AXA Equitable and DMS Approve LTD Benefits for Litigation Attorney with ADHD & Bi-Polar

A successful commercial litigation and trial attorney contacted disability insurance attorney Gregory Dell to seek assistance with filing a long term disability benefit claim with AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company. Our client was in his late 40’s and he had purchased his disability insurance coverage from AXA Equitable Life more than 10 years before he became disabled. Like many business professionals, our client had been struggling for many years with his disability, yet he continued to try to work through his condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Bi-Polar. Prior to filing for disability he had been treating with multiple psychiatrist and psychologist on and off for approximately 4 years. Our client was earning in excess of $250,000 annually and had no interest in giving up his career as a litigation attorney. Unfortunately, as the daily errors and inability to get his daily tasks completed began to multiply, he realized that he was no longer able to perform the duties of a commercial litigation attorney.

Definition of Disability and Occupation Duties of a Litigation Attorney

Fortunately our client had purchased an own occupation disability policy that defined total disability as “your inability due to sickness or injury to engage in the substantial and material duties of your occupation“. Our client’s typical work week was 50-60 hours and his substantial and material duties included: conducting discovery, drafting pleadings and motions, attending depositions and court hearings, numerous phone conferences with clients and opposing counsel, preparing Summary Judgment and numerous other motions, trial preparation, legal research, daily travel out of the office to attend court hearings, depositions, mediations or client meetings. Our client was billing over 1,500 hours annually and was involved in multiple active lawsuits at any given time.

AXA Equitable and Disability Management Services (“DMS”) Question Client’s Disability

Disability Management Services Inc. (“DMS”) is a third party administrator that administers all aspects of AXA Equitable long term disability insurance claims. Our law firm has handled hundreds of claims that have been administered by DMS. Despite medical support from our client’s treating physicians, DMS and AXA Equitable required that our client undergo a neuropsychological evaluation and psychological evaluation in order to independently verify his restrictions and limitations. It is unusual to have an IME exam performed prior to claim approval, but DMS was questioning how our client continued to work through his years of suffering. We demanded that the IME exams be videotaped and that copies of the IME reports be sent to our client’s treating physicians for review and comment. We also clarified the scope of the testing prior to allowing our client to submit for any testing. It is unfortunate that we often see disability companies that will question the seriousness of a claimant’s disability because he or she tried to continue working with disabling condition. Disability claimants need to be careful about how long they continue to work while claiming that they are limited by a medical condition. In our client’s case the doctors hired by the insurance company actually agreed with the finding of our client’s doctors. Since our client has an own occupation disability policy he has been able to work in alternative jobs that do not require performance of the same substantial and material duties of a commercial litigation attorney. While working in alternative jobs, our client can collect his full monthly disability benefit and whatever additional income he is able to earn. We continue to monitor and manage our clients AXA disability claim on a monthly basis.


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Reviewed by From a great job to a complete nightmare on March 20th 2024   Verified Policyholder | March 2024 date of disability
My Physician recommended that I take some time from a toxic environment after several deaths in my family coupled with AT&T trying to run tenured employees out of the door... read more >
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Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
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Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
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Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >

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Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

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I was injured at work. I did house keeping in a hospital. I tore just about everything imaginable in my knee. I was let go from my job, because I was no longer able to do ... read more >
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