Before her life took a sudden turn for the worse and was flipped upside down by loss and illness, our client worked as a state and local tax manager at Ernst & Young in Flushing, New York. Although her job could be stressful, she was extremely passionate about it, and as a single mother, our client worked hard to provide for her 8-year-old daughter. She never could have imagined filing for long-term disability (LTD) benefits before the summer that changed her life.
A Life-Changing Summer
In the summer of 2019, however, our client’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died only 24 days after the diagnosis. Our client barely had time to organize her mother’s funeral before she herself was diagnosed with a left breast invasive lobular carcinoma. To fight the high-risk early breast cancer, our client underwent a left lumpectomy on September 24, 2019, followed by 2 re-excisions on October 8 and October 22, 2019.
Our client continued fighting her breast cancer with aggressive chemotherapy treatment between November 29, 2019, and April 17, 2020. Not only did this treatment put her at extreme risk during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the side effects of chemotherapy left her severely impaired, as well. In particular, our client developed chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
The CIPN was so bad that our client’s doctors decided to stop chemotherapy treatment after the eighth cycle and switch to adjuvant breast radiation therapy, which did not end until June 2021.
Unfortunately, the effects of chemo had already taken their toll. In addition to CIPN, our client was diagnosed with:
- Cancer-related cognitive impairment (chemo fog)
- Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET)
- Chronic low back pain
- Impingement syndrome of right shoulder
- Myalgia and arthralgia (muscle pain)
- Chemo or tamoxifen-induced nocturia (urinary incontinence at night)
- Major depressive disorder
- Unspecified insomnia disorder
- Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
Despite all this, our client only left work to prepare for her left lumpectomy. She had every intention of beating cancer and returning to work. Only when the severe side effects of chemo overwhelmed her did she apply for LTD benefits. Initially, Lincoln Financial accepted our client’s claim.
Nevertheless, our client had not even finished cancer treatment by May 13, 2021, when Lincoln coldly terminated her benefits.
Lincoln’s Serious Mistakes
Lincoln falsely claimed that our client was capable of returning to work. The insurance company gave a list of reasons for this claim, but all of them were erroneous. As Attorney Edward Dabdoub explains: “Some of Lincoln Financial’s rationale are demonstrably inaccurate and others were based on a selective review of medical records.”
Although Lincoln’s mistakes alone were serious enough to appeal its termination of our client’s LTD benefits, Dabdoub Law Firm provided significantly more clinical evidence to prove our client’s disability. For example:
- All our client’s treating physicians agree that she suffers from CIPN with chronic back pain and numbness in her feet and fingertips – and that she is not capable of returning to work.
- Three different neurologists have confirmed our client’s CIPN diagnosis.
- A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) demonstrates that our client is physically unable to work.
- An independent neuropsychological evaluation confirms our client’s disabling cognitive impairment.
- An independent neurologist reviewed our client’s medical records and concluded that she is disabled from any work.
- A medical questionnaire estimates that our client cannot sit or stand continuously for more than 30 minutes at a time nor get through a work week reliably.
In countless tests designed specifically to determine work functionality, the experts agreed that our client could not return to work. They backed up their determinations with objective medical evidence, like MRI results and FCE data. Many doctors spoke of our client’s physical, cognitive, and mental challenges – all of which were brought on from chemotherapy and the ongoing stress of living with a cancer diagnosis.
Our client cannot sit at her desk nor think as well as she used to in order to perform her job as a certified public accountant (CPA).
By cherry-picking through the evidence in our client’s claim, Lincoln financial failed to act in its policyholder’s best interests and actively violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The insurance company accepted an unreliable medical file review, completely ignored evidence of our client’s CIPN diagnosis, and even argued that our client was not doing everything in her power to fight her devastating illness (among other mistakes).
Lincoln Financial even brushed aside the Social Security Administration’s decision that our client was – and remains – disabled. Had Lincoln given our client the full and fair review she was entitled to by law, the insurance company would have no doubts about her disability.
Dabdoub Law Firm Demands LTD Benefits on Our Client’s Behalf
To recover LTD benefits for our client, Dabdoub Law Firm provided Lincoln a single appeals document with all of our client’s medical evidence. We also highlighted the insurance company’s many mistakes.
Eighteen months after her chemotherapy ended, we were able to recover LTD benefits on our client’s behalf. Notably, we had our client’s LTD benefits reinstated on May 14, 2021 – the day after Lincoln terminated them.
Help from a Lawyer with Expertise in Disability Insurance
Disability insurance law is complex. If you are struggling with your insurance company, the best way to get the benefits you deserve is to speak to an experienced disability attorney. 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 in major disability lawsuits.
- Recovered millions of dollars in disability benefits for our clients.
Further, we never charge fees or costs unless our clients get paid.
Dabdoub Law 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 can represent clients across the country. We can help you no matter what state you live in.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 or send us a message online to speak with an experienced disability attorney. Consultations are free.