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Attorneys for Standard Disability Insurance Claims


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Standard Insurance Company Disability Claims Can Be Won

The disability insurance division of the Standard Insurance Company is run under a very tight leash with strict guidelines.

Our disability lawyers have handled numerous disability appeals and lawsuits against The Standard on behalf of doctors, dentist, and corporate employees. We are familiar with all of their tactics.

The Standard Insurance Company Can Be Tough

There have been hundreds of lawsuits filed against Standard due to their failure to pay disability benefits.

From our experience, we know that the Standard scrutinizes and reviews all of their disability claims very closely prior to making a claim decision. They have some of the most qualified disability claims examiners in the entire disability industry. Some of their disability examiners are attorneys.

The Standard has a network of doctors that they routinely work with in order to evaluate claims. The Standard uses their own in-house vocational rehabilitation consultants to determine alternative occupations during the “any occupation stage” of a claim.

When submitting an Appeal of Standard denial it is important to take a methodical well strategized approach in order to improve your chances of winning. We welcome you to watch our video containing depositions of some Standard employees. You should not think that they deny every claim as the majority of our client’s disability claims with The Standard have been paid.

The Standard lost a key battle with Montana’s former insurance commissioner with regard to the abolishment of discretionary clauses in disability policies. Disability claimants can get a fair day in court without discretionary clauses in ERISA policies.

Please watch our video about the challenges of ERISA and discretionary clauses from a United State Senator’s view.

Did You Purchase An Individual Or ERISA Governed Policy From The Standard?

With more than 7.5 million customers, The Standard sells both individual and group long-term disability insurance policies. In New York they sell disability policies through the Standard Life Insurance Company of New York.

Some of the Standard group disability policies are not governed by ERISA if they are sold to an organization such as a medical society. A disability policy offered through a group in which the policyholder is not an employee of the group, would be ERISA exempt. A disability claimant is entitled to full discovery and a jury trial if their policy is exempt from ERISA.

Our lawyers have handled both ERISA and non-ERISA governed disability claims against The Standard. Contact us at any stage of your disability claim for a free phone consultation to discuss your claim.

Free Resources And Information About The Standard Insurance Company

One of the best ways to learn about the Standard Insurance Company and their actions is to read the comments posted on our site. We welcome you to post either your comment or complaints about The Standard and we will respond accordingly.

You can also read some of our firm’s resolved cases, summaries of lawsuits and court decisions on Standard Insurance disability claims throughout the USA.

Please contact us privately if you have a specific question about your disability claim.

There are 76 opinions so far. Add your comment or complaint now.

Deborah Nixon:

They try hard to knock you off. One time they knocked me off for making $20 too much in 2006 by disallowing deductions the IRS allowed. They told me they were going to teach me a lesson before they did it. I hired a lawyer and an accountant but I finally had to tell both of them what to say and do and to do exactly how I told them to do it. It finally after 2 1/2 years was passed on to a third party who laughed and ruled in my favor and I was reinstated. Another time I was told I had to go through a physical. I asked what they were going to have me do. The Standard employee said she didn’t know. I called the facility and they listed off some activities one of which was a tread mill. I said, “My doctor doesn’t even have me do that.” My body is rejecting my heart. The PT asked if I was coming. I said, “By all means. My daughter needs her student loans paid off and I will either fall and break bones or I will go into cardiac arrest.” I called my claims advisor and told her the same. The next day she cancelled by e-mail, snail mail and a message on my answering machine.

Deborah Nixon:

The Standard also had someone do surveillance on me for a week. I saw them parked in the street and went to them and asked if they needed any help. They said they were doing surveillance and I though there was someone getting a divorce, but I found out years later when my attorney obtained all of their records that I was the one they were watching. Boring me was only going to the doctors and then to church 4 times every week. They said I must be employed by the church and went there to investigate and found I was just attending church, so they left me alone that year. Boring!

Attorney Greg Dell:

Deborah, I am sorry to hear about the experiences you have had over the past 5 years with the Standard Insurance Company. I am glad to hear that you were able to resolve your issues and that you continue to receive disability payments.

