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Attorneys for Reliance Standard Disability Claims

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Reliance Standard Disability Insurance Claim Denial ERISA Appeal Tips Video

Our disability lawyers are well known to Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company as we have handled numerous ERISA Appeals and Lawsuits due to Reliance Standard’s denial of long-term disability benefits.

Reliance Standard has been in business since 1906 and they are a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company, Delphi Financial Group. Despite their large size and financial resources our law firm has been able to level the playing field and help numerous claimants to receive disability insurance benefits from Reliance Standard.

We offer claimants a contingency fee agreement in which they are not responsible for either our attorney fees or costs unless we recover benefits.

Reliance Standard Is No Stranger To Disability Denial Lawsuits

Reliance Standard takes their disability claim denials seriously and they will defend their position aggressively in courts throughout the country.

In 2010, Reliance Standard appealed a long term disability denial case to the United States Supreme Court as they did not want to pay prevailing party attorney fees to the claimant’s attorney following a remand by the lower court. As result of the US Supreme Court case of Hardt v. Reliance Standard , it is now easier for claimant’s to recover attorney fees if they win their case following the filing of an ERISA disability lawsuit.

Every year there are numerous court decisions issued both for and against Reliance Standard. Our lawyers have the experience, skill and resources to handle your Reliance Standard disability Appeal or Lawsuit. Call us a for a free phone consultation to discuss your claim options.

Free Reliance Standard Information, Lawsuits And Court Decisions Nationwide

As a disability claimant, it is important for you to have a good understanding of the disability claim handling techniques used by Reliance and the manner in which they are interpreted by courts nationwide.

On our site you can read short articles in which we have drafted claim handling tips, and short articles about our resolved cases, court decisions and lawsuits filed against Reliance. We routinely update this page with the latest court decisions which may be important to you.

Tell Us What You Think About Reliance Standard

You can help other claimants nationwide by posting your comments, questions or complaints about your experience with Reliance Standard. Our lawyers regularly respond to comments posted on our site.

Please contact us privately if you are seeking assistance with your Reliance Standard claim.

There are 75 opinions so far. Add your comment or complaint now.

Sharon Fair:

My brother in law was made completely disabled in May 2010 by his doctors. He was a police officer for twenty three years and was unable to continue working due to a back injury. He injured his back several years ago. Two bulging slipped disc and also vertebraes laying on nerves. He is in constant pain. Some days he can’t even stand up straight. Many doctors have seen him and told him the same thing. “Your back will get no better, it will get worse”. He can’t get his long term disability checks from Reliance. Sometimes he will go two months or more before he gets a check. My sister and him have spent countless hours on the phone with Reliance trying to get his checks to them on a regular basis. They always get a different answer. They need more information etc. Several specialist have sent results from MRI’s, sent nine page documents from Specialist stating he will not get any better. He is permanently disabled and will never be able to work. He has applied for his Social Security Disability but that takes months and months to be approved.This has took a toll on my brother in law and sister. This has affected their livelihood. Family members have had to pay bills and buy them groceries so they could survive. My brother in law is a proud man and would love no more than to be able to work and provide for his family like he did for over twenty years but he can’t. Being forced to leave your job due to health reasons was enough to depress my brother in law but the utter hell that Reliance Insurance has put them through should be againist the law. He paid on this insurance policy for many years. I have listened to my sister cry many days worrying how they were going to make it. Things like this should not go on in America. I’m sorry Reliance Insurance should be held accountable for what they have put my brother in law and his family through. They have suffered pain and anguish for months due to this. I hope the President of Reliance Insurance reads this!!! If this were you I bet you would get your disablilty checks like clock work. I bet you wouldn’t have to worry how you were going to pay your mortgage and buy groceries for your family. My sister’s family have suffered enough with this.

B. Bunch:

I agree with you in all aspects. We are going through the “professional delay tactics” of Reliance right now. They need these docs and those and on and on, it never ends. One of their representatives actually told my wife today that our doctor was at fault because they didn’t interpret the company’s terminology and our doctor didn’t get them everything they needed because of a technicality. They can put you off better than anyone I have encountered, but I am going to put a stop to that. I am calling the attorney general, the board of insurance, the local television stations, radio, newspapers and everyone I can contact to get the word out. It may even be time for a nationwide class action lawsuit to open the president of the company’s eyes or at least to let the country know what is happening with this PUBLICLY traded company. How well will the company like that for their stock prices?

Amy:

My fiance’ is dealing with Reliance right now. He was in a motorcycle accident in April. It takes them weeks to approve the claim. That is ridiculous. If you don’t pay the premium, they cancel your coverage, but yet it takes them weeks to go over the paperwork and approve the claim? I think the attorney generals office needs to be notified of this companies practices, because they are not ethical.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Amy, I am sorry to hear about your experience. It is essential to continue paying premiums. If it is an ERISA policy you can file a complaint with the department of labor and department of insurance in your state.

Mark:

Hi all,

My name is Mark Ozimek, I was employed at Lehigh Heavy Forge which is the old Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem PA. I was out for a shoulder operation for a rotator cuff tear. The workman’s comp. insurance turned it down as I tried to fight it, so STD wouldn’t pay (Reliance).

Now the judge in the case had turned me down agreeing with the insurance company, so in this case Reliance is supposeed to pick up the payment for my STD claim that I had filed with them and this case worker Donna won’t even pick up the phone to call me back.

Please help, what do I do?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Mark, you should immediately communicate in writing with Reliance Standard about the current situation.

