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:
- Call police if there is any suspicious activity;
- Ask the disability insurance company to send you a copy of any video surveillance, including all written reports;
- 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;
- 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.