After only being on claim for ten months, Liberty Mutual unexpectedly terminated the continued receipt of long term disability benefits of a former Auto Damage Insurance Appraiser for Allstate Insurance Company. Within days of receiving the denial letter from the insurance company, the denied disability claimant contacted Attorneys Dell and Schaefer to assist him in the filing of an administrative ERISA appeal against Liberty Mutual. Thanks to the efforts of disability attorney Alex Palamara, just a few months after being denied, our Client is back on claim and again receiving his disability benefits.
Liberty Mutual and Its Unexpected Disability Denial Without Examining the Claimant
Our client, a former Allstate Employer worked for years with varying levels of pain on daily basis as a result of neck, back, shoulder, headaches, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Our client’s medical history included multiple injections, x-rays, MRIs, and surgeries. After 8+ years of suffering, our client left work on December 20, 2010. After applying for and being approved for Long Term Disability benefits that began May 7, 2011, Liberty Mutual denied continued benefits effective March 6, 2012. To say this denial after only 10 months of benefits was unexpected would be an understatement.
Although many are unaware, disability insurance policies often change the definition of disability after a certain time period. For instance, in a typical long term disability policy, after 24 months of benefits the definition of disability will change from “being unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your own occupation” to “being unable to perform the duties of any occupation.” This change in definition is often the basis for the initial denial of disability benefits after an individual has been approved.
In the case at hand, Liberty did not wait until the change in definition of disability to deny this person’s claim. Relying on a review of an “independent” physician who never treated, evaluated or even met with the claimant, Liberty Mutual denied his claim after only 10 months.
Preparation and Expertise Improve Chances of Success
Within days of being contacted by the denied claimant, Attorneys Dell and Schaefer began vigorously working to overturn Liberty’s decision. After having a chance to assess the denial letter and claim file, our attorneys saw several inconsistencies and deficiencies in Liberty’s decision to deny continued benefits. These deficiencies along with updated medical testing and medical records allowed our firm to make strong arguments as to why our client deserved to have benefits reinstated.
Liberty Mutual Agreed with Our Arguments in the Administrative Appeal
Within 10 days of our filing of the administrative appeal Liberty Mutual had issued a check for our client for the past months they had refused to pay. Today our client is currently on claim and we continue to represent him on a daily basis so that Liberty will not attempt to unreasonably deny his benefits.
If you have recently been denied by Liberty Mutual or another long term disability carrier, or if you are in fear that a denial may be forthcoming, contact us for a free review of your disability insurance claim.