JoJo:

I have first Reliance in NY State. Here is my question. Can hey cut my monthly benefits they are paying me while I am waiting to see if I can even get SSD? The insurance company calls it Estimated SSD. What they do is estimate how much they think I would get from SSD and they take that much away from my monthly check each month and if I am awarded SSD they want all of that money that I would be getting from thm also. I have to plead Hardship in order to get my money… What I don’t understand is, I paid a premium so why would I have to pay them anything? If I had life insurance and died would my kids have to give them back the money I paid for my Insurance? Doesn’t make sense to me… I can understand them taking the money from SSD award but not to take it from me before I even got approved or not… Please help me before I send back any papers to them.

Kate Kastorff:

I paid for long term disability for three years and now I am disabled. I cannot get Reliance to pay my benefits on time. They go for months at a time wanting this or that, and twice my claim has been “cancelled” only to be reopened when I start yelling “lawyer”. They stall, won’t return my calls, and I am behind in all my bills and turned over to collections agencies because they wont pay me regularly. I lost my COBRA medical insurance because I haven’t had a check in four months from Reliance, so I couldn’t pay my premiums. I’ve had enough. I have an appointment to see an attorney in the morning. I’m suing the bastards.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Kate,

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your claim with Reliance Standard. Before you can sue them you must file an appeal and exhaust all administrative remedies. The delay you are experiencing from Reliance of greater than four months is beyond the norm. If your claim is denied you will receive an explanation in writing. Call us if you would like to discuss your options.

Attorney Greg Dell:

JoJo,

I have not seen your Reliance Standard policy, but group policies must allow the disability company to offset for social security disability. Please see the FAQ section of our site for a lot of information related to SSDI deductions. The estimated offset is unreasonable. If you ask the company to wait until you receive SSDI, then most will not do an estimated offset.

Robert Lomax:

Reliance Standard is the biggest scam ripoff company in the business. They say they will pay 60% of your salary upon proof of disability . They don’t tell you that upon approval of social security disability or benefits that they will deduct this amount from their payment. That leaves you with a monthly check of around $100. After paying $30.00 a month premiums for the past 11 years I feel that I have been had. Thank you Reliance Standard for adding more stress to my life and that of my family.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Robert,

At the time you bought your policy, your employer should have provided you with a copy of your disability policy with Reliance Standard. If your disability policy does not provide language allowing Reliance Standard to seek an overpayment for SSDI, then they are not allowed to. Your employer negotiated the terms of your disability policy with Reliance Standard. Most claimants don’t realize that ERISA disability insurance policies include language that allows for an SSDI setoff.

Thomas R. White:

My employer has a auxiliary group policy with Reliance Standard for disabilities. Our primary health insurance is through our Union with our Employer paying the premiums per our contract.

Recently I was off from work due to several medical problems and I have just returned to this month. During my recovery period Reliance Standard after it’s usual excruciating processing time sent me a disability check. Even though I had filed no Social Security claim, Reliance had deducted an offset for Social Security. I called Reliance to no avail. The offset stood. Then I received a call from Reliance informing me that when I returned to work if I supplied the release documents from my Doctors then possibly I might receive part of the offset money if approved by them. Then, unexpectedly, the other day I received a second call from Reliance informing me that if I could supply additionally a statement from the SSA that I had no Social Security claim that I would receive the offset money in return. All this information was sent to them last Friday.

Today, Saturday, I received a lengthy letter from Reliance informing me that I was receiving a “pension” in addition to Social Security and that the disability check they sent me should have been a considerably smaller amount. I am receiving no “pension” from anyone and am not receiving anything from the SSA. I did receive disability checks from the Union and SURS Disability Insurance, but from no other entities.

Now, Reliance says it over-payed me $2,200 and wants reimbursement in 15 days. My Union Disability money ran out at about the time Reliance sent me their check, so the money from Reliance went to pay bills, living expenses and and co-pays from medical expenses.

In this situation do I have any recourse or should I seek legal counsel?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Thomas,

If you did not receive a pension, then it’s is unclear how Reliance Standard claims you were overpaid. Since they are only claiming $2,200 overpayment it is unlikely they will aggresively prusue you. Also, it could cost you more to get an attorney since the amount in controversy is so low. In this situation you should do the best you can on your own.

Laura:

My husband has partial disability due to his stroke. He can work, thankfully, but now has limitations that he didn’t have before. We started receiving benefits on time and, at the beginning, we thought they we rather large for a partial disability. We and the human resources manager at my husband’s employer questioned the claims examiner several times about the amount. She recalculated it and assured us it was correct. About a year and half later we get a letter saying they had overpaid us by a lot and we needed to send this amount back to them in 15 days. With the help of the same HR manager we told them no. They withheld payments for over a year until they considered us “even”. Now we are starting to get payments again and, as always, they are very irregular. The thing that galls us the most is that the claims examiner, DB, never admitted her calculations had been wrong all along. She blamed the whole thing on error made at my husband’s employers. One time we didn’t get payments for several months and we called and DB said she was waiting for medical records to come from our insurer. We had no notification of this and she never called the insurer to expedite and follow up on anything. I called and got the ball rolling or I don’t think we ever would have been notified about what the delay was. They have terrible customer service and you have to be on them all the time to get anything done or explained. They put a terrible burden on people who don’t have another source of income and should be held accountable.

Beth:

I live in Maryland. I am a cancer patient and what they are putting me through is unbearable. They are trying to force me back to work while I am battling cancer and cannot even get out of bed.

Dan Stewart:

Put out of my job as a police Lieutenant after a fit for duty evaluation in 6-2010. Tried to go back on duty, but was kept out by the doctor for the employer. Finally gave in and filled out my paperwork and was told that although I was still not working because of their doctor, my doctor at first, said I was physically OK to do the job. Long story short, my OPERS should be ruled in my favor at the Jan. meeting of the board. At this point, I need Reliance to pay their share and need to appeal their first decision. I was waiting on the report from PERS’s doctor before I sent in my appeal, but any help would be great.

