Our client, a teaching assistant with Multiple Sclerosis, was denied benefits under her long-term disability policy from Hartford provided by her employer, the Broward County Florida School Board. Following her denial of benefits, our client retained Dell & Schaefer to appeal the denial of her benefits. Her policy stated that she would qualify for long-term disability benefits if she was “continuously unable to perform the material and substantial duties” of her regular occupation.
Our client’s job duties, as part of working with grade school-age special education children, required that she be able to, among other duties:
- Lift up to 40 lbs.
- Bend, stretch, and stoop repeatedly
- Climb up and down stairs
- Push emergency evacuation buckets with up to 150 lbs. of weight
- Have the mobility to ensure the safety of the children
- Work with the children on the floor
- Perform light cleaning
- Supervise the classroom in the absence of the lead teacher
- Change diapers
- Assist with toilet training
- Help children establish good habits of personal hygiene
Given our client’s condition and her need to use a walker to move about, Attorneys Dell & Schaefer submitted an extensive appeal and requested that Hartford reverse its decision to deny her long-term disability benefits. Following the submission of our appeal and the threat of a lawsuit being filed, Hartford reversed their denial and agreed to pay our client nearly two and a half years’ worth of back benefits and place her on claim moving forward. Dell & Schaefer will continue to manage her claim and ensure that her benefits continue uninterrupted.