Collecting Heart Disease Disability Benefits Is A Reality

Cardiac disease is among the most prevalent conditions throughout the United States, but because a diagnosis does not always equal disability, it can be difficult to get your disability insurance benefits approved. From congenital defects of the heart people suffer their whole lives to coronary heart disease and heart attacks, there are so many different conditions and varying reactions to these conditions that most people don’t know if they will qualify for long term disability benefits.

In this video and the article below, disability attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup explain what are some of the deciding factors to put you on the best path to get your disability insurance benefits approved (and keep the approved benefits from being denied) if you have a heart disease.

What Is Required To Prove A Heart Disease Disability Claim?

First and foremost, the insurance company will look at your medical diagnosis and history: have you had heart attacks, stents, heart surgeries? The more severe the condition, the more credibility and weight it will carry for the insurance company to approve the claim. To overcome the requirement of proof to show that you are limited by your heart disease and can’t commit to the 8 hours a day, five days a week required of your job, you will need to show your medical history and what has currently changed making you unable to work.

This can sometimes be difficult, as your subjective claim may not be supported by objective evidence – there is usually no tangible measure of saying you have this specific heart disease, so you should be in this amount of pain or have this much of cognitive decline; all of this is very individual, and that is the area that the disability carriers tend to take advantage of.

It will also depend on the kind of work that you do. If it’s physically demanding, it is usually easier to prove disability than when someone has a sedentary type of work (computer programmers, office work, and so on). With physical work, if you cannot finish a stress test, that’s an indication of physical decline and the inability to have the endurance to be able to complete the work. Functional capacity evaluations can show how quickly the fatigue sets in, and extrapolated over a 40-hour work week, it’s obvious there’s no way this person could do the physical nature of their job.

lawyer help for heart disease disability insurance claim

However, if your work is sedentary, the disability is more difficult to prove, especially if you struggle with cognitive rather than physical decline. Neuropsychological testing that indicates there is a decline in the ability to concentrate, function, and handle cognitively demanding tasks in jobs can be helpful here.

Your medical condition and history, occupation, and the specific demands of your job are important when establishing context, and then you need to figure out what is the best testing and additional information to support your claim.

Is It Possible To Prove Stress Exacerbates Your Condition And May Lead To Disability?

In most heart disease cases, doctors advise to avoid stressful situations, and it’s indisputable that work can be stressful – let’s face it, not everybody loves their job, and work can often have a lot of stressful situations. There is a large body of scientific work proving that stressful environments will have a negative effect on a cardiac condition; when people get into stressful events or situations, they immediately have physical manifestations where they experience elevated heart rates, syncope episodes, and the like. Physical symptoms can develop, and there may be exacerbations of your cardiac condition. However, the disability carriers often say, look, that is what your job entails, and we don’t necessarily believe that you need to avoid those stressful situations in order to do your job.

This is a difficult situation, because you want to prove that stress worsens your physical condition rather than claiming mental health issues – this should be avoided, because insurance companies may try to pigeonhole you there. Most of the time, it’s a matter of potential testing, for example, the aforementioned neuropsychological tests or the functional capacity evaluation. The latter, especially, will elicit stress response from a physiological standpoint, and you can use that to show that if you can’t get through a test in a – realistically, not that strenuous, at the end of the day – for three hours without having physiological responses (increased heart rate, perspiration, lightheadedness) in a controlled environment, you’re not going to be able to manage this in a workplace setting.

There are also other things to consider: if you can do your job one day, does this mean you can do it every day of the week? Are you going to be able to work with a reasonable continuity and perform those job duties?

In addition to stress, there may also be issues like fatigue, side effects of medication, a recent heart attack, cognitive difficulties, and so on.

Because it’s hard to prove, it’s best to have a solid body of objective evidence: a detailed statement from your doctor and tests results showing clearly why you cannot do your job with this condition.

If I Have A Chronic Heart Condition, Will I Stay On The Claim Indefinitely?

Unfortunately, previously approved claims can be denied later. We have seen cases where claimants were on long-term disability for several years, but then, their claim was reviewed by some doctor who looked at just one indicator – for example, the ejection fraction rate – and, finding it has not changed, proclaimed that since the condition hasn’t gotten worse and is staying the same, you can go back to work.

Often, that creates absurd situations – for example, we handled a claim for an OB-GYN who was told to go back to work after eight years of being paid long term disability. He hasn’t done any practice in eight years, yet he was expected to go back to the OR and deliver babies. Shocking, isn’t it?