Mrs. May:

I am receiving LTD benefits from Reliance as I’m disabled due to Intractable Migraines. I’ve also suffered several small strokes from my migraines and have documented damage to my brain. I’ve had to work with Reliance for almost 4 years now and the constant strain of providing them with this/that is getting to the point of absurdity. A few months back they started making me complete a monthly “headache log”. Looks like a totally made up word document in that it has no official insurance company form number at the bottom which most insurance company forms always have. Social Security and/or my Neurologist don’t even require this type of documentation as my condition has never improved.

I am wondering if there is anyone else out there being required to complete headache logs for Reliance? I suspect that I’m being forced to complete these logs for reasons that I can’t discuss publicly at this time. Has anyone else heard of headache logs for persons receiving LTD benefits from Reliance Standard?

Rebecca Gentz:

Reliance Standard writes worthless disability policies. I’ve been fighting them for 5 years now, turned them into the Insurance Commissioner of Kansas two times now. Even though the first time they found wrong doing by Reliance several times, it is now time for me to give up. They lose paper work, to terminate, they make your life miserable in hopes you give up and after thousands of dollars I’ve spent for a lawyer just to make sure I get a check, they now say I owe them 37,000 dollars for their lies. I sent them and my lawyer repeatedly sent them my estimated SSI income, if I would be approved for SSI. Now, I finally got my SSI and they say their records show I’ve had it since 2007. Lie after Lie after Lie. I hope the Insurance Commissioner of Kansas finds more wrong doing on their part again but with my failing health just too much stress to even put up with Reliance anymore but will fight if they push me one more time.They owe Me, not the other way around.

I shout it to the world how crooked their policies are… read the fine print. If you become disabled, but can do even one thing of your old job, they don’t have to pay. Like one lawyer said, if you’re an actor and become disabled Reliance does not have to pay even if you’re a quad. Because part of your job was to read, well in a wheel chair unable to use arms or legs, you can still do part of your job: “read”! How messed up is that?

Oh, and the SSI office has called me several times saying Reliance was trying to obtain my information. SSI says Reliance can send you the forms over and over and it doesn’t matter, even if I sign them SSI will not give out my information to anyone.

BEWARE of this company, they will harass you, haunt you and, as what’s happening to me, come back to bite you in the butt saying I owe them 37,000 dollars.

J. Smith:

My experience with Reliance Standard has been a nightmare! Like others previously stated, their way of doing business does nothing but create hardship, pain, and grief for those depending on their services. Is there anything an Average Joe like me can do to get results? I feel like I am backed up into a corner, completely at the mercy of Reliance and their feet dragging. It cannot be legal the way they do business. Can I write my Congressman? Go to my FOX Phoenix News and hope to be heard? Any suggestions for a young 8 year military Veteran, father with full custody of 3 children (one of whom has Autism and Waardenburg’s Syndrome)?

J. Smith:

Mrs. Sharon Fair, your comment pretty much summed up my predicament exactly. I was wondering if you and your sister/brother in law had any luck getting any results? These people should not be able to operate and run their business this way. We lost our house, have had to depend on our family (who is struggling enough on their own as is) for everything, still enduring a long drawn out process waiting for a check to get here that seems like it will never come. I’d like to know if I have any rights or course of action that can be taken…

Attorney Greg Dell:

J,

I am not sure what your claim status is, but if you contact us we will offer you a free consultation to discuss your claim. It may help your claim to contact the department of insurance in your state and the local news. Sometimes these large insurance companies forget that they only exist because of customers like you that bought insurance from them. Reliance Standard can be difficult to deal with.

Sheila (between a rock and a very hard place):

I have arrived at the dreaded 2 year mark of receiving LTD benefits at the same time that I have been approved for SSDI. I filed for continuation of benefits back in November 2011 and have yet to receive a response. I have spoken to my claims administrator on numerous occasions and she has stated that it is still in review. To be honest, this is the first time it has taken Reliance so long to respond or to extend the benefits. I am sure it is because of the SSDI approval.

I have received the letter from them regarding the “overpayment” and I have responded to them that the language in the letter implies continued benefits should I forward them the “overpayment” received from SSA, however, as they have yet to notify me of their decision/determination, I cannot adequately respond to their request. I received an email reply that says, “We do not give written confirmation when your benefits have been extended. You can call me, email me, or contact the customer service department and they will be able to advise of continuation of benefits. Please call me to discuss overpayment letter that you received and I will clarify the appeal language as well as advise of current status.”

Their letter is written as though they have notified me of their decision with timelines, document requests and rights to appeal and civil actions, etc. along with the powerful sentence “One review will be allowed.” In my response to them, I stated that all of this language was premature as I had not received a decision/determination of continuation of benefits and had nothing to which to base a review or appeal upon and requested that they tell me in writing the status of my continued benefits. Each time I have provided the additional information that they request to continue benefits, I ask them to put in writing that they have approved my continuation of benefits and for how long and they always refuse. In this case at this point in time, I refuse to go forward without something in writing.

What do I do from here? I do not want to have verbal conversations and have requested to be in writing, do they have to comply?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Sheila,

Reliance Standard is required to respond to all of your request and letters in writing. Make sure you are sending them certified mail and saving all fax confirmation if you use fax. The 2 year change of definition is a very common time for Reliance to deny a long term disability claim. We often see that Reliance will wait until you send them the SSDI overpayment and then they will deny your claim.

