Dell & Schaefer Successfully Appeals Denial Of Benefits To Former Excel Energy Employee

Ms. H contacted our firm following her receipt of a letter from her disability carrier, Hartford, terminating her disability claim after being paid disability benefits for nearly 8 years. Ms. H had been receiving long term disability (LTD) benefits since 2008 due to Severe Major Depression, Major Depressive Affective Disorder and a panic disorder. Before going on disability, Ms. H had worked as a Case Specialist for 15 years.

Throughout the entirety of her claim with Hartford, Ms. H’s treating physicians had consistently supported that Ms. H remained unable to work as a result of her medical conditions. Her medical conditions caused Ms. H to suffer debilitating symptoms including lack of energy, lack of motivation, on and off suicidal ideation, isolation, crying episodes, irritability, anxiousness, compulsive eating habits, and no motivation to socialize in addition to a number of other symptoms.

Despite the overwhelming support of Ms. H’s treating physicians, Hartford hired a physician to perform a peer review of Ms. H’s medical file. According to the peer reviewer, the treatment records of Ms. H’s psychiatrist and therapist did not support a psychiatric impairment. Ms. H’s psychiatrist disagreed with Hartford’s peer reviewer but Hartford chose to rely on the solitary opinion of its peer review physician, which supported its decision to terminate Ms. H’s benefits, and to disregard and ignore the opinions of Ms. H’s treating physicians, which remained consistent throughout the history of her 8 year claim.

Appeal by Attorneys Dell & Schaefer on behalf of Ms. H

We went over Ms. H’s claim and agreed to take on her case. After reviewing the claim file from Hartford it became apparent that Hartford’s decision had been founded on an inadequate review by its peer reviewer, Dr. John Zincone. According to Dr. Zincone, there was a lack of information documented by Ms. H’s treating physicians. Moreover, Dr. Zincone attempted to attack Ms. H’s credibility despite never having examined her or even spoken with her. Dr. Zincone failed to acknowledge the fact that Ms. H’s treating physicians had been treating Ms. H for over 10 years. Ms. H’s treating physicians were therefore in a better position to assess Ms. H and make credibility determinations regarding the accuracy of her symptom reporting yet none of Ms. H’s treating physicians had ever shown any reason to question Ms. H’s symptom reports.

Ms. H’s appeal pointed out the errors in Hartford’s review and highlighted the support in Ms. H’s medical file including objective exam findings which supported Ms. H’s inability to perform in any occupation. The appeal stressed the fact that Hartford had failed to perform an in person examination of Ms. H yet relied on a doctor’s opinion that made a credibility assessment of Ms. H without the doctor seeing her even once.

Following the appeal submission, Hartford recognized its error and agreed to overturn its denial and reinstate Ms. H’s disability claim. Hartford has issued a check for all back benefits owed and with the help of Attorney’s Dell & Schaefer Ms. H will have the best chances of staying on claim for as long as she needs to.

Read more about Hartford disability claims.

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FAQ

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   *****

Brian W.

Dell & Schaefer were wonderful to work with. They got me my monthly payment back when the insurance company stopped paying, as well as a lump sum payout when I requested that they try and do that for me.

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