Liberty Reinstates Long Term Disability Benefits for the Second Time

Our client, a former Liberty Mutual employee, has had a less than ideal experience with Liberty – both as an employee and as a recipient of disability insurance benefits. Issues she experienced in the workplace as a Liberty employee resulted in exacerbation of existing behavioral health issues that made her workplace environment so volatile she filed for disability benefits in order to take herself out of a harmful environment and address her mental and emotional health and well-being. Shortly after she filed her claim for Short Term Disability she contacted our office and spoke with Attorney Stephen Jessup. At that time she vocalized her concerns regarding Liberty’s handling of her STD claim and believed that Liberty’s action in handling the claim was in retaliation against her for filing an employment complaint against the company due to her workplace experience. To assist in alleviating the incredible amount of stress in dealing with Liberty she retained Attorney Jessup to handle her STD claim and to assist her in the transition of her claim from short to long term disability.

The First Denial

Before the effective start date of our client’s long term disability claim our client was notified by the Social Security Administration that it her claim for Social Security Disability benefits had been approved. The fact that the Social Security Administration had approved her claim for SSDI within a few short months of application was very surprising given how long the SSA can be in making a claim decision, as well as the high rate of denials experienced by first time applicants. The approval of her SSDI claim was evidence of the severity of our client’s behavioral health condition, and certainly strong evidence that in conjunction with the opinions of our client’s treatment providers supported our client’s entitlement to LTD benefits. However, Liberty’s position was anything but positive as our client received a denial of her claim for LTD benefits.

Despite having been approved and paid throughout the short term disability benefit period, Liberty’s so called “independent” peer review doctors drafted reports in which they opined that there was no evidence of any psychiatric impairment that would result in workplace restrictions and limitations since the time our client ceased working. Not only were these opinions the exact opposite of our client’s treatment providers and those of the Social Security Administration, they were in complete contradiction with the opinions of Liberty’s doctors who reviewed the same records and provided opinions that led to the approval of her STD claim.

Given the information contained in her file, our client and Attorney Jessup were convinced that Liberty was in fact retaliating against her for the employment complaint she had filed against them by denying her LTD claim. Attorney Jessup quickly and vehemently attacked Liberty’s denial of benefits and was ultimately successful in winning our client’s appeal.

Claims Handling and the Second Denial

Following the approval of our client’s benefits Liberty notified our office that our client’s claim was subject to an 18 month limitation for mental health conditions. The application of this limitation came as no surprise and was completely expected by both Attorney Jessup and our client. As with any claim for continued disability benefits, Liberty required ongoing proof of disability on a near monthly basis – specifically requesting updated medical records and claim forms. However, Liberty’s persistence in tormenting our client would culminate in another denial of benefits, which was again predicated solely on the review of our clients records by an outside doctor who never examined our client or spoke to her treatment providers.

It did not go unnoticed by Attorney Jessup that this most recent denial coincided with movement in her employment complaint against Liberty. Liberty’s denial was certainly an intimidation tactic that effectively upset our client resulting in additional symptoms of her disabling conditions. Attorney Jessup again attacked Liberty’s position and called them out for denying our client’s claim when there was less than six months of benefits payable, and again called into question the real motive for denial in light of the ongoing investigation of the employment complaint our client filed against them. In appealing the denial Attorney Jessup argued the illogical position proffered by Liberty’s doctor, as well as provided in depth responses to Liberty’s doctor’s report by our client’s treatment providers.

Approval

Within the initial 45 day deadline provided by ERISA to review the appeal, Liberty notified Attorney Jessup that it was reinstating our client’s long term disability benefit. This case serves as an example as to the lengths an insurance carrier will go to avoid liability under a policy. Despite the fact our client’s claim for long term disability benefit was being offset by SSDI (resulting in a very low monthly benefit payable by Liberty) and the limited time left on claim (approximately six months) Liberty still tormented its own insured and even worse- a former employee. With only a few months left of disability benefits Attorney Jessup is confident that after losing two times, Liberty will issue the remaining benefits to our client without issue.

If you have a disability insurance claim with Liberty or any other disability carrier and have questions and/or concerns with how your claim is being administered, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak to one of our disability insurance attorneys.

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FAQ

Do you help Liberty Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Liberty Mutual. 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 Liberty Mutual.

How do you help Liberty Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual:

  • 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.

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