Prudential’s denial of disability benefits to a salesperson is reversed

A judge in federal court ruled that by relying on an outdated job description in making its determination regarding a claim for long-term disability benefits Prudential acted arbitrarily. The Prudential failed to consider his current job duties as a Salesman in light of his current conditions, which included emphysema and coronary artery disease.

The Court ruled that had the proper job duties been used in Prudential’s reviews of the claim, the outcome likely would have been different. Prudential used an outdated Dictionary of Occupational Titles to portray the claimant’s position as a Salesman and its associated job duties, when it should have used the Occupational Information Network (O-Net). O-Net is the most comprehensive source of job descriptions, and is up-to-date.

The claimant’s own treating physicians’ opinions of the Salesman’s restrictions and limitations based on his emphysema and coronary artery disease were eventually given more weight because they had relied on the appropriate job description when evaluating whether the claimant could work as a Salesman.

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