Our law firm was recently contacted by a woman that has been denied long-term disability benefits by Hartford. The claim is currently pending, but I asked if I could share her story so that others could learn about the real actions taken by disability companies such as Hartford. I strongly advise all disability claimants to never submit for a field interview without the presence of an attorney.
Hi Greg. YES you can share my story, if it helps only one other person out there it would make me happy. I worked for U.S. Bank for 25 years when I started being hospitalized with chronic asthma/copd, with stays lasting anywhere from 2 to 13 days. USB told me in 1996 I needed to go on Long term disability so I applied and got approved as of January 1997. First through UNUM and then two years later they switched to Hartford. Hartford made me file for Social Security Disability which I was awarded 2 years later. So Hartford has been paying me disability for 12 years. My main disability is the asthma/copd but because I am steroid dependent I also became obese, had cataracts removed from both eyes and now have diabetes with neuropathy in my feet and hands. I answered all of Hartford’s letters honestly, and then they video taped me behind my back, they tried 6 times but I only left the house for 3 of those instances. I was running errands, using bank machine and grocery shopping. Then of course I had the interview which I agreed to because I didn’t have anything to hide. Three hours of interrogation with Hartford, I was exhausted. Then 3 months later I got the denial letter. I couldn’t find an attorney to help me, so I wrote my own appeal letter. So yesterday I got a letter from Hartford telling me they are going to send me to an IME. Not trusting Hartford any longer I got on line and sent you a message. So I am very suspicious of why they are sending me to an IME when everyone I talked to told me they would deny me again. I think they are trying to get another “expert independent opinion” on their side to use against me.
I advised this woman that she should videotape her IME exam and request that Hartford send a copy of the IME report to her treating physicians prior to rendering a final decision on her claim. I also told this woman that she should make sure that each of her doctors review the disability video surveillance and provide a written response to Hartford. Hartford has a practice of denying a claimant’s request for videotapes, but they will secretly send the video tapes to your treating physicians and ask one-sided questions in an effort to deny a claim.