Our client from Philadelphia, PA worked for 20 years as a machinist. He thrived in his career and was planning to continue working until his eventual retirement. However, he developed several medical conditions. 10 years ago, doctors diagnosed him with Meniere’s disease which caused regular migraines, vertigo, imbalance, and nausea. He also dealt with progressive hearing loss.
Although he pushed through his health issues for many years, our client’s condition aggravated to the point he had to stop working in 2020. He submitted a short-term disability (STD) claim with Lincoln and received approval for benefits and was able to transition to long-term disability (LTD) benefits several months later.
After paying disability benefits for almost a year, Lincoln unexpectedly terminated our client’s benefits in October 2021 although his condition had not improved, and no medical records indicated differently. Following this wrongful and irresponsible decision from the insurance company, our client reached out to Dabdoub Law Firm to help him appeal.
Medical Reports Show Unpredictable and Severe Symptoms Due to Meniere’s Disease and Other Conditions
In addition to Meniere’s disease, our client was diagnosed with various medical conditions that interfere with his daily activities and prevent him from working full-time, even in a sedentary position.
His medical conditions include:
- Meniere’s disease
- Balance disorder
- Anxiety and depression
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Diabetic polyneuropathy
Even consistent treatment with various specialists is not sufficient for our client’s health to improve and reduce his limitations. Lincoln has received multiple objective medical evidence confirming those issues, including a VNG test, a hearing test, and medical documents demonstrating that vestibular rehabilitation was ineffective.
Our client’s November 2020 visit to his otolaryngologist showed persistent symptoms with all previous diagnoses still valid. A subsequent appointment in February 2022 yielded the same report with one additional symptom: our client now experiences hallucinations.
2022 continued to show additional health complications for our client with more frequent migraine headaches despite multiple medications. He also contracted COVID-19 at the beginning of the year. This resulted in severe pulmonary issues and an eventual diagnosis of pneumomediastinum.
Our Client Provided His Symptom Diary and a Statement from His Mother Confirming His Daily Limitations
In his symptom diary, our client's regular entries show that his activity level is close to non, especially on days with vertigo attacks. On such days, any type of activity can trigger a symptom flareup and vertigo can be overwhelming if he cannot stand. He also mentions frequent headaches and migraines that exacerbate his already fragile health.
His mother also shared a statement that includes first-hand observations about his visible pain and his difficult standing without support. She confirms his need to stay in bed when his symptoms are more severe than usual. She supports our client on a regular basis including making sure that he takes his medications.
Lincoln Wrongfully Jeopardized Our Client’s Financial Resources
The insurance company used the same medical information they had relied on to approve our client’s LTD benefits in the first place to suddenly terminate them. This incongruence is shocking and Lincoln’s claim that our client can work full time is irrational, especially since it admits that his former employment as a machinist was a “medium physical demand occupation.” Duties involved in this job fall under the long list of limitations our client’s physicians noted in multiple reports.
According to doctors, our client’s health conditions result in:
- No driving
- No depth/distance calculation
- No working at heights
- No operation or being around heavy machinery
- No climbing ladders
- No balancing
- No communication that depends on an accurate understanding of the spoken word
- No safety-sensitive tasks that depend on sound perception
Lincoln had also advised our client to apply for social security disability benefits, which he successfully did. The Social Security Administration not only agreed that he was unable to perform his previous occupation as a machinist but any sort of full-time work due to his disability. Despite this pivotal decision, Lincoln terminated our client’s benefits, confirming its blatant disregard for medical evidence and other facts.
Lincoln breached its fiduciary duty when focusing on its self-interests and disregarding the medical evidence it had available. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), insurance companies must act in the beneficiary’s best interests and perform objective evaluations of available documents. Lincoln did none of that when they claimed our client could go back to work and had no more need for disability benefits.
Thankfully, Dabdoub Law Firm’s dedication paid off and Lincoln reinstated our client’s long-term disability benefits in the summer of 2022.
Disability Insurance Companies Have Lawyers. Shouldn’t You?
Because Dabdoub Law Firm was created to focus on disability insurance, we have developed expertise in this complex area of the law.
Our expertise in long-term disability claims means our clients have the backing of a law firm with disability attorneys who:
- Are experts in disability claims.
- Have fought all major disability insurance companies and know their tactics.
- Demonstrate a track record of success at all levels of the claims process.
- Have won major disability lawsuits and improved the law for claimants like you.
- Recover millions of dollars in disability benefits.
Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we do not have to be located in your state to help. Our attorneys help clients nationwide.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 to get experienced disability lawyers on your side 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.
Contact us for a free consultation with a disability attorney. You don’t need to worry about legal fees because we only get paid if we win your case.