Hartford Reinstates Long Term Disability Benefits on Appeal to Computer Systems Administrator Suffering with Chronic Back Pain
Prior to filing for disability benefits with Hartford our client worked as a Senior Database Administrator and had been in the computer industry since 1978. Needless to say his entire work history and all of his skills and occupational training revolved around computers. Over those 33 years working, as he continued to excel in his career, so did his congenital form of cervical spine disease, which resulted in multiple levels of severe disc degeneration, cervical kyphosis and stenosis. Despite his best efforts to continue to work, eventually the pain and discomfort became too great a burden to bear. He experienced increased difficulty concentrating through the pain or the ability to perform the physical requirements of his job. With a work product that was declining as rapidly as his health our client filed for disability benefits under his employer provided disability policy with Hartford.
Approved… but not for long
Hartford initially approved our client’s claim for benefits. At first it seemed as if he would have no problems with Hartford – his claim for benefits with Social Security was approved and Hartford was not contacting him frequently with requests for information. However, review of the denial letter and claim file indicates that Hartford began investigating his claim shortly after he returned his Social Security overpayment. True to form, Hartford employed its usual process to deny benefits: video surveillance, field interview, and peer review. What made this case a little different than most was the fact that our client’s claim was being investigated under the “own occupation” definition of disability as opposed to the transitional period leading up to the change in definition to the much more liberal standard, “any occupation” definition of disability.
With less than a year on claim, no documented improvements in his medical condition, continued support from his treating physicians and an award for benefits from the Social Security Administration, Hartford determined that there was nothing that would prevent our cleint from returning to his former occupation. With that his claim was denied.
Prior to contacting our office, our client was represented by a different attorney who advised him that he would no longer represent him against Hartford. As such he contacted Dell Disability Lawyers with less than a month left in which to file his appeal within the 180 day deadline. He felt hopeless, defeated and willing to walk away from his policy. Attorney Stephen Jessup worked with him to secure a brief extension of time with which to file the appeal to ensure a copy of the claim file could be received, reviewed and undermined. With time of the utmost essence, Attorney Jessup coordinated additional functional testing for our client, consulted with his treatment providers to issue responses to Hartford’s medical review, and poured over the claim file finding numerous inconsistencies and holes in the video surveillance, vocational review and medical review to attack.
With all the updated information needed to counter Hartford’s reasons for denying the claim, Attorney Jessup submitted our client’s appeal. In less than the 45 days allowed under ERISA to render a decision, Hartford informed our office that it was overturning its decision to terminate the claim, reinstating the benefit and forwarding all benefits owed.
Has Hartford denied your claim for benefits under the “Own Occupation” definition of disability?
We are seeing increased denials of benefits by Hartford during the own occupation period of disability. We believe this to be a tactic by Hartford to allow them to set the tone for another denial at the “any occupation” period of disability. The reason being that if Hartford denies the benefit under your “own occupation” any subsequent appeal review will be with respect to the “own occupation” definition. In effect, Hartford could reinstate the claim for the remainder of the own occupation period and then enter denial under the any occupation period, prompting another appeal. It is presumed that Hartford hopes this will deter people from wanting to continue to fight for the benefits they are entitled to.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a claim with your disability insurance carrier, please feel free to contact Dell Disability Lawyersat 1-800-828-7583.
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Very satisfied with the work of this team. Took well care of my case and took all the necessary time to be responsive and attentive when I had questions. Guided me through recovery and returning to normalcy. All thanks to Jason & Tabitha, thank you!
I’m extremely satisfied with the experience I have had with this firm from day one. The lawyer who has handled my case, Alex, is very efficient and attentive to all my questions and concerns. They are always aware of how my case has gone and they care about my health. I feel optimistic with them because they are very attentive during the process of my claim. I would not hesitate to recommend families and friends if in any situation they need their services. Kathleen as well has been very well and assisted me with this case. I highly appreciate everything they have done for me.
It’s unfortunate when disability insurance companies come after older disabled policyholders just to help their bottom line. It can be a living nightmare the damage they can do to a family. Dell Disability Lawyers are polite, understanding and knowledgeable. They call you back and answer any question you have no matter how unimportant it can be. The amount of stress they took off of myself and family was incalculable. I recommend them highly to take care of any disability case whether it be filing for benefits or reversing a claim decision. They are outstanding.
I could not have been happier or more appreciative of the hard work they performed on my behalf. I was well briefed on my case and it was closed in a timely manner with a financially successful resolution.
Mr. Symonds and Sonia as well as everyone else we have worked with throughout this process have been very helpful, professional and caring to our situation. We are very thankful to have this great team on our side.
Without them my LTD company was dropping my plan with me still suffering from my accident, even with doctor’s statements I’m still disabled. The LTD company didn’t want to advance my policy to the next stage of years of pay. Dell Disability Lawyers saved my policy, and helped to enforce the LTD company’s own policy (for its policy holder, me) that I would be covered still under the LTD policy I had paid for at my previous job, when my accident occurred. These lawyers know what they are doing and can help you too. LTD companies will try to drop you when you still need coverage just because they don’t want to pay on your policy anymore. Don’t let them break contract with ya because they are trying to get out of it. Hit em with legal action to ensure the continuation of your policy you paid for. Dell Disability worked very well for me and continue to do so.
I was denied long term disability benefits from The Hartford after being on it for years. I found Dell Disability Lawyers after doing research online. In a matter of days they responded and explained to me everything that would be done. Dell Disability Lawyers were able to settle my suit against The Hartford very quickly and responded to me quickly. I would definitely recommend this team of lawyers for anyone that is fighting for their disability insurance.
I have had nothing but a great experience with Dell Disability Law Firm. Mr. Alex Palamara and his team went above and beyond my expectations. They will respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Thank you once again for taking my case.
This law firm is the best so far. MetLife denied me two times, they appealed two times for me and they won of course. So if you are on disability and want a chance at winning your case use this firm Dell disability lawyers, kind courteous understanding and they get the job done. You won’t be disappointed.