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Reliance Standard denies Diversified’s Director of National Account Sales long-term disability benefits despite long history or cardiac problems

Arthur “Skip” Cross was the Director of Diversified’s National Account Sales. Because of an aortic valve abnormality and problems stemming from that abnormality, Mr. Cross’s doctor indicated on April 3, 2002, that Mr. Cross was never expected to return to full- or part-time work. His cardiologist, in a letter to Reliance dated June 23, 2004, stated that Mr. Cross was permanently disabled.

Reliance then had its own cardiologist review Mr. Cross’s medical records. This cardiologist concluded that there had been no change in Mr. Cross’s cardiac condition that would have caused him to be disabled in June 2004, and denied Mr. Cross’s claim on September 24, 2004.

Mr. Cross appealed this decision, but Reliance made a final decision that he was not entitled to long-term disability benefits. This decision was based on a number of factors. One, Reliance concluded that the significant job stress caused by Mr. Cross’s boss did not cause him to be unable to physically perform his job, even if it did cause high stress. Two, Mr. Cross went nearly six months between visits with his cardiologist. Three, Mr. Cross was continuing to look for gainful employment during his period of total disability, and sent his last resume on June 22, 2004, the day before his cardiologist declared him totally disabled.

The court held that Reliance’s decision was not arbitrary and capricious, and had reasonably relied on the information available to it in Mr. Cross’s administrative record. Moreover, the facts in the record did not support Mr. Cross’s argument that Reliance was acting under a conflict of interest when coming to its decision to deny Mr. Cross long-term disability benefits.

See Cross v. Reliance Std. Life Ins. Co., No. 07-30473, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 294 (5th Cir. January 8, 2008).

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We represent Reliance Standard 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 Reliance Standard disability insurance policy?

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

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Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Reliance Standard 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 Reliance Standard:

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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.

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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.

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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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