Lincoln Terminates Benefits and Denies Appeal After Paying LTD Benefits for 13 Years
Nearly 15 years ago, a patient care technician in Chicago, Illinois was forced to stop working due to Crohn’s disease and other health issues. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (Lincoln) approved her claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits and continued paying LTD benefits from June 2005 to May 2019. Each year for 13 years, Lincoln conducted a thorough review and acknowledged her continued disability.
In 2018, however, Lincoln abruptly reversed course and terminated the woman’s benefits. The company cited an incomplete medical review from a private physician and provided no other explanation. Meanwhile, the 62-year-old’s condition did not improve and, in fact, deteriorated.
Hoping the denial was nothing but a misunderstanding, the woman filed an appeal. On January 27, 2020, Lincoln denied that appeal. Our client was left with no choice and contacted Dabdoub Law Firm for assistance.
Details of the Patient Care Technician’s Case
Sadly, our client’s condition has worsened since the onset of her Crohn’s disease and approval for LTD benefits in 2005. Now 62 years old, our client also suffers from:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Steroid-induced myopathy
- Degenerative joint disease
Our client constantly suffers from severe joint pain and frequently experiences bouts of severe fatigue. She suffers approximately 25 flare-ups of pain per month, and the medication she takes to cope makes her problems with fatigue much worse. With these factors alone, our client is incapable of completing everyday activities, like driving – much less holding gainful employment.
Medical records also reflect that our client can only sit for 1 hour at a time and cannot walk or stand for more than 15 minutes at a time in any given 8-hour day. She cannot lift more than 5 pounds, and her pain and fatigue are debilitating. Due to her medical conditions, our client is physically incapable of even sedentary work.
The stress of having her claim denied has further exacerbated our client’s condition. Now, doctors note she must be near a bathroom “at all times,” due to diarrhea, and is experiencing constant abdominal pain. Our client also experiences pervasive joint pain in both hands and wrists, her left leg, and her lower back. On top of everything, her Crohn’s disease has intensified.
With a medical history like this, Dabdoub Law Firm could see no reason why Lincoln denied our client’s claim.
Dabdoub Law Firm Highlights Lincoln’s Errors
Lincoln ignored not only our client’s medical records but also 13 years of its own claim reviews. Instead, of adhering to this evidence, the insurance company used a flawed report from a physician who did not even review our client’s complete medical history. This physician also cherry-picked from our client’s records in a ridiculous attempt to justify a termination of LTD benefits.
By relying on this incorrect and inappropriate report, Lincoln violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and broke various rules established in several legal precedents.
Because Lincoln failed to both consider the evidence properly and correct its stance when our client appealed, Dabdoub Law Firm was forced to threaten litigation.
Fortunately, the company promptly chose to reverse its termination and reinstate our client’s benefits.
Our law firm has always focused only on disability insurance law.
Because we specialize in short-term and long-term disability claims, our clients get the benefit of:
- Having an attorney who is an expert in STD and LTD claims
- Having an attorney who has experience with every major disability insurance company
- Being backed by a law firm with a proven track record of winning tough disability lawsuits
Call Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side.
We can help with:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim
- Appealing a long-term disability denial
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company
The firm represents clients nationwide with disability claims governed by federal law; we can help you even if we are not located in your state.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 or contact us online to speak with an experienced disability attorney. You will not owe any fees or costs unless you get paid.