Hartford continues to use video surveillance to wrongfully deny long-term disability claims

On April 7, 2010, the ABC Good Morning America (“GMA”) show once again presented a story exposing the desperate actions of the Hartford Insurance Company. GMA’s recent news story can be viewed at the right. Disability insurance companies are notorious for using video surveillance. Hartford is one of the country’s largest long-term disability carriers.

Hartford regularly relies on disability video surveillance in an effort to deny long-term disability claims. The video surveillance is conducted without the permission of the claimant and usually takes place over several days or weeks. Disability companies such as Hartford will spends tens of thousands of dollars on one claim to conduct secretive video until they get footage that they think will support a claim denial.

“It is sad that disability claimants call me on a daily basis to discuss their fears of being videotaped by their disability insurance company”, said Gregory Dell, a nationwide long-term disability insurance attorney with Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. According to attorney Dell, “Disability claimants do not need to be worried about video surveillance unless they are engaging in activities that are inconsistent with things they have told treating doctors or the insurance company they could not perform. A claimant does not need to bedridden or helpless in order to be eligible for disability insurance benefits.”

Attorney Dell recommends that you take the following actions if you suspect video surveillance or are notified that your disability company has conducted video surveillance:

  1. Call police if there is any suspicious activity;
  2. Ask the disability insurance company to send you a copy of any video surveillance, including all written reports;
  3. Ask the disability insurance company to send copies of your video surveillance to your treating physician and ask your treating physician to comment on whether the activities in the video are inconsistent with your medical condition;
  4. If a private investigator comes to interview you, before you answer any questions ask if they have conducted any video surveillance. The investigator will try to catch you in a lie and then show you the video surveillance latter.

The disability insurance companies are permitted to video tape you at anytime if you are in the public domain. This means that you have no right to privacy if you are out in public. If your claim has been denied because of video surveillance you need to hire an attorney that is skilled in demonstrating that the video surveillance has no relevancy to the requirements of working any job for 8 hours per a day. There are numerous defenses and arguments that can be made in response to a disability company’s position that you are no longer disabled due to your activities on video.

Comments (5)

  • I have had super migraines for more than 20 years finally 3 years ago I was told I had chiari malformation. I live in Rogers Arkansas, I can’t work because of the severe migraines, neck pain, back pain. I live where there are no doctors that know how to treat this condition or do the surgery. I finally found a neurosurgeon that did the surgery then disappeared, I can’t find him anywhere. It was a great but mercy says he doesn’t work here anymore. What do I do to have been denied disability 2 times? Awaiting to be scheduled a hearing forever… I need medicaid, I can’t see the doctors that I need to see, I have lupus, diabetes, chiari malformation, fibromyalgia. I am so desperate… I have a small settlement of $270.31 a month. The doctors think I just want drugs, well yes, it’s true I am in chronic pain 24/7, I really mean pain, what am I to do? I am voting on medical marijuana because I can use that instead of morphine and cut down the oxycodone. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have no – and I mean no – quality of life anymore. You walk into an ER at the hospital and they automatically think your a druggie. I just want to be able to get out of the house an have some quality of life. Is there anyone that can help me I am desperate… There are now neurologists or neurosurgeons in Rogers , Springdale, Fayetteville and as of Sept. of 2012 none in Fort Smith. What do I do?

    Tracy Lagunez Nov 6, 2012  #5

  • The Hartford attempted to do an “in-home visit” which, when I tried to verify his dept., no one knew who he was; finally I found out he was a “special investigator” and wanted to come and do an in-home interview, ask me questions THEN show me the video. And my case handler LIED to me the day before saying she did not know who he was. Guess the company? The Hartford! Then, the next day I refused to let this man in my house until I had more info. They would not tell me when the video was taken. She, and her name is Victoria Vaugn, said they had not even verified it was me! And me and my mother look alot alike! Also The Hartford was the one who set me up with a group to start my social security! There is more. I have seen 5 different doctors, who all agree with my disablity. There is much more.

    Lelia Tormaschy Sep 23, 2012  #4

  • Steve,

    Hartford can basically video you anywhere in public. They can video your wife as well. If Hartford tries to use the video surveillance for profit, then your wife may be able to sue them. They are not permitted by any law to stalk you, so you should call the police if you feel that this is taking place.

    Gregory Dell May 9, 2012  #3

  • The Hardford can do almost anything they want because current laws allow they to.

    They can get away with videotaping a claimant where ever or whenever they want.

    But what about other Family Members? Your Spouse? Your Children? Does the laws allow them to stalk and harass them also?

    On a recent Field Interrogation by an incompetent dolt sent by the Hartford at my Lawyer’s office (there was no way I would allow the scumbag in my home), he did the usual questioning then showed the video in an effort to intimidate. The footage he had was laughable, but The Hartford, along with a IME report done by a Doctor in their back-pocket, will terminate my LTD.

    However the video footage had at least 20 minuets of just my wife! Are these lowlife PI’s also allowed to do this? Does the law allow they to stalk your family as well!?

    Can my wife seek legal action against this corrupt company?

    Steve Ford May 7, 2012  #2

  • Insurance frauds costs us all billions each year. Why whouldn’t an insurance company use legal means to try and prevent fraud? I can see why this would cause someone undue stress… if they are committing fraud. Otherwise, who cares?

    Steve Oct 17, 2010  #1

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