However, although most heart conditions, especially the chronic ones, do not get better over time – and if fact may worsen – a lot of insurance companies presume that if you’re not getting worse, you’re getting better, and you can go back to work. So the best thing that you as a claimant (who is on the claim) can do to avoid a denial is consult with an attorney and discuss the case. Think about what the long term perspective is, get a better idea of your policy, learn how your policy works, what the pitfalls may be for your specific insurance company. The next step is an evaluation of your medical records to make sure that you still have all your ducks in a row to be able to make a strong argument that you haven’t gotten to a point where you can go back to full-time employment, even if there is some level of improvement.

You always have to stay on top of your medical records, because your claim is only as good as the manner in which you look on paper. And frankly, if you don’t look messed up on paper, if you don’t have the objective evidence, if you don’t have the complaints in your medical records, then the disability carrier, at any time, may find a reason to deny that claim.

Unfortunately, the treating doctors treat the patient, not the chart, and doctors aren’t great at documenting everything in the records. So when the insurance company gets the medical records, they cherry pick out the information that they think supports the basis for a denial.

This is why you need to work closely with your doctors to make sure that everything is well-documented in your medical records, and that you’re getting the appropriate diagnostic testing and any other kinds of functional type testing that’s going to help support your claim.

If you need help with your claim, here at Dell Disability Lawyers, we’re happy to provide you with a free initial consultation. That involves reviewing your disability policy, or if you’ve been denied, reviewing a copy of your denial letter. We’re going to let you know immediately whether or not we can assist you. No matter where you live in the country, we’re available to help you, and we make it a very easy process just through you giving us a call or emailing us your information.

Lastly, be sure to take a look throughout our website. Search by your company, your occupation, or your medical condition: you’re going to find lots of summaries of lawsuits and cases throughout the country, reviews about your company, and lots of tips through articles and videos that we’ve done to help you with your claim, no matter what stage it’s at.

We look forward to the opportunity to speak with you in the future, and we’ll be here should you need us.

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Disability Company Reviews
(642)
Showing 8 of 642 Reviews
Sedgwick

AT&T Was Great and Sedgwick Horrible

Reviewed by From a great job to a complete nightmare on March 20th 2024   Verified Policyholder | March 2024 date of disability
My Physician recommended that I take some time from a toxic environment after several deaths in my family coupled with AT&T trying to run tenured employees out of the door... read more >
New York Life

Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
Reliance Standard

Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >

Hartford

Former Hartford employee has had life insurance and accidental death policy's revoked for one late premium payment

Reviewed by Becky H. THOMAS on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | February 2024 date of disability
Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

Lincoln Financial

Never received benefits my entire leave - or help with them

Reviewed by Anna on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I used my short term disability insurance for maternity leave and started the process beforehand knowing when I would be out (scheduled induction.) It took a little over a... read more >
Sun Life

Unscrupulous Tactics

Reviewed by Misseekayy on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
Sunlife uses unscrupulous tactics in order to prevent payment of claims. They wait until it is close to the 30 day mark and then they ask for another form of information o... read more >
Sedgwick

Lame

Reviewed by Dennis T. on December 11th 2023   Verified Policyholder | March 2022 date of disability
My experience with Sedgwick and personell is as follows: Unhelpful, unprofessional and an overall unpleasant experience.
Guardian

Guardian has the least helpful folks I have ever met

Reviewed by Jaye W. on December 7th 2016   Verified Policyholder
Trying to get my husband’s short term debility started after a heart attack. I don’t understand their process for collecting information and making a decision about hi... read more >
Reply
Sent on December 7th 2016 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Jaye, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your husband’s claim.

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Showing 3 of 3 Answered Questions

Q: Would I qualify for disability or other program following a planned layoff?

Answered on February 15th 2024 by Attorney Jay Symonds
A: Robert, you can apply for and receive disability benefits under your employer’s group plan prior to your sch... Read More >

Q: Short term vs long term

Answered on February 14th 2024 by Attorney Jay Symonds
A: Nightwatcher, you and your treatment providers will be required to submit additional records and information a... Read More >

Q: Would it be better to continue to receive benefits from Lincoln Financial or should I seek a buyout?

