Hartford Overturns Denial of Long-term Disability Benefits For Disabled JP Morgan Chase Banker

Ms. M was employed as a personal banker with JP Morgan Chase when he began experiencing debilitating diabetic symptoms, diabetic retinopathy and peripheral neuropathy. JP Morgan Chase provided its employees with group long-term disability insurance with Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company (“Hartford”). By 2010, Mr. M’s diabetes was out of control despite his attempts to control it through medication. He experienced headaches, dizziness, fatigue and persistent visual impairment. By early 2011 he was experiencing severe fatigue, his blood sugar was running between 200-300, he was experiencing neuropathic pain in his legs and his vision continued deteriorating due to diabetic retinopathy.

As a personal banker, Mr. M was frequently standing, processing financial transactions, using the computer and interacting with customers. Unfortunately, due to his worsening conditions, Mr. M was forced to notify JP Morgan Chase and Hartford that he was having difficulty performing his occupational duties and could no longer continue in his position. After being notified, Hartford gathered medical records and employment information, and following its review approved Ms. M’s claim for long-term disability benefits.

Hartford requests field interview with claimant after conducting video surveillance

By the end of 2011, Hartford began conducting video surveillance of Mr. M. The surveillance observed Mr. M running errands, driving short distances and walking with and without a cane. He was observed using a computer and talking on his cell phone.

In early 2012, after the video surveillance was taken, Hartford contacted Mr. M to conduct a field interview with one of its “investigators”. By the time of the interview, Mr. M had gone completely blind in his left eye and was wearing an eyepatch and his right eye vision was 20/400. He reported that he was able to run errands but if he anticipated walking for any length of time he would use his cane or motorized cart if the store made them available. Mr. M said nothing to contradict any prior statements and was completely 100% honest with the investigator interviewing him.

Hartford sends claimant to two independent medical examinations

Hartford was not satisfied with the video surveillance and field interview that confirmed that Mr. M was totally disabled. It now wanted to subject Mr. M to not one but two independent medical examinations with a physical pain and rehabilitation physician and a forensic psychiatrist, due to Mr. M’s reports of depression and anxiety resulting from his deteriorating physical condition. By this time, Mr. M. had applied and been awarded social security disability benefits and, in turn, Hartford was receiving the financial benefit of reducing Mr. M’s monthly benefit by the amount he was receiving from social security disability. In addition to the two independent medical examinations, Hartford selected an ophthalmologist to conduct a peer review of his medical records, however, the peer review physician never examined Mr. M’s vision or eyes personally.

Hartford and its team of physicians concluded that there was not enough medical evidence to support Mr. M’s claims of loss of visual functional capacity and that based on the totality of the medical records and the video surveillance benefits should be discontinued.

Mr. M contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer and retained Attorney Cesar Gavidia to represent him with his appeal of benefits. Attorney Gavidia and his team began by gathering all of Ms. M’s medical records and requesting the extensive Hartford claim file, as well as copies of all video surveillance and investigative reports. Attorney Gavidia contacted and spoke with Mr. M’s physicians, who expressed shock that Mr. M’s disability claim was denied and reaffirmed their support for Mr. M by completing customized attending physician statements.

Soon after receiving the appeal and the exhibits of evidence, Hartford contacted Attorney Gavidia and informed him that it was reversing its decision and would be reinstating Mr. M’s long-term disability benefits.

Mr. M is currently on claim and receiving long-term disability benefits from Hartford. Attorney Gavidia and his team at Dell & Schaefer monitor Hartford’s actions and ensure that all requests for medical documentation and claimant updates are addressed promptly and accurately.

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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.

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