We are currently litigating a case right now where Reliance paid for the OWN OCC. period then denied for the ANY OCC. period at two years. The client appealed the denial at the two year mark and won his appeal. A few months latter he was approved for SSDI and sent the overpayment to Reliance. Reliance subsequently set him for an IME exam with a hired gun doctor. The IME doctor decided the client was not disabled and then Reliance immediately denied benefits again. An appeal was filed again but Reliance confirmed their denial. This case is currently in litigation in Federal Court due to Reliance’s wrongful denial.

If your claim has been denied, you must comply with the Appeal deadlines. If you receive a denial letter, then please contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Sheila (between a rock and a very hard place):

As it is, I already have to live with the decision I made early in the process when I was having to have surgery after surgery after surgery and used RSLI recommended attorney. PEOPLE, DO NOT DO IT. Do not sign over your rights by using a group of attorneys connected to the insurance company. Believe me, there is some waiver in the documents that you are signing (albeit could be in small print) that gives that attorney the right to share your information with the insurance company. Do not despair if you have already done so, because same document states that you can notify them in writing at any time that you do not want your information shared with the insurance company and that no further contact is to be made between them and the insurance company regarding your claim. They must cease and desist immediately. Send an email first followed by registered/certified mail. Don’t forget you signed a waiver for SSA to provide the information to the insurance company too. It was in the package that you received from the insurance company.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Sheila,

I agree with you that there is a conflict of interest when Reliance Standard is trying to say that you are no longer disabled, but we are going to hire a lawyer to get you approved for SSDI. If Reliance Standard does not think you are disabled then how could they in good faith even ask you to apply for SSDI benefits. I agree that the SSDI attorney that you select should not communicate with Reliance Standard.

Sheila (between a rock and a very hard place):

Gregory,

I already went through the SS process and was recently approved. What is happening now is that Reliance is denying benefits due to what they call the SSDI “overpayment” and I call backpayment. Semantics, I know. I had submitted a cliam for continuation of benefits in November and Reliance owed me a response by January 11, 2011 and did not give me one, nor did they notify me they needed an extension and why.

They had found out through my SSD attorneys that I had received a favorable decision and withheld their decision awaiting information regarding the award amount and how much the back payment would be. I had been calling and emailing requesting status of my claim for continued benefits between January 10 and February 12 with either no response or a verbal it is still in review. I questioned the amount of time it was taking and stated, isn’t RSLI required to provide a determination in writing within 45 days. Her reply was that they were not held to that standard on continuation of benefit reviews.

I received a letter from them on February 13, 2012 notifying me that I owed them the SSDI “overpayment” and that my benefits would be 0 until I sent them the money. I sent a letter and email response letting them know that they owed me a decision/determination of continuation of benefits. Their reply is in my first post above. I spoke to her per her request (see 2nd post above).

My “attorneys” notified Relliance Standard of my benefit determination and the award values before I was even notified – I found out what they were from Reliance Standard on January 27th when I called to ask the status of my claim for continuation of benefits. I asked her where she got information that I wasn’t even aware of and she told me The Advocator Group (my attorneys who were recommended by Reliance Standard) gave it to her.

What I want people to know is – DO NOT USE THE INSURANCE COMPANY RECOMMENDED ATTORNEYS! – keep your business totally separate by using attorneys that have no relationship whatsoever with the insurance and protect your interests. The insurance company will also include a release in their documentation that they want you to sign allowing SSA to release information to them – don’t do it. In addition, they will put a document in their document set that allows your attorneys to release information to them. Don’t do it.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Sheila,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that the SSDI attorneys should not be speaking with Reliance Standard unless they have your exclusive permission. You also need to make sure that if you have an SSDI, then the SSDI medical conditions must be consistent with the same medical conditions submitted to Reliance Standard.

Sheila (between a rock and a very hard place):

Not sure why they would be different as both social security and LTD insurance company get the same records from doctors and facilities that I have been to. I am not trying to be secretive. I just don’t want my attorney sharing information with the LTD insurance company that I do not authorize.

The way the form is worded from Reliance Standard and from the Advocator Group, which is the insurance recommended attorneys I used, my complete file was turned over to Reliance Standard to include conversation notes. I know I told them that I did not want them giving Reliance Standard any information without first speaking to me on a case by case basis. My only proof of that is in their notes. Do you think that they will turn those over to me? No, me either.

First, I say again, people should not use an attorney that is affiliated with their Long Term Disability Insurance company in any way shape or form. If they have already done so, there is nothing that is stopping them from changing attorneys right now, or at very least, rescind the authorization to release information to insurance company and rescind the form signed allowing Social Security Administration to release information to insurance company IN WRITING TO BOTH. It is your right and prerogative. Simply send your letter rescinding authorization to release information to your attorneys and to the SSA. From that point on, they can’t even tell the insurance company that they have received notice from you to cease and desist all communication between them.

I wish you all a lot of luck and best wishes during these hard times of bad health and the mental anguish the insurance company puts you through while you struggle with your health and financial difficulties. May God bless and keep you.

Lynne:

I have been receiving LTD from Reliance for 2 years. They sent me to the Advocator Group to help with my SSDI. I have had three different “representatives” during my 2 years with Reliance, and the Advocator Group has changed names 3 times. I applied for SSDI because Reliance told me that I had to, to receive benefits. They told me that they would receive all my back SSDI payments if approved, which makes sense since that’s what I would have had yo give a lawyer of my own choosing.

