Court upheld Standard's decision to deny disability benefits

Carol Shepherd, a fork-lift operator for Daramic, was insured under the company’s group disability plan with Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company. In 2004, Ms. Shepherd had an anxiety attack at work and Daramic suspended her and required that she participate in anger management before returning to work. During her suspension, Ms. Shepherd was receiving treatment at Owensboro Medical Health System Outpatient Counseling Center where she was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety disorder.

Prior to her suspension, Ms. Shepherd worked the swing shift but when it was time to return to work she requested the day shift because her treating physician believed the sleep disturbances would aggravate her psychological conditions. When Daramic refused to give Ms. Shepherd the day shift her doctor said she could not return to work and Ms. Shepherd applied for long-term disability benefits.

Reliance denied Ms. Shepherd’s claim stating that she is not totally disabled and had their own reviewing psychiatrist evaluate her medical records. Reliance upheld its denial of benefits on appeal and Ms. Shepherd sued, seeking benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

After reviewing the case, U.S. Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. of the Western District of Kentucky found that Reliance’s decision to deny benefits was reasonably supported by Ms. Shepherd’s medical record. The judge rejected Ms. Shepherd’s claim that Reliance failed to conduct a personal psychological evaluation since the company’s psychiatrist “thoroughly reviewed Ms. Shepherd’s medical record and relied on the evidence therein to form his opinion.” Judge McKinley found that there was no competent medical proof in the record to support a disability claim.

See Carol Shepherd v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., No. 4:06CV-83, W.D. Ky.; 2007 U.S. Dist..


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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'

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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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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 >

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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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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 >

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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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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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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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