Hartford reverses disability benefit denial after previously paying 62 year old sales rep for 6 years

Our client, a 62 year old former pharmaceutical sales rep, had been receiving long term disability benefits with Hartford Insurance Company for nearly six years due to chronic back pain, which had resulted in six surgeries in a span of several years, when Hartford abruptly terminated his claim for long term disability benefits.

Hartford had initially determined that our client was unable to perform the material and substantial duties of his pre-disability occupation as a pharmaceutical sales representative. Then, two years later when our client’s occupational definition switched from “own occupation” to the much more broad “any occupation” definition of disability, Hartford again determined that due to his physical limitations and documented medical conditions, that he remained disabled as defined under the terms and conditions of the policy. Additionally, the Social Security Administration had approved disability benefits due to the disabling nature of his physical conditions and upheld its decision on reassessment.

However, despite the overwhelming medical evidence supporting his claim for long term disability benefits, the length of the claim history, and his advanced age, our client was not safe from scrutiny by Hartford. As our disability lawyers have seen on most Hartford disability denials, Hartford conducted video surveillance on our client and submitted him to an in home field interview. Hartford subsequently denied our client’s claim and relied upon the video surveillance, field interview statement, and medical records from one to two years earlier. The client subsequently contacted Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer to assist him with the ERISA Appeal of his disability benefit denial.

Attorney Stephen Jessup, prepared and filed the ERISA mandated administrative appeal on behalf of our client. In reviewing the claim and the extensive medical history, it became clear that the ultimate issue was not the sufficiency of the medical records, but rather Hartford’s actual review and reliance upon ancillary, non medical “evidence” used to deny the claim. Specifically, Attorney Jessup attacked Hartford’s reliance on and the contents of the video surveillance, the seemingly blatant manufacturing and cherry picking of dated documents and statements used by field interviewer, and the contents of the “any occupation” vocational review conducted by Hartford. In systematically attacking and countering the arguments relied upon by Hartford in terminating our clients claim, and by furnishing additional medical information and other items in support of the claim, Attorney Jessup was successful in forcing Hartford to reverse its termination of benefits.

This claim, and the hardships endured by our client during the appeal process, serves as a reminder to those on long term disability benefits that no matter the length of time one has been on claim, or their age (in relation to actual retirement claim or potential time left on claim) long term disability benefits are not guaranteed benefits. An insurance carrier is constantly reviewing claims for long term disability on a month to month basis, and with the state of the law in relation to ERISA based group disability policies, the insurance carriers will look for any reason they find “reasonable” in denying a claim for benefits.

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FAQ

Do you help Hartford claimants nationwide?

We represent Hartford clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Hartford disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Hartford. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Hartford.

How do you help Hartford claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Hartford long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Hartford:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Les D. (Montana)

I reached out to Dell & Schaefer because my ongoing disability claim was being closed, my 3 appeals were unsuccessful. Steve was extremely professional and empathetic to my situation. He did a lot of work & won the appeal with CIGNA, got the checks coming including all past payments. The care and prompt handling of my claim didn’t stop there. Steve and his assistant Sonia were always ready to answer questions & concerns promptly and professionally. They genuinely cared and were interested in how I was doing.

After a year Steve negotiated a buyout settlement on my claim. I couldn’t be happier with his handling of the entire process. Steve and Sonia have truly made my life easier, I know I couldn’t have won my case alone. I can genuinely say I will miss them, their caring & kind words of reassurance. They always put my best interests first and foremost. I give them & the firm my highest recommendation. I would not hesitate to tell anyone who needs an attorney to use them.

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