LeAn:

I was approved for STD. My request clearly stated my reason was for Fibromyalgia, C-spine herniation, and osteoarthritis. My LTD was denied because “my job” was sedentary. I had my Doc, who I also worked with, submit a letter stating my job was not sedentary and she agreed I should be off work. Still denied. I am now working on a bad faith claim…

Sandra Willliams:

I was on long term disability with Standard for two years due to depression, stress, and high blood pressure. They discontinued my benefits as they state the proximate cause of my uncontrolled blood pressure health issue was my mental state, and since their policy only covered mental health issues for two years they discontinued the disability payments. This effected my group health insurance as my employer will not longer allow for the health plan coverage. My medicals primarily for my uncontrolled blood pressure issue will run $700.00 a month or more, and now I cannot see my Cardiologist due to no group insurance.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Sandra, if your primary disability is physical and not mental, then it may be wrong for The Standard to limit your benefit to 2 years. We would need to review your denial letter and policy in order to determine the appropriate action to take.

Clare Kelly:

I am on disability for mental health reasons and the Standard only insures mental health for 2 years max so in January 2012 my case will be closed. Why does a physical disability get lifetime coverage when a mental health situation gets only 2 years. Isn’t there a parity law in California and federally. Do I have any chance of fighting their stance on mental health and being treated as the law says on an equal footing with physical health.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Clare,

If your disability policy has the two year mental nervous limitation, then there is no case law I am aware of which supports your ability to challenge it.

Tony Morgan:

The Standard is screwing around with us in Oregon too Yo! I am a Correctional Officer (the hidden Cops that really protect the public from the criminals) for eight and a half years with the State of Oregon, Two Rivers Correctional Institution. I was injured on the job, but terminated for a lack of attendance which was directly related to the progressive injuries. I qualified for Short, then Long Term Disability Benefits. But after two years (24 months) It is the standards’ opinion that I can work a “sedentary” job at a parts store or something similar. I had a career man, I was making a difference, I was helping people for real!! Now I’m homeless, with no income. How am i supposed to live off 6-8 hours a week, minimum wage? I don’t even know for sure if I am physically capable of working that many hours (guesstimate). Who/where do we turn to in Oregon???

Lana:

My father started with STD then it switched over to LTD. He had it for about two years and Standard was threatening to take him off if he didn’t file for social security benefits. He finally did, scared to lose the income, then when he received a check from SSI, Standard said you owe us and took the whole check. Then SSI sent a check for one of the dependents and Standard is now withholding it from my dad’s paycheck, even-though they NEVER gave any money towards the dependent! They say it’s our policy and you have to give us that money, since we pay for your LTD! So the dependent was left with no money! Does anyone know if you can switch back just to Standard and not Standard and SSI?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Lana,

Even if you drop SSDI then Standard will still offset the benefit.

Sheila Parkins:

The Standard is so messed up. About a year ago they paid my short-term disability claim for about 6 weeks for Fibromyalgia. I’ve had to submit another claim for the same reason recently for about a 12 week period. They denied it for Fibromyalgia, but approved it for mental health saying the issue is mental health and I can do a sedentary job.

I am within 1 day of losing my house for good before they made this decision and the money is less than 1/2 of what I was expecting. What good is paying premiums if they don’t want to help when you need it?

Their process for getting medical records from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon (and I am not joking in the least) is:

(1) Refer the collection of records to a 3rd party – WFI, a California based company
(2) WFI contacts Kaiser for a release form
(3) Kaiser sends release form to WFI
(4) WFI sends the release form to client for signature
(5) client returns signed form to WFI
(6) WFI sends form to Kaiser
(7) Kaiser sends records to WFI
(8) WFI sends records to Standard.

Is that the most ridiculous process you have ever heard? The process will take weeks! They don’t even start getting medical records until 30 days after you filed your claim. In the mean time, you have no money and everything gets shut-off, your bills go into collection, and you lose your home. Gee, thanks Standard.

Rick Williamson:

I was a prison guard for four years. When I was cutting wood a tree fell on me rupturing disks in my back. I was ordered to go to a doctor by the state. After my termination I was placed on STD by Standard, then LTD when the 2 years were up. My claim was terminated 3 days ago. I have medical evidence (so does Standard) that I’m in chronic pain in my back and knees (an old marine corp injury that has progressively gotten worse in the past few years – service connected disability 10%). I have to use a brace and cane to walk and can’t stand for long periods of time but the Standard said I could still work as a cashier or clerk in my area even though I’m in pain all the time and can’t stand for more than 2 hours or bend down. I am still trying to fight them on my own but I need help.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Rick,

We are sorry to hear about your batter with The Standard. We have handled numerous claims against The Standard. Please contact us privately to discuss your options.

