decision of the Judge that was posted by my colleague, the Court denied the motion by stating:
1. YOUR CLIENT (INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANT) HAS NO REPORTING REQUIREMENTS PER THE STATUTE, SO IT DOES NOT APPLY.
2. THE FEDERAL STATUTE IS IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO THE DISCOVERY STANDARDS OF OUR STATE.
3. THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS DO NOT REQUIRE YOU TO OBTAIN THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, BUT MERELY TO REPORT THE SETTLEMENT.
4. AS FAR AS PROTECTING THE MEDICARE REQUIREMENTS, THERE ARE THINGS THE DEFENDANT CAN DO UPON SETTLEMENT TO ASSURE THAT MEDICARE IS INFORMED.

So don't be duped by the carrier. Providing the carrier your Social Security is a tremendous invasion of privacy as it will use the information to look into areas of your life where it has no business being, especially if you provide that information prior to resolution of the claim.

If the injuries were significant and/or will have caused you pain for more than 30 days, you should consult a personal injury trial attorney as this will be the first of many questions you will have where you will not get an accurate answer from the adverse carrier. The carrier has an obligation to do right by its shareholders and not by you. My office typically will not get involved in a claim where someone has represented themselves for any significant period of time since the party representing him/herself has usually substantially harmed the claim by doing something, saying something or signing something at the direction of the insurance carrier. Please keep that in mind as you attempt to navigate your own claim without the assistance of legal counsel. The carriers play for keeps and it is a zero sum game and you are their target.

I wish you good luck.

Christopher Russell
Russell & Lazarus APC

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much.

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

This is an excellent response. Would you be good enough to forward the decision. Thanks, Jeff

Christopher E. Russell

Christopher E. Russell

Posted

Don' t have a case name but court was Alhambra, Dept T on 5/18/12. Believe the case number was CIV113476 but not positive. he did not post the order since he had just come back from court.

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

just curious; tks

Posted

Unless you are eligible for Medicare, as a rule I never disclose my clients SSN. The insurance company will use the SSN to investigate you via several different sources. California case law holds that SSN are not discoverable (right of privacy) nor can it lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

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