Now that 2 years is up, Reliance has my case under review to see if they feel I qualify for further payments. I have been asking them to do this for at least a year, but they managed to stall until my last check is due. Also, the Advocator Group said last month that it usually takes 18 months from the time you apply for SSDI to get a hearing. I applied 2 years ago, but it looks like everything is going to happen at the same time (though I still haven’t heard about my hearing date.)

I have lost my house, gone bankrupt from trying to keep up with my medical bills. I had to move because I was living in Flagstaff AZ (elev. 7400) and due to my medical conditions kept passing out and couldn’t breathe. I still have those same problems and have been diagnosed with multiple heart and lung disease. I can’t stand the anxiety and think about what the outcomes will be every day and night.

Reliance Standard says if I do get approved for SSDI that my checks will have to go to them? I paid premiums to them for LTD, and I paid social security for all my working life (will be 59 in August). Isn’t my work LTD separate from my SSDI?

I am so confused and didn’t know to check into all these things before. I feel like I have been too trusting and naive. Can Reliance claim my SSDI (if I even get approved by either of them in the first place)?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Lynne,

Your Reliance Standard disability policy probably has a provision which states that any SSDI benefits will be deducted from your monthly benefit check. If it does, then Reliance can deduct your monthly check and claim an overpayment. Your SSDI payment will go to you and not Reliance. If Reliance denies your claim, then you have the right to appeal and we would be available to discuss your options.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Robert,

You should videotape the IME exam. You may find our video about what to expect at an IME exam helpful: 10 things to expect when your disability insurance company asks for an IME exam.

Please contact us if we can assist you in the future.

Robert:

I have recently been denied extended benefits past there two year period. The process is currently in the appeal. I have documents from two orthopedic surgeons, a vascular surgeon and my family doctor saying that I should be considered totally disabiled but now they want me to see a IME.

The problem with that is the doctor they selected is the company doctor that is employed from the plant that I worked in. He is known to be partial for the company and isurance companies. I called Reliance and told them that I thought this was a conflict of interest but Melissa said he was independent from them. I disagreed with her.

I think it is time everyone should contact their congressman or woman and complain about the fraud insurance companies go through to deny claims. I still need to see their hired gun doctor. It is time to put some heat on insurance companies for their practices.

Ana:

I’m so tired of dealing with these people since 2007. I had a back surgery, stroke, paralyzed – thank God I managed to recover. Then in 2010 I was sick again due to a rare hereditary disease. I’ve been disabled for over two years now. Reliance didn’t pay me for the whole 2011 (LTD). Then I got $9000. I asked them why paying me partial. They said they have to assume that my SSDI was already approved. Now my problem is that it sounds like they’re going to deny me again. They’re going to re-evaluate me again. My God, how many times do they have to do this… I can’t deal with this anymore, since dealing with my disease is really hard, especially since my disease affected my brain (nervous system). Plus I’m dealing with my screws, plates and cages in my spine… I need help!

Attorney Greg Dell:

Ana,

It sounds like you have a lot of things going with your medical condition and trying to deal with Reliance Standard. Call us and we will discuss what we can do to assist you with your claim.

Letticia:

I am having a time with Reliance myself. I am applying for STD, I was out for gall bladder emergency for 3 weeks. Reliance is requesting my W2 from last year before processing my check. However, last year I was out for 3 months and had $3,500 taken out for my FSA. This resulted in my gross earnings to be about $11K less than my salary. I have had the same salary for 4 years and Reliance has paid me at the level before. I have been paying out the same amount each paycheck based on my salary, not what I end up actually making. What is the correct way for them to calculate my 66%?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Letticia,

Every disability policy can contain different language, therefore without seeing the policy we are unable to answer your question.

Gary Bellamy:

I filed a claim for STD/LTD with Reliance Standard in late June, at my SSA attorney’s advice I filed for SSDI at the same time. Reliance, after two “complementary” checks for early July has been investigating my STD claim since. We have now passed what would be the effective date for my LTD, my SSDI has been approved (9 weeks), and calls to Reliance result in repetitive lip-service about unreceived documents. I pointed out that they have received the same documents as the SSA, and was promised a return call from the investigator. I won’t be holding my breath. Any advice on how I can at least get the complete term of my STD (90 days)? They haven’t denied anything, simply haven’t done anything.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Gary,

You should send them a letter advising they have blown the deadline to respond. You should send them your SSDI approval letter. You should also file a complaint with your State Department of Insurance.

Gary:

Thank you Greg, letters sent, copy of award notice sent. Preparing to file complaint. Will keep ya’ll in the loop.

Gail Staub:

Reliance Standard and Advactor Group have given me much grief. I am still not well and I suffer from the workplace bullying, hostile work environment etc, etc, etc. Advactor Group now wants this award check given to me by the state of NJ. I feel they exploit the state of NJ. I am giving it to workers compensation, this is the place it belongs. They sound nice on the phone the receptionist but they place words in your mouth. They have no remorse, empathy or conscious, Just like my former employer.

Mario:

Reliance Standard is a very b… company to try to get your paid policy to work for you
all they want is this and that and this and that… weeks before they respond back to you. Going on for months and the will screw you every time. I hope a good law firm will set them by the law and by the persons rights to get what they PAID for… the benefits and the money they deserve and paid for. Reviews don’t always tell the truth… but the lies from Reliance Standard are all bureaucratic bull, and the truth will always come out.

Regina Moore:

I have idiopathic transverse myelitis, narrowing of the spine, lesions on the spine and migraines all the time. I am taking 7 different kinds of medicine cause there is no cure for this spinal condition and I am in pain constantly. I now have a hearing scheduled with Reliance Standard. The problem is no one can tell me what % of the back-pay they will get if approved for SSDI. I am going through all my letters from them and it doesn’t show how much in any of them. Is the Advocator Group or Reliance Standard not supposed to give me this? Other lawyers do. They also told me that it will take 3 days for the claims department to figure this and that they will pay the difference from what SSDI approves for so I will make the same amount that Reliance Standard check is paying me now. Please help!