Angela Nash-Scott:

I have filed a LTD in March 2012, I have talked to them several times for one reason or another. I did what was requested of me. My doctor stated they sent medical records and waiting for standard’s payment. I received a letter stating I have 30 days to completed my file. I don’t what to do from here.

I have asthma, depression, and neuropathy that affected my feet, legs and hands. I am in constant pain even with medication. Can you please help me!

Attorney Greg Dell:

Angela,

We have helped thousands of claimants obtain disability insurance benefits and we are very familiar with The Standard. If you filed in March 2012, depending upon how long your Elimination Period is, then you should have received a decision by now. Please contact us privately and we will provide you with a free consultation to review your claim options.

Janine:

I have been dealing with The Standard since January. They denied my disability claim and it’s now in appeal. I have medical reports supporting my claim and disputing their denial, yet they continue to prolong this claim and put me in further financial ruin!

I have read countless stories of their unethical practices, and I would like to know what recourse I have to receive benefits.

It’s frustrating to know that I paid for insurance to protect me and my son in an emergency, yet when it came time to actually need it, it wasn’t there!

Attorney Greg Dell:

Janine,

If you claim is denied by Standard following your appeal, then your only option will be to file a lawsuit in federal court. Since you have already submitted your appeal there is nothing we can do at this point. If you receive a denial, then we can immediately review your claim and let you know immediately if we could file a lawsuit for you. If you have any additional medical records since you submitted your appeal, then you must submit then ASAP to the Standard. You should also submit a personal statement explaining why you cannot work.

Lori Brett:

I have been battling with The Standard out of Oregon for most of the year. I went out on disability leave of absence from work at the beginning of January for mental health issues as well as some other health issues. Severe depression, anxiety, migraines, stress, and physical pain from previous surgeries causing me to need abdominal scar tissue removed while I was out of work.

Shortly after I left work my mother attempted suicide and I am the one who found her and saved her life but it was ver traumatic. It caused some very severe PTSD and caused my depression and anxiety to worsen. On top of taking care of my mother and her appointments and all of my doctors appoints as well, once my short term ran out at the beginning of April and it switched to Long Term they stopped paying me.

I have almost lost my home, had to sell everything I own of value, was in the psychiatric hospital for a week (3 days of which were not voluntary) due to passive suicidal ideations. And even though my therapist would’ve preferred that I go into an intensive outpatient treatment program, I had no choice but to go back to work because I hadn’t been paid in 4 months

They are crooks who don’t care about anything except making sure they deny claims and save money. Had anything happened to me, my family would be able to blame my current financial situation for it and The Standard would be the cause for it. They never return phone calls or emails in a timely manner. My HR coordinator at work even emailed my supposed caseworker and she never got a response. They are a giant joke of horrible business practices and they don’t care about anybody but themselves.

Sharon Rutledge:

I was placed on FMLA April 30, 2012 for multiple mental disabilities and have been given the run-around by the Standard Insurance Company. They are such big liars and not trained in the field. I fear that my claim will be denied and I need assistance or I will be homeless… I need help with this crazy insurance company! I have been having multiple anxiety and panic attacks worrying about my livelihood. Help before I end up in the psychiatric hospital like a rotten vegetable! Please contact me when you receive my emails…

Attorney Greg Dell:

Sharon,

Please contact us privately to discuss your claim with The Standard. You need to communicate with them in writing only so that everything is documented.

Ben V.:

I put my claim in sometime in June 2012 due to depression, anxiety, bi-polar and psychopathic symptoms. I thought I would get some sort of decision back fairly quickly however it’s been about 4 months now with about 6 letters sent stating they need more information. I got a letter in mid-September stating that they had sent my medical records for physician review. I’m not very confident based on what I’ve been reading.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Ben,

Hang in there. They have probably sent your file to their in-house doctor or to a doctor that they regularly work with. You should send them any updated medical records that you may not have sent in already.

