For more than 34 years, our Nashville, Tennessee client served as a nurse in multiple hospitals and departments. She was the heart of the healthcare system and gave her all to patients in need. Later in her career, however, our client found herself in need. She was diagnosed with large granular lymphocytic leukemia and systemic lupus erythematosus and made the difficult decision to leave her beloved profession and apply for short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits.
Hartford approved our client’s claims and continued paying benefits even when the definition of disability changed according to her policy. The insurance company recognized the severity of our client’s symptoms and acknowledged that her medical conditions were incurable.
Then, in 2021, Hartford inexplicably claimed that our client had improved and was no longer disabled. The insurance company made this decision based on the sole opinion of one doctor after one virtual appointment, effectively terminating our client’s disability benefits because she told a medical professional she was in a good mood.
Numerous Physicians Disagree with Hartford’s Hired Hand
At the time Hartford terminated our client’s disability benefits, it was in possession of her medical records from 2016 to 2020. Our client was under the care of numerous physicians the entire time, all of whom agreed that our client was disabled. To this day, our client remains under the care of these physicians. To this day, she is disabled. Dabdoub Law Firm provided Hartford with our client’s 2021 medical records. Very little had changed.
Even though our client’s leukemia is in remission, she still has “diffuse pain and stiffness,” problems with her liver and left kidney, neoplastic disease (a condition that causes tumor growth), bone loss, and ongoing blood problems.
She never feels rested, she is always in pain, she has difficulty breathing, and she continues to suffer from lupus and fibromyalgia. Our client’s diagnoses also include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, chronic kidney disease, generalized anxiety disorder, and moderate recurrent major depression. All the while, doctors are staying vigilant because her cancer could come back without warning and she still complains of chronic widespread pain and fatigue.
Our client’s medical records do not reflect someone who has recovered. Many of our client’s physicians have written letters in support of her receiving disability benefits. Her rheumatologist concludes that she cannot sit for more than 15 minutes, stand for any length of time, or do a sedentary job because fatigue prevents her from concentrating on tasks.
Her oncologist agrees, saying that her consistent employability is doubtful, and her palliative care doctor notes that she cannot maintain any significant activity for more than a few minutes without pain.
While our client has experienced some happy moments in her personal life, her disability has only worsened over time.
Hartford Terminates Benefits After One Virtual Medical Examination
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartford requested a virtual medical examination despite having overwhelming medical evidence of our client’s disability. Our client only agreed because she was afraid of losing her disability benefits if she did not comply.
Because our client happened to be in less pain on the day of her virtual medical examination, the doctor who performed it challenged years of objective medical evidence. According to Hartford’s doctor, our client is not depressed because she sometimes feels happy, is not sick because she does not have active cancer cells, and must be able to return to work just because she got married and took a honeymoon.
Being in remission, having a good day, and feeling happy does not mean that someone is not disabled, nor does getting married and going on a honeymoon mean someone is ready to return to work.
Our client is making the most of her life despite her disability, but she still cannot return to work for 8 hours a day. Hartford itself has documented our client’s incurable disability and agreed that she cannot work in any occupation.
Additionally, one virtual medical examination does not replace years of in-person examinations and treatment notes from our client’s physicians. Our client even requested an in-person examination, but Hartford forced her into a virtual appointment. As a result, Hartford’s doctor could not evaluate our client’s osteoarthritis, listen to her breathing, or properly judge any of our client’s medical conditions.
They simply told a woman recovering from CANCER that she was not disabled because she had a good day.
By putting our client through a senseless virtual examination, ignoring the medical evidence she provided, and terminating her disability benefits without rhyme or reason, Hartford violated its duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Dabdoub Law Firm gave Hartford additional evidence of a fact it had already decided – our client is disabled and cannot work in any occupation.
Presented with the facts, Hartford threw out its flimsy, unjustified termination of benefits and reinstated our client’s benefits in full.
Our Lawyers Specialize in Disability Insurance Claims
Because our law firm has always focused on disability insurance, our lawyers are experts in representing clients against their insurance companies.
This means our disability lawyers have:
- Won several major disability lawsuits that improved the laws for disability claimants.
- Experience fighting every major insurance company, including UNUM, Hartford, MetLife, CIGNA, Prudential, and more.
- Successfully represented hundreds of clients and won millions of dollars in disability benefits.
Federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, so our lawyers can help clients across the country.
Disability insurance companies have lawyers. You should, too. 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, or
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 or send us your information for a free consultation with a disability attorney. No fees or costs until you get paid.