Long Term Disability Benefits Reinstated: After Administrative Appeal filed by Dell Disability Lawyers, The Standard Overturns Decision To Deny Former Employee of T-Mobile USA

Our client worked as a Retail Sales Leader for T-Mobile USA for a number of years before he was forced to stop working in July of 2010 due to various serious medical conditions. Our client left work due to the restrictions and limitations caused by hepatitis, proteinuria, fatigue, toxic myopathy and dermatomyositis. The dermatomyositis alone left our client with generalized malaise and acute body rashes. At one point his conditions left him in a wheel chair and requiring assistance with bathing, toileting, dressing, transferring and even forced him to be on a feeding tube. Although our client was no longer bed ridden after most of 2011, he still was unable to perform with reasonable continuity the material duties of his own occupation or even any occupation.

Fortunately for our client, his employment at T-Mobile USA provided him with a Long Term Disability Insurance Policy with The Standard Insurance Company should he become disabled and unable to perform the duties of his own occupation or any occupation. Shortly after becoming unable to continue to work due to his various conditions, our client applied for and was approved for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits by The Standard. These benefits were initially paid from October 2010 through January 5, 2012.

The Standard’s First Denial

By way of a letter dated May 31, 2013, our client was informed by The Standard that his continued benefits were being denied as it believed that he had the functional abilities to perform his prior Light Duty occupation as a Retail Sales Leader for T-Mobile USA. Based on a Physician Consultant’s review, The Standard found that our client was able to resume work back in January of 2012. In further support of its position, The Standard noted the fact that our client was enrolled and taking classes at Arizona State University since the beginning of the 2012 Spring Semester, which began on January 5, 2012. Because The Standard was denying the claim in May of 2013 but found him not disabled since January of 2012, The Standard demanded that over $28,000 be returned as an overpayment for the benefits paid from January 2012 through May 2013.

Shocked and scared due to the amount of money being demanded by The Standard, our client immediately filed an appeal challenging The Standard’s decision. Unfortunately for our client, The Standard upheld most of its earlier decision.

The Standard’s Second Denial

By way of a letter dated November 22, 2013, The Standard informed our client that it was agreeing to pay the LTD claim through June 30, 2013, but was denying the claim thereafter. The Standard noted that according to the policy, as of October 13, 2012 our client had to be disabled from all occupations which he is able to perform which can be expected to earn at least 60% of his indexed predisability earnings within twelve months following his return to work. In support of its position to deny benefits beyond June 30, 2013, The Standard yet again relied upon a Physician Consultant’s review. This reviewer found that due to dermatomyositis our client “was unable to do any level of work consistently until 06/30/2013.” Using the opinion of its reviewer, The Standard found our client capable of performing full time sedentary work as of July 1, 2013.

Claimant Hired Dell Disability Lawyers

After receiving his second denial letter, our client was relieved to have been awarded additional benefits for the period of January 2012 through June 2013. Unfortunately he realized that he could not yet perform the duties of any occupation and he knew that he was not physically up to the task of filing a second appeal on his own. Nearly 4 months after receiving The Standard’s latest denial letter, our client found Dell Disability Lawyers and immediately hired us to file the second administrative appeal.

Because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) only affords a claimant 180 days to file an administrative appeal to challenge a denial, and because we were not hired until nearly 120 days had past, time was of the essence for Attorney Alexander Palamara to begin Dell Disability Lawyers’ appeals process.

Appeal filed by Dell Disability Lawyers

Dell Disability Lawyers immediately retrieved any and all updated medical records from our client’s treating physicians as well as the claim file from The Standard. A review of all the documents demonstrated that The Standard failed to understand the significance of our client’s medical conditions and the effects these conditions continued to have on his ability to perform the material duties of any occupation, as defined by the policy. The appeal noted that The Standard has continually relied upon “Paper” reviews only to deny his claim, meaning that they have never had a physician examine our client. These paper reviews were conducted despite the fact that the policy governing the claim provides The Standard with the opportunity to have our client “examined at reasonable intervals by specialists of (its) choice.” The Appeal further stressed the consistent opinions of our client’s medical providers and the objective evidence found in the medical records.