John Xavier:

This company screwed me royally when I was ill back in 2004 and now it appears they are trying the waiting and delaying game now that my doctor has determined I am disabled for the short term. I have received two letters from them saying it will take more time for a decision, I feel it is more time to try and find a reason to deny me. I cant understand why the state of Oregon still does business with these people statewide because there have been many state employees who complain and hate this company. How does big business get away with this type of evil in 2012, does big business and profits rule everything now. These people have no integrity at all. They are never there when hard working people who pay them premiums need them. Besides suing them is there anything a normal person an do to fight this evil?

Attorney Greg Dell:

John,

You can file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Insurance about the wrongful treatment you have received. There are very strict laws in every state that an insurance company must comply with. You may be required to submit an appeal to The Standard before you can sue them.

Andrea Clifton:

The Standard denied my long term disability claim and I am now on appeal with them and SS. They sent me a letter from attorney’s threatening my credit. My analyst stated they should not be sending me these kinds of notifications. I need to know my rights and expediate my approval for LTD. I have been approved for disability/retirement through the state of GA.

Thank you for any assistance you can offer me.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Andrea,

The Standard Insurance Company should not be threatening your credit. If there is an overpayment to you, then they can try to collect it from you. However if you are appealing a denial, then they should not pursue any actions against you until completion of your Appeal. You may have an offset in your policy for benefits your have received from state of GA retirement.

Andrea W.:

The Standard Benefit Administrators/Standard Insurance Company stopped my STD 2 weeks short of switching to LTD claiming I wasn’t disabled. I appealed sending 5 years of documentation showing my medical information, x-rays, epidural information, fact that I have bi-polar (type 2 with ADHD). SBA/SIC said my medications do not “prove” I’m disabled nor that I am bi-polar and that my body should be “used to them” and I should be able to drive… I cannot drive or concentrate at work while on Oxycodone pain meds. Thus I worked while in great pain because I couldn’t take my meds during the workday. They said that my BOSSES (whose names were spelled incorrectly in the letter) told SIC that my job was sedentary (it wasn’t) and that I did not perform to standard. I thought it was against the law to state such things, especially when they are false! SBA/SIC also said since I worked up until my last day. Most people who are disabled try to work as long as possible before having to file for disability. Also, since I said it was a hostile workplace, I wasn’t disabled. I have used a cane for 4 years and my problems (muscular-skeletal) just get worse. I have applied for SSDI, but won’t get it for at least another month or two. I have no income. What can I do?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Andrea,

If you have already appealed and are waiting for a decision, then you need to wait at least 45 days for the Standard to make a decision on your claim. They can request one additional 45 day extension. Since you already submitted your appeal, we cannot assist you right now. If they deny your Appeal, then you should contact us and we will review your denial letter. We hope you win your appeal.

Chuck:

Battling Standard as we speak; filed suit in United District Court. Well, guess what, they want to settle for lump sum. They cheated in every way and are not a good hands company. It took almost 5 years but the good news is the judge told us to work it out or he would go by the letter of contract and damages and attorny fee. They are now on the clock, they a few days to make offer or the judge decides and it would look very bad for them. I have 2 good law firms as there is appox. $100,000 in back-pay and well over a million in further pay.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Chuck,

Thanks for sharing your experience. It is great to hear that things are going to work out for you. It is great that you were able to stand up against your disability insurance company and receive the benefits that you are eligible for.

Jenny:

I have been disabled for over 2 years now and collecting SSDI since 2010. In 2011 I returned to the work force on a “trial” work period to determine if I could work. I had gone through several procedures to help my chronic back pain and was in real threat of losing my car, home etc. because I was so far behind on paying my bills. Social Security offered me the chance to see if I could work by the return to work trial they offer. For about 6 months I did work, but as each day went by my pain became worse. I ended up missing more work than I was attending, and eventually went out on FMLA, then STD and LTD. Found out my back problems were far worse than I previously knew, and ended up with a triple spinal fusion. The Standard is paying my LTD benefits, minus my SSDI payment.

I recently received a bill from a Doctor’s office for medical records request. After calling the Dr. office, I was told it was from WFI and that’s all they could tell me. Through research, I’ve found The Standard uses this third party to gather medical records. I’m not happy that I’m being billed for them requesting my medical records. Also, wondering why they are now gathering medical records? After all, my disability with them has been approved, and paid since the on set back in January of 2012.

Why would they be gathering medical records now? Is it common for them to begin trying to put together a case to try denying benefits after 1 year of continued disability? I might be paranoid, however reading all the horror stories that others experience with this company, I’m worried they are now “targeting” me.

