Prudential Insurance Company’s denial of short-term disability benefits to attorney is reversed

John Smith, a 60 yr old attorney, stopped working on April 8, 2004 due to major depression and chronic pain. Mr. Smith was covered for short-term disability benefits under a Prudential Group Policy provided by his employer. Between April 8, 2004 and August 30, 2004 Mr. Smith filed for disability benefits on three separate occasions as during this time period he tried to return to work on two separate occasions.

The first two applications for short-term benefits were approved and the third and final application was denied. Mr. Smith submitted two administrative appeals to Prudential and both were denied. Approximately January 2006 Smith filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking short-term and long-term disability benefits.

On October 3, 2007, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that Prudential arbitrarily denied Mr. Smith’s short-term benefits and that the denial must be reversed. The court further stated that they did not see any medical evidence submitted by Mr. Smith to support an award of long-term disability. Specifically, Mr. Smith did not have his doctors submit any documentation which would support a long-term disability claim.

While reviewing the short-term claim, the court stated that Prudential provided no explanation as to why they relied on Mr. Smith’s doctor’s opinion during the first two approvals for disability benefits, but refused to do so for Mr. Smith’s third application for disability benefits. The court further noted that “Prudential’s focus on Smith’s future ability to return to work is illogical in the context of short-term benefits.”

See Smith v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 2007 US District Lexis 74492 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 3, 2007).

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Can you help with a Prudential disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Prudential claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Prudential 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 Prudential:

  • 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

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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 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.

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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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