A New York accountant won her lawsuit against Unum when it wrongfully denied her LTD benefits. Michelle Chicco brought the lawsuit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for wrongful denial of benefits under a long-term disability insurance plan.
Ms. Chicco began working as a tax accountant for a global investment firm in 2007. As part of her employment, Ms. Chicco enrolled in her employer’s long term disability insurance issued by Unum. In 2013, Ms. Chicco began experiencing fatigue, weakness, and body pains. Her treating doctors eventually diagnosed her with fibromyalgia and radiculopathy. Ms. Chicco attempted several treatments and even tried to resume working. But by 2019, she ceased working and applied for long-term disability benefits.
Unum denied Ms. Chicco’s initial claim and appeal, despite Ms. Chicco submitting two letters and test evaluations from treating doctors. Ms. Chicco then filed a lawsuit against Unum. The Court reviewed the medical record and the benefits determination under a de novo standard of review.
The Court concluded that Ms. Chicco proved her disability and inability to work in her occupation. The court found she was disabled under the terms of the disability insurance plan.
The Court also noted that Unum’s doctor never physically examined Ms. Chicco. In fact, by contrast, all of Ms. Chicco’s treating providers found that she was unable to work.
When submitting a disability claim to your insurance carrier, it is important to have the support of your treating doctors. The insurance company will always try to use their own doctors to say that you are not disabled.
Courts are not required to give more credit to a treating provider who has physically examined the claimant. However, we often see courts give an insured’s treating doctor more weight over the insurance company’s doctor who only did a paper-review of the insured’s medical history.
Help from a Lawyer with Expertise in Disability Insurance
Disability insurance law is complex. Hiring an experienced disability attorney is important. Because all disability lawyers at this law firm focus on disability insurance claims, we have expertise in disability insurance law.
That means we have:
- Experience with every major disability insurance company;
- A proven track record of success by winning major disability lawsuits;
- Recovered millions of dollars in disability benefits for clients;
And, we never charge fees or costs unless our clients get paid.
The firm can help at any stage of your disability insurance claim, including:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim,
- Appealing a long-term disability denial,
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement, and
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, our lawyers are able to represent clients across the country.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 or send us a message online to speak with an experienced disability attorney. Consultations are free.