After appeal filed by Attorney Jay Symonds, Hartford overturned its previous denial of long term disability benefits for Tennessee Claims Supervisor

Our client, Ms. G, formerly worked as a Claims Supervisor for a large national insurance carrier. In November 2012 a number of medical issues, including Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis forced Ms. G to stop working and submit her claim for disability benefits first under her employer’s short-term disability (STD) policy and then continuing under its long-term disability (LTD) policy. Both benefits were administered by Hartford. Under her employer’s disability policies Ms. G would be considered totally disabled after 24-months if she was unable to perform the essential duties of any gainful occupation, which was defined as any occupation she was qualified to perform by education, training and experience.

After paying Ms. G for more than two years under the LTD Policy, Hartford denied further LTD benefits on the basis that she allegedly no longer met the policy definition of disability. Specifically, Hartford stated that, based on video surveillance and a 3rd party medical records review, Ms. G was “capable of working full time sedentary level work.” After receiving the denial, Ms. G contacted Dell & Schaefer and discussed her case with Attorney Jay Symonds. Attorney Symonds identified several significant issues in Hartford’s denial letter and in the evidence it relied on and agreed to prepare and submit Ms. G’s ERISA appeal with the assistance of his appeal team.

The LTD appeal addressed all of Hartford’s short-comings and reasons for denial, with a special focus on the medical records on and around the date of Hartford’s denial and significant inconsistencies with its medical reviewer’s findings. The appeal next addressed Hartford’s reliance on the video surveillance. Noting that there are extreme cases where surveillance activity is so inconsistent with a claimant’s reported limitations that a simple viewing of the surveillance may constitute sufficient evidence, Attorney Symonds established that Ms. G’s observed activities were not conclusively outside the range of activities of someone incapable of sedentary work. Further, the activities recorded were not inconsistent with Ms. G’s reported limitations as noted in her statements to Hartford and the reports from her treating physician. And finally, during an interview with Hartford’s Field Investigator, Ms. G, with no knowledge of the surveillance, informed the investigator that she had performed the activities observed on surveillance. In response the investigator did not ask a single question about the event; how it impacted her physically or cognitively; how she felt during and after the event; or how she felt the next day or week. Therefore, Hartford’s failure to any questions did not evidence a full and fair review.

Approximately six weeks later, and after reviewing the appeal and hundreds of pages of exhibits and medical records, Hartford overturned its decision to terminate benefits, reinstated Ms. G’s LTD benefits and paid full back benefits to date. Attorney Symonds continues to represent our client to best ensure that Hartford will not terminate her benefits again. Feel free to call our disability attorneys for a free consultation on this or any matter relevant to your disability claim.

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Hartford claimants nationwide?

We represent Hartford clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Hartford disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Hartford. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Hartford.

How do you help Hartford claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Hartford long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Hartford:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

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