Answered on February 22nd 2019 by Attorney Alex Palamara
A: AJ, I am sorry to hear of all the medical issues though I am happy to hear that Liberty Mutual has approved be... Read More >
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When you're seeking disability insurance benefits, your medical records and treating physician's statement are two of the most important components of your claim. But because the insurance company has a vested interest in denying your disability insurance claim, it often will rely on tactics like ambushing your doctor with a phone call in an attempt to get them ... Read More >

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Prior to filing for disability, our client was employed as a Manager of Data Engineering Analytics for Avanade. A job he loved and excelled at (and financially rewarding), our client was unfortunately forced to stop working in August 2017 due to significant heart issues. Fortunately, his employer provided him coverage under a Long Term Disability Insurance Policy with Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada shoul... Read More >

Hartford overturned its previous denial of LTD benefits for Illinois Account Representative

Our client, Mr. K, formerly worked as an Account Representative for an international brokerage firm. In May 2017 a number of medical issues, including the debilitating effects of chronic congestive heart failure, arteriosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery, chest pain forced Mr. K to stop working and submit his claim for disability benefits first under his employer’s short-term disability (STD) ... Read More >

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Mr. W was working as a Quality Assurance Engineer for a major technology company when he was forced to stop working at the age of 52. He had been suffering from severe heart disease and co-morbid complications. He also suffered a heart attack and had a progressively worsening diabetic foot ulcer which required him to use a knee scooter to ambulate.After filing a claim for disability benefits under his empl... Read More >

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Growing up on the coastal waters of Louisiana it was only natural for Chance to pursue a career on the water. Before joining BMSC as a Relief Captain, Chance had worked on the water either piloting boats or as a tankerman loading and discharging barges. By the time he began working for BMSC he had over 30 years of experience working on the water and specifically on large vessels like freighters and barges.... Read More >

Disability Attorney Alexander Palamara Proves to Unum that Its Decision to Deny Benefits Was Wrong for Claimant Suffering from Heart Conditions

Before contacting our firm, our client had been out on disability since March of 2005. Prior to 2005, our client worked for Pinelawn Cemetery for 13 years as a Sales Counselor. Unfortunately, he was forced to stop working in March of 2005 due to various medical conditions including Chronic Pain Syndrome, Severe and Progressive Coronary Disease, neck pain, back pain, hip pain, etc. Thankfully, his employer prov... Read More >

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Mr. P was employed with Kemper Corporation ("Kemper") when he was diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease and was forced to undergo a quintuple bypass surgery, leading to his total disability and complete inability from performing the material duties of his occupation as an insurance sales manager. Kemper insured all of its full-time employees, including Mr. P, under a group long-term disability insuranc... Read More >

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MetLife terminated our client's LTD benefits even after receiving a neuropsychological report documenting deficiencies in her executive level functioning. According to the neuropsychologist, the claimant was not capable of performing the duties of her occupation as a Bank Examiner for the FDIC as a result of her cognitive deficiencies, fatigue, depression and anxiety.MetLife Ignored Neuropsychological Eval... Read More >
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Appellate Court Agrees with Zurich Decision to Deny Accidental Death Benefits to Wife of Man with Cardiac Condition

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In Harlan Ten Pas v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, (Lincoln) Plaintiff, a tax attorney with the firm of McGladrey LLP (McGladrey), suffered a heart attack on Sunday, August 31, 2014. He had worked a full day at the office on Friday, August 29, 2014.Plaintiff worked at home part of each day, Sunday August 30 and Saturday August 31, before going to his summer camp in Wisconsin f... Read More >

Metlife Denial of Long Term Disability Benefits For Heart Disease Claimant is Reversed

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Federal Court Reverses Unum's Denial of Long-Term Disability Benefits

The case of Arturo J. Otero v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America has an extensive procedural history going back to 2005 when Otero first applied for disability benefits due to his atrial fibrillation. He had a contentious bout with Unum at that time and returned to work on a part-time-basis in 2010. He continued to pay premiums to Unum for disability coverage.In February 2013, Otero filed a new claim ... Read More >

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Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability denial.

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Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

We are disability insurance attorneys that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.

In more than 98% of our cases, our attorneys have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our disability insurance lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

We offer disability insurance attorney representation nationwide and we welcome you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 850 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.

Who do you help?

Our disability insurance attorneys help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.

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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 insurance 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.

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No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via phone, email, fax, or video conferencing sessions. 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.

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When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability insurance attorney. We can be reached at 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers 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.

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