Attorney Greg Dell:

Regina,

Reliance Standard will be able to recover an overpayment for any period of time that Reliance paid which matched the period of time that SSDI pays benefits for. Take a look at the FAQ section of our website discussing overpayments and SSDI.

La Trice Holley:

I am currently receiving SSDI, but was receiving LTD, WC and STD from unbeknownst to me the insurers of my employer were related. I was continually harassed during my claim, but still maintained my eligiblity for benefits, until the insurers sought to have me falsely arrested for participating in vocational rehabiliitation through SSA and the local state rehabilitation dept. Although my attempts at vocational rehabilitation were lawful they were unsuccessful and allowed me to continue to receive my SSDI benefits. The insurer knew it could not offset my earning in this program, but still sought to do so illegally. Yet the insurer repeated solicited my participation in their “vocational rehabilitation plan” which was not part of the alleged policy the employer provided me with. Moreover I well documented our communications including stating I had not found any such provision in the policy going thru it line by line, paragragh by paragraph and page by page. Theinsurer disguised by long-term disability case as workers’ compensation case (please note I have related workers’ compensation claim and long-term disaiblity claim with the same insurer parent). The insurers made repeated referrals to the State Dept Insurance -Fraud unit until I was ultimately and falsely arrested, I was forced to go through 40 months before the case was dismissed without probable cause. I have later found the “insurer” similiarly targeting other innocent disabled claimants with the criminal system without any protection to the innocent claimant. Is there any one out there that has gone through the same thing I have. What is really interesting the criminal court judges refused to provide an ERISA and or long disability attorney and although both the State Insurance Department knew of the problem because of well document successful complaint I had filed, the Insurance Dept informed they did not have jurisdiction over my unique claim, but allowed and participated in this wrongful action. What resource to I have?
La Trice

Attorney Greg Dell:

La Trice,

Your situation is one that we have not come across. It sounds horrible what you went through. It may be possible that you have a claim against your insurance company for intentional infliction of emotional distress if you can prove that they intentionally and wrongfully targeted you. Since your claim is governed by ERISA is also possible that a court may not allow you to bring such a claim. Your situation is not a claim that our law firm would handle. Hopefully through your post on our site there may be other claimants that have undergone the same treatment. If there are numerous people that have been victims of the same treatment, then it may be worth looking into a class action against Reliance.

Jackie Ciarlelli:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last March and went through hell getting approved for LTD from Reliance. Apparently, they don’t think cancer is a disability. The amount of records I had to provide along with their demands for a response within a small time frame (or they threatened to close the claim) led me to having to wait 3 months for approval and my 1st check.

I was out of work approximately 6 months and always had to wait a minimum of 6 weeks for each check. I returned to work in September on a reduced schedule (5 hours a day) so they are paying me partial disability for my unworked hours.

I never collected LTD before, and noted that the amounts seemed high but figured that these payments were unlike my usual pay checks and did not have the deductions I pay when I am working. And considering the money was for over a period of 6-8 weeks, the amount would be more.

I received a check 2 weeks ago and they called me and said to void it because it was the wrong amount and they would be issuing me a new check. After waiting the 2 weeks for the replacement check, I called and they informed me that when they processed my initial claim they miscalculated my salary and have overpaid me. They said I would receive a letter offering me the option to pay a lump sum or they will just discontinue paying me to cover their losses.

So, what I am faced with is paying back approximately $17,000 (which I don’t have) or continue to work my 5 hours a day and try to survive on that. I expect to return to work on a fulltime basis around August when I am done with cancer treatment. So for the next 5 months, I will struggle to pay my expenses, without the supplement from LTD.

I realise now that I was over paid, but why do I have to pay for their mistake?

If I had a choice to make them wait for their money, believe me I would after all the grief they put me through. When you are fighting cancer, the last thing you need is more stress and Reliance made my life hell, trying to get the benefits I deserved.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Jackie,

I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis and situation with Reliance. Unfortunately the policy allows them to seek an overpayment. It is unlikely they will sue you for the money, and if they do they may not be able to win due to the laws of equity.

Cindy:

I have experienced almost all that has been posted here, I can’t believe what they are getting away with, and all the run around they make you do.

Come on people. let’s help one another here and stop this BS with Reliance.

Cindy:

How can they, when you are NOT approved for SSD, withhold money that they THINK you might or might not get? I am so stressed out with them, have already contacted the Attorney General and I am NOT going to stop there. How is a person to survive?

After working for 25 years at the same place this is what I get when I became disabled.

Lazzariti:

I’m wondering if you know if Reliance ever considers a lump sum settlement for Own oOccupation claims? I’ve been disabled since 1997 and need to supplement my income. I’m sort of looking for a way out however, I make more money not working than I would if I returned to work. A lump sum settlement would enable me to take a lesser paying, lesser hour job.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lazzariti,

Reliance Standard looks at each case individually to determine whether they feel it meets the criteria for a buy-out. It is definitely worth exploring, and something that our firm helps to negotiate.

John:

My question regards LTD “income”. I have owned a rental house prior to my disability. The cost of the rent barely covers the mortgage and upkeep of the house and I take a loss every month. Is this considered “extra income” when I am in the hole rent check is to my living trust, which the house is deeded, where the beneficiaries are the actual holders of the trust? Does RSLI have the right to pull my tax returns? This shows as a loss annually. Does this need to be reported? I understand if I receive money from an outside source such as part time work that is a profit to me I need to report that, but what about the rent with no profit? Please advise.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

John,

Rental income is normally considered passive income and not earned income (unless you are performing work duties that result in earned income for purposes of your taxes). Most policies only offset for specific enumerated “Other Income Benefits.” Anything outside the scope of those should be off limits to them.