I am scheduled for another spinal fusion (this is my second procedure in 1 year) and I’m worse off now than I was when my claim began in January of 2012.

I haven’t received any forms or letters from them. How can I find out if they are reviewing my situation, and how to get them to pay for the medical records request? I have a bad feeling about this, and think I might be needing a Lawyer soon.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Jenny,

I am sorry to hear about your poor medical condition. It is routine for an insurance company to continuously evaluate your claim. The Standard will do these reviews for as long as you remain on claim. You can call The Standard and see if they are seeking medical records. You have an obligation to provide your medical records to The Standard if they ask for them. Your Doctor should be billing The Standard and not you.

Karen Riley:

I am fighting Standard for my husband. He became unable to work at all in October of 2011 due to EXTREME pain from fibromyalgia, unexplained joint deterioration and severe back problems. The standard paid him for 2 years and then stopped payment stating that he should be able to work some type of job. The man can not sit up in a regular chair for more than 20 minutes, nor stand up for more than 30 minutes. He spends most of his day in a recliner or in bed due to pain. In addition, he is on 2 different types of controlled meds at very high doses. What employer wants someone who is still in pain but on narcotics? He finally was awarded social security (fully favorable) in which the judge flat out said after seeing him that there is no job period that he would be able to do as just performing everyday living skills is very hard for him. We have tried to get the Standard to go back on their claim but now they refuse to either answer our calls or respond to them. In addition, they have told us that we will have to give them all of the money that the Social Security back pays him. Well $6,000 plus goes directly to our lawyer we had to get to fight Social Security and we desperately need to use the remainder to buy a vehicle that he is able to get in and out of without causing him damage. Any comments would be appreciated.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Karen,

Standard would not be able to recollect the fee ($6,000.00) awarded to the attorney that represented your husband during the SSDI process, but would have a right to recover and back benefits that were paid during a time that Standard was also paying the claim. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your husband’s claim to see what may be done to assist him.

SK:

I am writing this on behalf of my wife because she had just gotten a phone call from the Standard Insurance Company. They are trying to take benefits away just on her mental status of being diagnosed with severe depression by her internal medicine doctor. The benefits she receives were based on her severe migraines diagnosed by her neurologist. Both doctors have written letter stating that she is disabled from working indefinitely and cannot hold down a job. Several weeks ago she noticed someone following her just simply dropping off and picking up our son from school. And a 3rd time just going to get groceries and her medicine for her migraines and fibromyalgia. This is a rare time for her to get out when she felt good maybe once every 6-9 months. Her being followed it scared the mess out of her then called 911 after that they stopped. This was admitted in this phone call that they had someone follow her and they also admitted getting personal stuff of hers on the Internet even a Facebook she started while still working almost 3 years ago. Just to get extra money on her own from home. She hasn’t used that page in 2 years since the doctors told her no more work. The Standard told her that page could affect their decision. She told them everything was true and she asked them why are they trying to take the benefits away on her depression when they given to her based on her severe migraines. They would not answer her about that. She even told them if they took benefits away we could lose our car, power cut off and any other utilities because I bring home only $800 a month. Of course they showed no sympathy. I ask one can Ltd insurance companies legally follow someone personally and look at personal stuff online, and what suggestions are there to keep her benefits without taking the standard to court if she gets denied and loses her appeal through them.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

SK,

Yes. You have no expectation of privacy in public. So long as they comply with any local law they are within in their rights to conduct surveillance. Additionally, anything that your wife put on the internet is open for the world to see, this includes the insurance company. It is advisable to always make sure privacy settings are in place on any social media site. If you have questions with regards to your wife’s claim for benefits, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.

Brett lemire:

I’ve been receiving my LTD benefits since December 8th 2012 for Degenerative Joint Disease in my right knee. I just received a letter from Standard informing me that they have reviewed my claim and decided to close my claim stating I no longer meet my group policy’s Own Occupation Definition of disability. My condition has not changed at all. If anything it is getting worse. I can no longer climb stairs or crouch, crawl, kneel or anything of that nature. How can they all of the sudden out of thin air say I am no longer considered disabled? I have repeatedly asked them to mail me a copy of my companies policy which they say I don’t qualify for. Have yet to receive. Is this some kind of scare tactic or can they actually do this?

Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Brett,

Unfortunately, an insurance company can deny your benefit based upon a review of the medical records by one of its medical professionals. This appears to be the case with your denial. Technically, Standard does not have to keep a copy of your policy on file. It is your (former) employer’s duty to provide a copy so I would suggest that you reach out to your company for same. I would recommend you secure your policy and a copy of the denial letter and contact us for a free consultation at 1-800-682-8331 to determine how we may assist you.

Heather Diane Morehouse:

My job just started using the Standard last Oct. 2012. I have MS and my FMLA was approved from Aug. to Aug.. I have had nothing but trouble of them saying it’s not approved for intermitting leave with is what my doctor approved. I have not used my total leave but they are denying me as having a serious health condition. How many times must my doctor tell them I do? Sometimes they approve it, sometimes not, when it’s all for the same illness and from the same doctor. I never can get the same person on the phone and it’s just a run around.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Heather,

I am sorry to hear about your problems with respect to your FMLA. Have you filed any claim for disability with Standard?

Peter Keko:

I am afraid this will not be the only time I will contact you. We currently are in the middle of the first possible wave of 45 days on our official appeal over my wife’s denial of her LTD claim based on mental disability. My wife was awarded LTD by the Standard Insurance Company as well as Benefits from the Social Security Administration. She suffers from Bipolar NOS, an Anxiety Disorder, and a Panic Disorder. The doctor that diagnosed her with this is a company specified doctor who is contracted with the former place of employment to determine disability.

I have a Durable Power of Attorney and handle all of my wife’s legal or financial issues. However, they avoid contacting me and go straight for my wife. My question is about this in the appeal:

We were sent a letter recently (one month after the appeal letter was sent) from a Benefits Review Specialists in their legal department, asking for a Consent for Release of Information.

The letter states: “Since we must consider the Social Security Administration’s decision in our review we need to obtain a copy of your Social Security claim file to further understand your award for those benefits”.

In contradiction, the Standards stated in the initial denial letter from 6 months ago: “We understand that you are receiving Social Security Disability. However, the fact that you have been awarded these benefits in and of itself does not entitle you to LTD benefits.” Aren’t they saying it really doesn’t matter what SSA says? If so, why do they need anything from them?
What makes this EVEN MORE ODD is the fact that the SSA made their decision to award her benefits based on what the Standard sent to them. There is nothing new to send to them!

So why the request? Is the request necessary? I feel like this is a game. Should I grant them the request?

I have so much more to say here, as this has been one NASTY game. There is a lot involved here, involving a lump sum payment that forced us into debt with the Standard, a collection agent (who calls frequently and sends intimidating letters, all of which continues to set back my wife’s condition) after us before we could complete the appeal letter. My wife is attending school (at the doctor’s suggestion of therapy, under the limitations of a 504 plan), and that sparked them to question her claim. Generally, they say she is lying. Believe me… she isn’t! There is more to this, but I cannot ramble about it further, so I will probably be back soon. Thank You for your time if you can help me in any way.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Peter,

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties. Please feel free to contact our office to see how we may be able to assist you in the event that the appeal is denied.

Linda Swearingen:

I submitted a claim to the Standard and was refused seemingly because I didn’t report the injury immediately. Well, I didn’t expect the injury to be as disabling as turned out to be. That aside, I am submitting another claim for a loss of vision that is occurring, Retinal Telangiectasia. I wanted to get you advice about how to do this or if you have a fee for helping me with the claim. My policy is coming up for renewal in Nov. and I need to get this submitted ASAP.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Linda,

Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Sheree:

My daughter was hospitalized for a brain anuerysm over a month ago. I received a letter from Standard saying she is incapable of handling her finances and they will require a POA or Conservatorship/Guardian paperwork before they release her benefits. Can they do that? She has tons of student loans and bills that needs to be paid. I am afraid her credit score will be affected and her interest rates will increase due to nonpayment.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Sheree,

First and foremost, my thoughts are with you and your daughter. Is your daughter capable of handling her finances? If so, I would have her contact Standard immediately. If not, it might be wise to get the paperwork in place so the benefits are released. The question of whether they can require the POA has no clear, easy answer, but I can tell you from experience that questions as to the ability to handle finances are often contained on insurance company claim forms so the fact they are questioning her abilities is not unheard of.

