Hartford Settles Disability Claim of 60 Year-Old Account Executive After Terminating LTD Benefits
Our client worked as an Account Executive for many years until he suffered an accident that required him to undergo neck surgery. Harford approved his long-term disability benefits and paid him for over three years. His condition never improved, in fact it became worse after he suffered a stroke. After paying the claimant for several years, Hartford determined that he was capable of returning to work in a full-time capacity, completely disregarding his treating physician’s medical opinion that he was incapable of full-time or even part-time work.
Hartford Tricks Treating Physician Into Signing Document Stating His Patient Can Work
Disability insurance carriers are notorious for harassing claimants’ treating physicians with an overwhelming amount of paperwork hoping at some point the physicians will become fed up and stop supporting their patient’s disability. The insurance carrier will send countless letters to treating doctors asking them to fill out documentation stating their patient can return to work. Unfortunately, most physicians are extremely busy and do not have time to read through lengthy paperwork and will sign off on forms that may or may not contain the correct information.
Hartford was not satisfied with the claimant’s treating physician’s opinions which supported his inability to perform full-time sedentary work with any reasonable continuity. Therefore, Hartford sent his doctor a statement asking him to sign if he agreed that he could go back to work or provide a reason he could not work full-time sedentary work. In haste, his physician signed Hartford’s statement not realizing it did not coincide with his previous opinions. Of course Hartford was hoping this would occur and as a result, the Hartford terminated his disability claim. However, the claimant’s physician was always of the opinion that he was not capable of full-time sedentary work and would stand by his original medical opinions.
It came as a surprise to our client when he learned that the physician he had been treating with for years, who consistently supported his inability to work, and previously stated that his disability was permanent, signed a letter provided by Hartford stating that he was able to return to full-time sedentary work.
In her appeal, Attorney Rachel Alters provided an additional Attending Physician’s Statement clarifying the medical opinions of the claimant’s treating physician. The claimant’s physician did not remember signing the letter stating his patient could return to work and had always been of the opinion that he was incapable of performing the material and substantial duties of his occupation or any gainful occupation due to cervical disc disease, radiculopathy, rotator cuff injury, neck and shoulder pain, left sided weakness, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back pain. Attorney Alters also argued that Hartford acted unreasonably by failing to consider the Social Security decision as well as failing to retain a qualified physician to review our client’s claim.
Hartford Acted Unreasonably By Failing To Hire a Physician to Review His Claim
Hartford had a duty to reasonably investigate our clients claim prior to terminating his benefits. However, Hartford did not even bother to retain a physician to review his claim and failed to have a physician’s examine him to determine whether he was disabled. Our client was clearly disabled as was confirmed by the Social Security Administration when they determined he was not capable of performing full-time sedentary work.
Hartford Upholds Decision To Deny Benefits and Claimant Files Suit In Federal Court
Hartford upheld its decision to deny our client’s benefits claiming that the medical evidence failed to support his inability to work in a full-time sedentary capacity. Dell Disability Lawyers filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of our client alleging that Hartford violated his rights under ERISA and that their decision to terminate his benefits was arbitrary and capricious. The suit was amicably resolved in a confidential settlement prior to trial.
If you would like to obtain a free consultation to discuss your disability insurance claim with Hartford or any disability company, then please contact Dell Disability Lawyers.
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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.
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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.
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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.