Javier Buenrostro:

I applied for STD in April and I have just been getting the runaround from Reliance. I give them everything they require but it seems to never end. They always require more and more medical records. This is getting old. What should I do to resolve this matter?

Amanda Bryant:

I have 3 doctors and a lot health issues with my back and arm issue, I have been off work for 30 days. I owe everyone. I can’t go to the doctor because I have no money to heal or get help, I’m a divorced mother of 4 small children. Cigna Insurance treats you like garbage. I need help. I am trying to get the media involved. I also have doctor work for my internal issues. And I was still denied.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Javier,

If you haven’t received any benefits, you may want to consider getting an attorney involved considering how many months have passed.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Amanda,

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation to determine how we may be able to assist you.

Letty Gamez:

They denied my benefits. After 5 years. Was told they would take care of me to 2022, got it in writing.

James Scarlott:

I just went through the denial process with Reliance. The very day I got my denial I found this website and was referred to one of their affiliates. Reliance folded before we got to court. The last tactic before going to court is to send you to get an IME independent medical evaluation, which is a Dr. paid by them to see if they can prove in court that you can return to work. Within 6 weeks of my exam I received my settlement from Reliance through my attorney’s office minus their fees and costs but even though it cost me money it was well worth it since half of something is better than nothing and now the monthly checks are coming again. Also Reliance now has Direct Deposit available (that may be only for those like me who have locked horns with them) but if you go direct deposit they have no excuse for delay. Note that each January they look at your file to see if they can deny you by running you through their medical review board. Also FYI if you are a veteran getting VA treatment it requires a special release form that is only used by the VA. If they send a standard release to the VA the VA will not even acknowledge it. It will go in the trash. The best way is to go to the VA and go to the (ROI) Release of Information office, get all your records and send them to Reliance, it will save you a lot of headaches.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

James,

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Daniel:

I don’t have a workers’ comp. case. This case is about Occupational Accident Insurance only which is A Trucking Insurance Policy.

I need someone to help me on this kind of case. Now there is two Insurance Company [1] 1st Guard Corporation Policy & the other one is [2] Zurich Occupational Insurance. Now neither one won’t to do anything for me. I have been denial from July 28, 2009 up till now. Now this is over 4 years.

See, the thing is I got this company I look up which is CIW, which stand for Center For Injured Workers. I got they help in Jan. of 2012 just in time before my 4 years “Statute Of Limitations” would run out. I was denied back in Sept. of 2009. So they did this to keep me from getting anything.

Well, this company CIW had work on this case for over a year with Zurich but they tried to give her the run around but it didn’t work. Well the next thing she call me up and said they going to give you 60 days to come up with “Proof” I was on the job,because the job told te insurance company I didn’t work that day of my injury /illness on the job.

So I sent the insurance company my proof I was on the job and the copy of my insurance policy from Dec. 1, 2008 – Dec. 1, 2009 the AMENDATORY ENDORSEMENT say I do get pay cause I’m cover. And I was under a dispatcher which I had just call in to. Just to let them know I was unloaded and to see if you can fine a back load.

Now with CIW I was told by them they have went as for as they could on my case now I need to get a lawyer. Because they not a lawyer just a non-profit company. And I never did hear back from the insurance company after he 60 days were up and that was in Aug. this year.

So can you understand I really need lawyer on this case who know about this kind of case. My contract say it’s an “Occupational Accident Insurance With a Over-Ride of Workers’ Comp.” Well thank you…

DPC:

I have a chronic genetic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. I am currently on Reliance Standard LTD and have been for four years. November 2014 is my five year review. I have been reading on your website about “own” vs “any” occupation. I am a registered nurse and held very high positions in research and development. Does Own turn into Any at that five year point? What can I do to prevent being denied? I am keeping a daily diary with simple entries of pain levels, could I get out of be, etc. RS has sent out spy tactics in the past and found nothing except my struggles to walk in and out of dr.’s office. I am on SSDI. My pain is controlled by a specialist and due to the nature of my disease I can be up one day and find myself in bed fatigued for weeks at a time. I understand that perhaps I shouldn’t Facebook, but I do with simple words of encouragement. I am concerned about the five year review. I have had no problems thus far as RS has over. 7000 pages documenting my disease, increasing pain levels, decreasing coordination, myoclonus , etc.

Can you pls give me ways to prepare besides my pictorial diary of body changes, written diary, and 3 month visits to my specialists?

Thank you in advance. I don’t wish to worry for the next 12 months on top of dealing with my condition as stress is dangerous and causes exacerbations making my life more difficult.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

DPC,

Without the policy I would not be able to advise you as to when your own to any occupation review begins. Typically, most policies are only written with a 2 year own occupation period. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you with the handling of your claim.

MGW:

I had both shoulders replaced in 2012. Reliance paid my STD and have been paying LTD for a year. Once I was approved for SSDI I sent them my reward letter and payment amount. I did not receive back pay due to the fact it took them 3 months to approve me the first attempt. They did not make a payment adjustment once they received the information from SSDI, now they want me to pay them for over payment. I have tried and tried and tried, get the picture, to get my case worker to call me back but she will not. I have not heard anything from her except I am waiting on your Dr., I call the Dr. send her everything she needs. and still no contact. In Sept. 2013 I again sent them my SSDI info and now i have not received any money and was told by Customer Care Services that my continued Disability has not yet been approved. I thought it was harder to get SSDI than LTD…

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

MGW,

I would recommend filing a complaint with your state insurance commissioner for the delay and non-responsiveness from Reliance.

