Our client suffered from multiple, incurable medical conditions that caused chronic pain and limited range of motion. Some of her diagnoses included sickle cell disease, chronic pain syndrome, and degenerative joint disease. Due to her chronic pain, she also suffered from depression and anxiety. She attempted suicide on several occasions over the years. She also had numerous hospitalizations due to sickle cell crisis requiring pain control and even blood transfusions.
Sickle Cell Disease
The most common inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease (SCD) gets its name from the abnormal c-shape of red blood cells (like a sickle, the farm tool) of those diagnosed with this condition. These odd-shaped cells block blood flow causing extreme pain, anemia and other symptoms. It is estimated that 100,000 people in America have SCD, most of whom are African-American.
Sickle cell crisis occurs when the blood cells get stuck in the small blood vessels of the chest, belly, and joints. This causes intense pain that can last from a few hours to a few weeks.
How Lincoln is Different
Unlike other disability insurance companies, Lincoln mandates two appeals before you can file a lawsuit in court for benefits. This means the time during which you may go without benefits can be twice as long as it is with another insurance company.
Lincoln National Life Insurance Company approved long term disability benefits for two years - the entirety of the own occupation period. Lincoln then had the claim reviewed by its paid doctor who, based on the paper record, claimed our client was able to return to the workforce. Her prior occupation was a sedentary, administrative assistant, position. We appealed Lincoln’s termination and provided updated medical and hospital records, medical questionnaires completed by our clients’ doctors and prescription history. Lincoln reject the appeal. We submitted the second appeal and provided more medical evidence, including doctors letters. We sent our client to a Functional Capacity Evaluation. We provided video footage of our client, who had difficulty in walking and transitioning from standing to sitting.
Lincoln reversed its termination based on the second appeal and paid our client disability benefits retroactively.
We Can Help You
Our long-term disability attorneys understand how insurance companies like Lincoln work and are here to fight for your benefits. We handle disability cases at all phases including claim initiation, appeal and lawsuits. Contact us today for a free, initial, case evaluation.