Peter Keko:

Really curious… The Appeal is still going on with my wife’s denial of benefits. It is now past the second 45 days. We found out yesterday that the Standard’s team, who I am assuming is one of their so called psychiatrists that are on their team to review her condition (like they can make a diagnosis; they have never spoken with her). Called my wife’s doctor and asked him if she was able to work. He of course said, “NO”. What is the point of putting her through all this crap, just to end calling the one person who could have solved the whole issue? I know it’s not a guarantee of the final outcome, but this whole time his professional opinion didn’t seem to matter.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Peter,

I have had a hard time wrapping my head around Standard’s claim review process on many occasions. They tend to drag their feet often and ignore treating physician’s opinions. If the claim is past the allotted time for the rendering of an opinion (including any times where time may have been tolled) you would have right to bring suit.

Princon:

My claim with Standard was reviewed twice an denied.

I intend to send in a letter of protest because they simply ignored medical records and also claim to base their decision on a conversation they claim I allegedly had with one of thier staff members which is untrue and which I truthfully deny. Do I have a time constraint to send this letter of protest and or file an appeal in court?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Princon,

Standard typically only gives one level of administrative appeal, so you may not have any more remedies by way of filing an appeal. Filing a lawsuit may be your only option at this point. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Annie:

I was denied LTD because they claim that even though Myself or my Dr. did not know that I had colorectal cancer, it is considered pre existing condition. They based it on the fact that my Dr. ordered a colonoscopy. during the Colonoscopy the cancer was discovered.

How do I fight this? I have been so worn down from Radiation and Chemo that I have not had the energy in the past to fight this.

I now have a new disabling condition, Bowel Incontinence due to the surgery to remove the tumor which reduced the size of my rectum and the muscles have lost their elasticity from the direct radiation that they received, do I have a right to file a new claim for this, or will they say this is related to the cancer and deny me again.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Annie,

A review of the pre-existing language in the Policy would be required in order to provide you with more direction. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Kerry:

I was accepted coverage from Standard for disability. My Oregon disability just kicked in and sent me a check after taking out 20% for federal taxes and 8% for Oregon taxes. Standard states that all this money including the taxes is over payment and want me to send them all the money I got and the money that was taken out and not given to me. Is this legal. I can understand them taking money beyond the 100% pre disability income but to expect all the money beyond what they pay seems extreme especially when people with disabilities are already in a hardship situation with the medical bills and other trying things they are going through discovering they may never be able to hold a viable job again. On top of this standard will only pay for 2 years on mental health issues. It seems they are taking advantage of those with disabilities period and discriminating against those with mental health issues.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Kerry,

Unfortunately, if your policy allows them to offset your monthly benefit by the state disability benefit then there may be little you can do to prevent the offset.

Deidra Bailey:

The Standard takes months to evaluate claims. They leave it to you to make sure they get all the doctor reports and information to process your claim. They will proceed without it if you don’t get it to them by the date on the letter they send you. If you need money to survive on because of your disability, go to another company because they will take forever and your claim may still be denied. It’s been five months since I started my claim with them and I still don’t know if I am going to be approved or not.

Mark Baker:

I filed my disability clain for Standard Insurance in 2-14-14. It’s now 5-28-14 and I still haven’t got an approved or a denied case. The medical examanier told me he was waiting on doctor review four weeks ago. I talk to a customer service of Standard today and he stated my medical was sent on 5-21-14. I been waiting for weeks for my approval. Who do I need to talk to get my case moving along?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Deidra,

Under ERISA, Standard has 45 days to render a decision as to your claim for benefits. Needless to say they are well beyond that timeframe. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in getting a claim determination.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mark,

As indicated in the above comment: Under ERISA, Standard has 45 days to render a decision as to your claim for benefits. Needless to say they are well beyond that timeframe. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in getting a claim determination.

Ms. JR:

I have an auto-immune arthritis and have been disabled since 2010. The Standard has stopped my benefit with no warning stating I should be able to do a sedentary job. My illness is chronic and will never get better. I am so incredibly frustrated.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Ms. JR,

More often than not the insurance company terminates a benefit without any warning. If you have not already filed your appeal please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in filing same.

Mark:

When a person is dealing with multiple insurers and needs monthly assistance, does your firm provide this service for a certain percentage of the monthly payment?

