Lincoln Denies Disability Benefits to 66 Years old Software Developer with Long Covid and Multiple Sclerosis

Our client came to us after he was denied continued Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. Previously employed as a Software Developer for Novo Nordisk, the multinational pharmaceutical company, after years of service our client found he could no longer work following a severe case of Covid 19 which left him hospitalized for 30 days.

Following the Covid infection, this Software Developer continued to have symptoms associated with PACS (post-acute covid syndrome). Additionally, his covid infection complicated his past diagnosis of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. His symptoms included (and include) debilitating fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive decline which include processing issues, forgetfulness, difficulty with concentration, taking longer to do things and exhaustion. All of this led to him being unable to perform his high intellectually demanding career as a software developer.

Fortunately, his employer provided him with Disability Insurance coverage and that coverage was with The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company.

Following his stopping work in February of 2021, our client quickly made a claim for LTD benefits which was initially approved by Lincoln. Benefits started in early August of that year and benefits were paid consistently and on-time. It all seemed too easy and, unfortuantely, it was. However, when dealing with a disability insurance company, no one should never let their guard down.

Our client learned this when out of nowhere he received a denial letter in July of 2022.

The July 28, 2022 Denial of his Claim

By way of the aforementioned denial letter, Lincoln informed our client that it was denying additional benefits based upon the opinion of a hired Peer Review Consulting Physician who was of the opinion that ongoing restrictions were not supported. Keep in mind that this reviewing doctor, who was board certified in pulmonary diseases and internal medicine, never treated our client, never met our client and never even spoke with our client or the treating providers. However, based upon a review of some of the medical records in the file, this outside doctor believed his opinion to be superior than those of the treating providers, and Lincoln utilized this opinion to justify a denial of continued benefits.

Baffled by this denial and due to the fact that there was just no way that he could do his own occupation due to his medical conditions, our client found our firm and Attorney Alexander Palamara who quickly agreed to take on his claim.

Dell Disability Lawyers Hit the Ground Running

As soon as he was retained to represent this former Novo Nordisk employee, Attorney Palamara immediately ordered the claim file from Lincoln and quickly arranged for additional testing of his client to prove the various complaints that our client was suffering from. Attorney Palamara also reached out to the treating providers to garner additional support for this claim. Every piece of evidence that came all supported the contention that our client was prevented from performing the material and substantial duties of his own occupation.

For instance, Attorney Palamara sent his client to a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) in an effort to show that he was physically functionally unable to perform the material duties of his occupation. The results of this testing showed that our client could not perform work even at a Sedentary Level.  Additionally, Attorney Palamara sent his client to a Neuropsychological Evaluation. The results of this testing showed a decline in various ability to recognize, recall and retrieve information and that he had a decline in his overall neurocognitive functioning. The testing psychologist even stated that there was “valid, objective evidence… to support a claim of neurocognitive disability and neurocognitive deficits” and concluded that our client could not “meet the usual demand of his employment at this time.”

Not to be outdone, the treating providers of our client also wrote letters that supported the contention that our client was disabled. His Post-Covid treating provider wrote that due to the fact that our client had “daily symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, and body aches”, it is recommended “that he remain out of work.” Additionally, his treating neurologist wrote that due to the notable exacerbations of MS following Covid, his patient was incapable of even low stress work.

Filing the Lincoln Financial Appeal and Getting a Quick Decision

With all our ducks in a row, the appeal almost wrote itself.  Armed with so much support from the various testing the treating providers, Attorney Palamara gave Lincoln no choice but to reinstate this claim. And Lincoln did just that.

The appeal was filed on March 23, 2023. Although the governing ERISA laws give the insurance companies up to 90 days to provide an answer on the appeal, the reapproval letter was dated April 14, 2023. A decision in 3 weeks almost never happens. However, with the right plan of action, not only can an appeal be successful, but it can get the job done quickly.

Now that our client is back on claim, we understand that the fight is not over. In fact, it will never be over until our client recovers and is able to return to work or until our client ages out of policy coverage. However, our firm will continue to fight to ensure that our client gets all the benefits that he needs.

If you have been denied benefits by Lincoln or any disability insurance company, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We would love the opportunity to speak with you and hopefully represent you in getting benefits you deserve.


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Lincoln Financial Reviews
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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 >
Lincoln Financial

Well Documented correspondence

Reviewed by Joshua on November 23rd 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I read other situations and it’s all very similar to my case. I have received STD from May 2023 and when my FMLA run out LF would not respond or answer my calls. My last... read more >
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Lincoln Financial made my life a living hell

Reviewed by Salyna D on June 1st 2022   Verified Policyholder
Lincoln Financial made my life a living hell. I went on medical leave from my job just to work for them basically. My mental health is worse than it was and I still do not... read more >
Reply
Sent on June 2nd 2022 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Salyna, I am sorry to hear about your experience. I wish I could say it is an anomaly, but it is an all too common occurrence. Depending on if the claim was ever approv... read more >

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln Financials wants to claw back my money

Reviewed by Paul F. on June 30th 2021   Verified Policyholder
Lincoln financial wants to claw back money from ssi and we had two employers so I got disability from both employers one used Lincoln one used Cal EDD for short term so we... read more >
Reply
Sent on June 30th 2021 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Paul, unfortunately, under employer provided policies there are provisions related to offsets for sources of Other Income. Both the California disability and Social Sec... read more >

Lincoln Financial

This is the second time I've been shorted in my check

Reviewed by Wendy J. on June 16th 2021   Verified Policyholder
I have been out of work since 3/25/21. I had to jump thru hoops to get an extension from 4/28/21 to 6/13/21. I have had MRI, x rays which showed anuerysmal tumor on my fib... read more >
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Lincoln Financial denied my STD claim because one doctor didn't send them my medical information.

Reviewed by Eric J. on April 6th 2021   Verified Policyholder
In late January 2021 I was referred to a Doctor I meet her for 15 minutes she ordered some X-rays and blood work. In mid Feb I called to change my next appointment due to ... read more >
Reply
Sent on April 6th 2021 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Eric, it sounds like there is more to the story than what Lincoln is telling you. Have you received the formal denial letter? If so, we can review the letter with you t... read more >

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln cancelled my benefits because my doctor's notes were handwritten

Reviewed by Maci P. on February 7th 2021   Verified Policyholder
I have been on a short term disability since June of 2020. I was paid additional benefits through Lincoln Financial after SDI paid me. In august of 2020, Lincoln Financial... read more >
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Sent on February 7th 2021 by Attorney Rachel Alters

Maci, unfortunately this is common behavior for Lincoln. Please contact our office at 888-729-3355 and ask to speak to an attorney who can assist you with your STD appe... read more >

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln denied my disability claim even though Dr said I couldn't work

Reviewed by Richard F. on December 25th 2020   Verified Policyholder
My Doctor took me out of work starting October 12, 2020 due to GI illness. I am unable to work. Lincoln denied my disability claim.
Reply
Sent on December 25th 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Richard, have you filed an administrative appeal of the denial? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim and denial in detail to determine how we ma... read more >

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Showing 8 of 49 Answered Questions

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A: Sandra, I am sorry to hear of the issues that Lincoln is giving you. Unfortunately, while Lincoln has to take ... Read More >
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