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Hartford approves long-term disability benefits for teaching assistant with multiple sclerosis

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.

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