Back pain is one of the leading causes of claims for long term disability benefits against disability insurance companies. However, claimants of disability insurance benefits who are suffering from back disorders often have an uphill task in trying to claim their disability benefits from Disability Insurance Companies. This is because disability insurance companies can try to deny the claims of individuals who are suffering from back disorders by claiming there is no objective medical evidence to support a claimant’s subjective complaints of back pain. Hence, it is not surprising that we often see lawsuits filed against disability insurance companies from individuals disabled by chronic back pain. In fact, a recent disability lawsuit was filed against Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company by an individual with a back disorder.
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company Disability Claim Denial Lawsuit
In the case of Glynda F. Sharp v Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, the plaintiff Glynda F. Sharp filed a lawsuit against Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Reliance Life) through her Kansas City disability attorney at the District court for the Western District of Missouri. Ms. Sharp was the Director of Operations for the Office of Research at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Bioscience. While employed there, she participated in the long term disability plan sponsored by her employer.
On February 27th 2009, she was terminated from her job due to her disability caused by her back disorder. She suffered from severe degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, chronic low back pain, bilateral lower extremity pain, parasthesias, spondylosis, disc displacement, lumbosacral radiculitis, sacrolitis and lumber facet joint arthritis. From august 26th to November 20th 2009, she received LTD benefits from Reliance Life as Reliance Life had determined her to be totally disabled under her policy. Nevertheless, on November 20th 2009, Reliance Life terminated her LTD benefits even though her physical and medical conditions had not changed.
Her appeal on March 13th 2010 was denied. A physician employed by Reliance Life, after examining her for just 15 minutes, concluded that Ms. Sharp was capable of employment under restricted conditions. Ms. Sharp had tried to use medication to lessen her pain but it had proven unsuccessful. The overall prognosis of Reliance Life’s physician was that Ms. Sharp was capable of handling the intense pain that she felt while being in a seated position. Her final appeal was denied on May 18th 2010 by Reliance Life. Despite the Social Security Administration (SSA) finding Ms. Sharp to be totally disabled, Reliance Life still denied disability benefits to Ms. Sharp.