Disability Attorney Cesar Gavidia Wins Hartford Disability Appeal For Target Employee With Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Neck Pain

Ms. Z had spent several years working as an analyst for major retailer, Target Corporation. Although she spent years working with Target, and greatly enjoyed her job, she soon began experiencing severe and chronic neck pain as a result of spondylothesis and rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder that often affects the small joints in the hands and feet. Ms. Z’s days were often spent in discomfort and pain. She began missing days from work due to her pain and discomfort, and when she would go to work she would be in too much pain and discomfort to be productive. Ms. Z found herself with no choice but to file a claim for long-term disability benefits under the Target Corporation Long-term Disability Plan, administered and funded by The Hartford.

The Hartford Terminates Long-Term Disability Claim Prior To Any Gainful Occupation Period Commencing

Initially, Ms. Z was pleased that The Hartford saw her claim for what it was, and that they did not fight her. After all, she was a well-compensated employee with Target and had no reason to voluntarily leave a great job with great pay for a fraction of her prior income – certainly The Hartford could see the logic in that. Furthermore, her medical issues and disability claim were strongly supported by her treating physicians and the medical evidence. For the first 24 months of the disability claim, also known as the “own occupation” period (the period that you must be disabled from performing the duties of you own occupation), The Hartford paid Ms. Z’s claim, and only requested that she submit updated claim forms and attending physician forms completed by her treating physician on a regular basis, which she complied with.

With approximately four months left until the end of the “own occupation” period, The Hartford sent Ms. Z a letter advising her that she would not qualify for “any gainful occupation” (the period that in order to qualify for benefits you must be unable to perform the duties of any gainful occupation for which you are qualified by education, training and experience) benefits and states, “[she] will not meet the policy definition of Disability beyond October 8, 2013.” Apparently, Hartford shares psychic abilities with Theresa Caputo, the Long-Island Medium, since it can apparently now predict the future, and predicted Ms. Z would not qualify for long-term disability benefits 4 months into the future.

Appeal Must Be Submitted Within 180 Days Of Receipt Of Termination Of Benefits, Not Within 180 Days Of Receipt Of Last Benefit Payment

Following receipt of Hartford’s letter terminating her claim, Ms. Z contacted Dell & Schaefer, and discussed her case with Attorney Cesar Gavidia. Mr. Gavidia noted that an anticipatory termination of benefits is a common strategy by disability insurers to avoid paying the claim beyond the “own occupation” period of benefits, and also to begin the time period in which an appeal of a denial of benefits is required to be submitted. Under ERISA, the claimant has 180 days from the date they receive a denial or termination of benefits to appeal the disability insurance company’s decision. In cases where a denial is made in anticipation of a specific future date expiring, the rules are no different. The appeal must be submitted within 180 days from the date the letter advising benefits will be terminated is received. Unfortunately, many unknowing claimant’s wait until the benefits actually cease, often missing the deadline or being left with very little time to craft an effective appeal.

Hartford Reverses Disability Denial Following Submission of Appeal Prepared by Attorney Cesar Gavidia

Ms. Z’s appeal, which included over 17 exhibits, medical records, various pieces of objective and subjective evidence of disability, was timely submitted to The Hartford. Soon after its submission, the Hartford advised that that Ms. Z’s claim would be reinstated and that benefits would be paid up to the current date. The Hartford has continued to pay Ms. Z’s claim for benefits in accordance with the terms of the Target Long-term Disability Plan. Cesar Gavidia continues to manage our client’s claim in an effort to prevent disability benefits from being denied again.

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, GoToMeeting.com 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Christopher G. (Georgia)

I am very pleased with the job done by Dell & Schaefer. From start to finish the team that worked with me was very thorough, professional and communicated with me frequently. They really took the time to understand my situation and came up with an effective strategy to win my appeal. I would not hesitate to recommend Dell & Schaefer to anyone needing this type of legal support.

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