Sharon Clyde:

My LTD is being terminated with only one month notice. My job qualifications require more exertion than what they are claiming. I am an Emergency Medical Technician which requires lifting and/or carrying “a minimum of 125 pounds up to 200 pounds.” Reliance wrote saying that my job only requires the “ability to lift/carry and push/pull 20-50 pounds occasionally, 10-25 lbs frequently or up to 10 lbs. constantly.” That is a significant difference.

They say that “given these facts” they have “determined you do not meet… Total Disability and your claim must be closed.”

Their “facts” are wrong. As a EMT, I have to be able to lift “125 pounds up to 200 pounds”, not just 50 lb. occasionally.

I only get one shot at another review. Will I be wasting it by simply stating the obvious difference in job qualifications or should I do more?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Sharon,

If you have spent time on our website you will understand the importance of filing a complete and proper administrative appeal. Please feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Beth:

I have a general comment. My company signed a long term disability contract with Reliance Standard 9/1/2011. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in March of 2011. I was denied by Reliance with the reason that I had the LTD version of a pre-existing condition. I worked for this employer for 25 years. I find it amazing that I can be legally excluded not because there is any question about my medical disability but because I got sick 6 months prior to the policy signing.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Beth,

If there was no prior disability plan in place before Reliance Standard provided coverage, then it is quite possible you would be excluded under the policy’s pre-existing condition provision. Based on their denial I am sure you are more than familiar with the exact language of same. Often, if there is a prior plan in place from another carrier that you would have been eligible for benefits under then you would essentially be “grandfathered” into the new policy. I would suggest you contact the employer to determine whether there was prior coverage, and if so, check the language in the Reliance Standard policy to see if there are provisions pertaining being covered under your employer’s prior policy.

A.M.:

I have two Workers’ Comp claims filed against my employer, my Work Comp files were denied from the beginning and now four years later we are still litigating them. My Dr. Took me off work right away and I have been off work for four ears now. I applied for STD through Matrix/Reliance Standard, I received my benefits no problem, then at I think the one year mark my file was sent over to a LTD adjuster. I was receiving LTD no problem. (other than when they issued it late or it got lost) The LTD adjuster wanted me to be seen by an IME, I was seen by the IME who issued a report stating I am unable to return to work. In March of 2013 I received a letter from my examiner that stated the IME concluded I was unable to return to any job I had training for or education for, therefore my disability is certified through April 16, 2041. (which would be when SS would kick in) When I received the letter I called the adjuster to ask about the date. I asked him if they meant to put April of 2014 in stead of 2041. My adjuster told me, no the date is correct. Now my file has been transferred to yet another adjuster who sent me a letter dated January 22, 2014 requesting all medical from July 2013 to present along with a Physician Statement and an activities of daily livinig questionnaire. The letter stated that she needed these documents no later than February 24, 2014. I sent in the activities of daily living questionnaire on February 4, 2014. When I went to my doctor appointment on February 20, 2014 I obtained the medical records my adjuster was requesting and had him fill out the Physician Statement. I mailed all to the adjuster which was received on February 25, 2014. I then recieved a letter from my adjuster dated FebruRy 24, 2014 stating my LTD is ending because they didn’t get all the documentation they requested. What is interesting is… The initial letter I received dated January 22, 2014 requesting the documentation didn’t say anything about my benefits ending if they don’t receive the information by February 24, 2014. Plus my checks normally issue on the 1st of the month so she would of only had five working days to review the information. I called the adjuster as soon as I received the termination letter took several tries an e-mail and a call to her supervisor to receive a call back. She now tells me that the medical deprtment has to review the medical information and they are behind by a month. What???? Aren’t they bound by some insurance code or some rules and regs that state you have to be properly notified that your benefits will end, and isn’t there a time frame they Re bound by once they get the information that they have to make a decision???? I need to pay my mortgage and she doesn’t seem to care. The ironic thing is I was a work comp adjuster for 14 year when I got injured on the job.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

A.M.,

It is not at all uncommon for an insurance company to enter a denial without warning. Are they paying the benefit while they review the information you provided, or are they forcing you to go through a formal administrative appeal process?

Deb:

My husband was on LTD with Reliance for two years following a stroke. Every thing I’ve read here was true in our case. Played the game and after four months received checks. Filed for SSD and received it. Paid back what we owed to Reliance and received a check from them for $300 a month which was the difference between what SSD paid vs what Reliance owed. Husband died last month and informed Reliance. Told there is a survivor benefit. Sent them a copy of death certificate and received a check in the mail for $916. The check stub said $69 of it was for the one day he lived after the last payment. Letter we received from Reliance telling us he was approved said his monthly benefit was $2098.56. I understand survivor payment in three months lump sum. Am I entitled to more money? Have not cashed the check.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Deb,

First and foremost, I am sorry for your loss. If SSA pays a survivor benefit then Reliance may be able to try to offset it. I would strongly suggest you inquire of them in writing why the survivor benefit is not three months equal to the full amount. That way they are forced to put their position in writing and allow for a better analysis of your rights.

Cajun Country:

This is the worst insurance carrier I have ever had to work with. I will never have any thing to do with them ever again. I have a long term claim pending. I should just throw in the hat. Every week they have something new that they need. Something they could have asked for 3 months ago, now they delay the process even longer. They do not return calls promptly. I asked to speak to a supervisor, was put on hold for 45 minutes and still to this day haven’t spoken to one yet.

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