With this appeal, we believe that The Standard was left with no reasonable avenue but to reinstate our client’s claim or face a strong lawsuit. Fortunately for our client, the Appeal was successful and The Standard reinstated his claim with benefits being provided from July 1, 2013 forward. Our client remains on claim to this day and he knows that Dell Disability Lawyers will do whatever it takes to keep our client approved until he is able to return to work or until his policy expires.

If you have been denied disability benefits by The Standard or any other disability insurance provider, please do not hesitate to contact Dell Disability Lawyers for a free consultation.


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Standard Reviews
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Standard is one of, if not the worse, company in the industry now

Reviewed by Anonymous Erisa Victim on December 5th 2019   Verified Policyholder
The Standard changed after the company was acquired by Japanese based Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company in 2016 and subsequently being delisted from the US stock exchang... read more >
Standard

Standard is one of, if not the worse, company in the industry Standard hasn't approved or denied my claim in over a year. They keep promising to look at it 'next week'

Reviewed by S.B. on August 22nd 2019   Verified Policyholder
My husband is covered by a Standard STD/LTD non-ERISA plan. He has a very rare neuromuscular disorder and was hospitalized in intensive care, was off work for 6 weeks (wai... read more >
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Sent on August 22nd 2019 by Attorney Jay Symonds

S.B., this sounds extremely unusual and unreasonable, I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have re... read more >

Standard

I waited 5 weeks just to be told I can't receive benefits

Reviewed by Marissa on June 11th 2019   Verified Policyholder
After working overtime and stressing behind my job for the past 5 years, it resulted in me being diagnosed with retinopathy hypertension, at the age of 29, on 12/10/2018. ... read more >
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Sent on June 11th 2019 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Marissa, I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis and the troubles Standard is giving you. Please contact our office at once for a free consultation. We would love to speak... read more >

Standard

The Standard will threaten to withhold your pay until you sign every document that they send you. The worst part is when they consider back payment for SSDI benefits

Reviewed by Gena on December 10th 2017   Verified Policyholder
First of all, the worst thing that could ever happen to a hard-working person is a permanent disability. Fighting to secure payment is hard enough when you are well. Let a... read more >
Standard

Standard's sudden denial was inexplicable

Reviewed by Linda on September 13th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I was placed on disability by my doctor with a diagnosis of Cognitive Impairment (supported by both a neurologist and a neuropsychologist) which severely affects my abilit... read more >
Standard

Standard has keep me jumping through hoops for years

Reviewed by Donna on July 26th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I have been on LTD with The Standard since September 2011. The have had me jumping through hoops for all these years. Very rude if I call and ask a question. They say they... read more >
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Sent on July 26th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Donna, please contact our office with a copy of the denial letter so we can discuss in detail how we may be able to assist you in appealing the denial.

Standard

Mental health LTD should be covered under the Mental Health Parity Act

Reviewed by Kim V. on February 10th 2017   Verified Policyholder
My company contracted with Standard for our short and long term disability policies. In Jan 2014 I was on STD, which turned into LTD with a waiting period, which was tough... read more >
Standard

Standard Insurance Company is NOT here to help employees

Reviewed by Kandi on November 9th 2015   Verified Policyholder
The Standard insurance are NOT here to help an employee, although they sure don’t hesitate to take our money every month. I have been out of work since April 18th 2015 d... read more >
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Sent on November 9th 2015 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Kandi, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to discuss your claim. If it has been over two and a half months and you have not received any benefits it is suffi... read more >

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A: Lucas, it sounds like your claim for STD benefits is under a policy that is self-funded by your employer. Thus... Read More >

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A: It is in your best interest to contact us as early as possible if you think you are going to need to file a lo... Read More >

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A: Pam, if an appeal has already been submitted there may be very little an attorney could do at this point until... Read More >

Q: Can Standard pull my Social Security benefits from my checking account without my written knowledge?

Answered on August 3rd 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Melissa, if you signed an authorization allowing them access to your account to recover it, then you may have ... Read More >
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