Say I have 2 policies totalling 20000/month DI payment. What is a ballpark figure for what you would charge for monthly paperwork, etc.?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mark,

Yes, we can offer contingency fee arrangements based on a percentage of your monthly disability benefit, or we can offer an hourly arrangement. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Marilyn:

I think for Canadians that the insurance companies aren’t allowed to limit mental issues to 2 years. Do you know if that is true? The USA should have the same rule.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Marilyn,

I am not sure what the rules governing disability policies in Canada provide. There has even been a push in recent years of insurance companies limiting benefits for mental health claims under individual insurance policies to two years of benefits.

Connie:

Diagnosed with MS 2006, filed STD claim with The Standard April 1, 2014. Denial letter June 2014 stating doctor did not provide enough evidence that I am unable to perform job duties. Saw a different Nero in May, he definitely found short term memory issues. Need some help with appeal.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Connie,

The trend in the disability insurance industry seems to be denial of claims on account of MS due to a multitude of reasons they believe do not support functional impairment from working. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Michael Ford:

It is sounding like The Standard will release me July 19, 2014. I will receive one more check from them. There was a Definition of Disability that changed after 36 months according to my company’s group policy. They “understand” I can not do my previous job, but state I can go back to doing something else. I have post thrombotic syndrome and my leg is done. I do see a pain management specialist as well. The past three years have been upsetting to say the least. They were quick to cancel my life insurance, stating that I would return to work one day. They were also quick to state this was a previous condition I had which it actually didn’t start until about 2 years into the job I had with benefits before going on disability. I know the denial letter is coming and want to be proactive about it. Please inform me of my choices.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Michael,

If your claim is governed by ERISA and is denied you will be required to file an administrative appeal before being allowed to bring any legal action. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of submitting as complete an appeal as possible. As such, if your claim is denied please contact our office to discuss how we can assist you in filing your appeal.

Karen:

I’ve been off work since June 12, 2014. It started off with a flare up of a herniated disc but I was hospitalized from July 1st thru July 9th with MRSA. Was sent home with a pic line to receive antibiotics every day that will not be removed until July 29th. Standard advised Greentree (the company that I work for) that I need to be back at work on the 29th. Finally approved me for 3 weeks and 2 days. I’ve not been paid for 2 pay periods. They made my leave a living hell.

Lori:

I find it ironic that I received a denial letter from the standard and the condition they based the denial on is not the condition I have. There are 3 specialists in my state who treat patients for this rare neurological condition. The condition stated in the denial letter is a valid condition but the claim handler states it was a typo on his part. It makes me wonder if the so called house doctors even know what this is I’ve tried to participate in clinical research trials but get disqualified when they find. That I am left hand dominant. There are not enough left handed people who suffer from this to justify putting grant funds for research on such an elite category.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lori,

If you have not already appealed the denial of your claim for benefits, please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

Brett:

The Standard refuses to render an appeal decision in my case. My 90 day appeal period ended back on May 23rd 2014. They have repeatedly asked for extensions on four different occasions to further review material. They will not return phone calls. The fact is, they are dragging this process out for some reason. Will this work in my favor if a suit is filed? What is the best way to get them to make a decision?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Brett,

Filing a lawsuit now could work heavily in your favor. However, without a better understanding of the timeline/facts and circumstances of your case it would be difficult to advise you as to your ability to file a lawsuit now. We would need to determine if there was any proper tolling of the timeframe to render a decision by Standard on account of various factors. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.

Bernadette:

I’ve been collecting STD from The Standard since April 2014. I received numerous extensions after they asked my physician’s to fill out paperwork. My last extension was on July 20th and than is when they stopped paying me. First they claimed they didn’t receive more paperwork from the doctors in which they did, then they said my claim was being reviewed by contract physicians and that it would take 10 days for each physician to do their report (2 physicians). My claim representative always returned my calls until last week when I was informed she had the reports back and was reviewing their reports. I’ve called her 3 times since last week and was promised she would return my call within 4 hours. Is this common practice or is she not returning my calls because they are denying me? My LTD was supposed to begin on Sept. 1st. I am scheduled for back surgery next month (Oct. 20th) and will have a multi-level artificial disc in my cervical and an artificial disc in my lumbar. Should I get an attorney at this point or wait for a letter in the mail or a phone call back?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Bernadette,

It is unusual that Standard would all of a sudden go silent. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim in greater detail.

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