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.

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There are 5 comments

  • 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 LagunezNov 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 TormaschySep 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 DellMay 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 FordMay 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?

    SteveOct 17, 2010  #1


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.


Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

Jeff P. (Oklahoma)

After a very long and frustrating ordeal to keep my LTD payments coming I decided to seek assistance from and attorney. After much research and asking those in the legal profession Dell & Schaefer seemed to be the top choice. I reached out and Alex Palamara was the attorney assigned to my case. All I can say is the experience was outstanding. Both Alex and his Paralegal, Danielle Lauria were excellent to work with. They were very kind, concerned, understanding of my frustrations and treated me with the utmost respect. Communication was excellent with regular updates and telling me what I could expect in each stage of the process.

Alex was also very straight forward with what to expect and no pie in the sky promises or expectations were made. In the end we won our case and I believe it was solely due to their experience and knowledge of not only the laws but the insurance companies as a whole. I would highly recommend them and am very grateful for the help they afforded to me.

Chad B. (Illinois)

I originally spoke with 3 other long term disability lawyers about my case before contacting Dell and Schaefer. None of those law firms would take it. They said the chances of me winning was not good. After finding Dell and Schaefer online I spoke with one of the attorneys that has since left. He did take my case but later it was picked up by Rachel Alters. Rachel is amazing and a very intelligent attorney. She not only won my case but also was able to get my back pay for 6 months.

I also cannot say enough about Sonia Nogueira. Sonia was always quick to answer any of my questions. I would usually hear back from her within hours of sending her a email. I do not know where I would be if I hadn’t contacted them. My family and I cannot thank them enough. Don’t let an insurance company tell you they are not responsible for paying you. I paid them for 20 years monthly and they looked for any reason they could not to have to pay me when I needed my benefit. Thank you Rachel and Sonia for all you guys do.

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