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The Standard Disability Insurance Company paid one doctor $577,000 to review 1,939 files over 2 years

In a recent long-term disability case against The Standard Insurance Company the court granted specific discovery request in order to further explore The Standard’s potential conflict of interest. The Standard objected to all questions that the claimant’s disability attorney had asked with regard to The Standard’s potential bias and conflict of interest. Prior to granting the disability claimant’s specific interrogatories sent to The Standard, the federal judge noted previous information which showed a bias in the working relationship between the Standard and the physicians that they hired to review long-term disability claims.

The judge specifically noted that previous discovery:

“revealed that Dr. Zivin reviewed 398 files for Standard from 2003 to 2005, and Standard paid him $ 115,228 during this period.” Discovery also disclosed that “Dr. Dickerman reviewed 1,939 files for Standard from 2003 to 2005, for which Standard paid him $ 577,000.”

Our law firm has reviewed numerous claims handled by The Standard in which both Dr. Zivin and Dr. Dickerman rendered opinions that the disability claimant was not disabled. It is not surprising to see how much The Standard was paying these doctors.

The court reviewed the interrogatories sent to The Standard and ordered The Standard to answer the following questions which relate directly to the conflict of interest issue:

  1. Did you impose management checks that penalize inaccurate decisionmaking, regardless of whom the inaccuracy benefits, which applied to Kathleen Hackett’s claim?
  2. Produce all documents which evidence whether you imposed management checks that penalize inaccurate decisionmaking, regardless of whom the inaccuracy benefits, which applied to Kathleen Hackett’s claim.
  3. Since 2000, have you penalized any employee for making an inaccurate decision that favors Standard?
  4. Produce all documents which evidence any penalty you have imposed since 2000 on any employee for making an inaccurate decision that favors Standard.
  5. Since 2000, have you penalized any employee for making an inaccurate decision that favors an insured?
  6. Produce all documents which evidence any penalty you have imposed since 2000 on any employee for making an inaccurate decision that favors an insured.
  7. From 2003 to 2005, how many times did Dr. Zivin provide an opinion supporting denial of disability benefits under the “any occupation” standard?
  8. From 2003 to 2005, how many times did Dr. Zivin provide an opinion supporting allowance of disability benefits under the “any occupation” standard?
  9. From 2003 to 2005, how many times did Dr. Dickerman provide an opinion supporting denial of disability benefits under the “any occupation” standard?
  10. From 2003 to 2005, how many times did Dr. Dickerman provide an opinion supporting allowance of disability benefits under the “any occupation” standard?

The court limited the scope of the time period for the answers to between 2000 and 2006. It will be interesting to see how The Standard answers these questions. It is great to see that a federal judge is holding The Standard’s feet to the fire and exposing their potentially unreasonable claims handling tactics.

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FAQ

Do you help Standard claimants nationwide?

We represent 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 Standard disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Standard claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a 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 Standard:

  • 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

Do you work in my state?

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.

How can I contact you?

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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Very professional. Very consumer/client oriented. Rachel Alters always had time to answer my questions. She is also very understanding and organized. Rachel and her associates met my expectations and more. They filed my claim for me and were very meticulous and detailed with all documentation needed to file my claim.

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