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United of Omaha Terminates LTD Benefits for Florida Optometrist with Cervical Myelopathy

Dabdoub Law Firm Secures United of Omaha LTD Benefits for Florida Optometrist

After United of Omaha Life Insurance Company wrongfully terminated her long-term disability (LTD) benefits last fall, a frustrated Florida resident turned to Dabdoub Law Firm for assistance restoring the disability benefits she rightfully deserves. Keep reading to learn more about this recent success in Miami, FL.

Attorney Schaefer Successfully Appeals to United of Omaha on Miami Client’s Behalf

For over 34 years, our Florida client excelled in a successful, challenging, and rewarding career as an optometrist. After she started practicing in 1987, our Miami client made the admirable and ethical decision to step back from her longstanding career when her personal health began to interfere with her ability to help patients safely.

“[My client] stepped away from her career in May of 2021 due to cervical radiculopathy and symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness,” Attorney Kevin Schaefer informs the insurer. “In the course of her occupation, she was dropping tools and placing her patients at unnecessary risk of harm. Unable to meet the physical demands of her occupation safely and reliably, [she] was left with no option but to pursue LTD benefits.”

Although United of Omaha promptly and justly approved the doctor’s initial disability claim, they went on to terminate them suddenly and without cause about a year later. This unjust reversal of course is hinged on a false belief that our client’s 2021 surgery resolved her conditions, but according to Attorney Schaefer, there is a wealth of medical evidence to establish this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“The medical records paint a different picture,” Attorney Schaefer points out. “One which shows that [the doctor’s] condition has progressed over time. United has abandoned its fiduciary duties and turned a blind eye to consistent evidence of continued disability in order to avoid liability.”

United of Omaha’s Termination of Benefits Was Wrong & Unreasonable

“Despite United’s self-serving contention otherwise, there is no evidence of any improvement in [my client’s] condition,” Attorney Schaefer tells the insurer in his appeal. “Rather, the records reflect a gradual deterioration in her condition and physical capabilities. A return to work would be irresponsible, as [my client] can no longer safely treat patients.”

He adds that numerous qualified physicians have confirmed his client’s disability, including a spine/pain specialist who confirmed the former optometrist suffers from “severe pain to the hips” as well as “associated cervicogenic headaches.”

The results of her functional capacity evaluation (FCE), a test that courts consistently uphold as “the best means” of assessing individual functionality, also revealed a troubling report. The administering physician concluded that our client “is not able to work at this time due to continuous pain and discomfort to the upper cervical region, [and] weakness and numbness in the left upper extremity.”

“[My patient] is not capable of returning to full-time work as an optometrist due to her chronic conditions, and therefore is disabled and cannot hold gainful employment due to pain,” Dr. Kevin Cairns concluded. Our client’s neurologist echoes the verdict, adding, “Because of all the chronic pain issues and radicular complaints, she is a retired optometrist. She cannot work, even after surgery.”

Her orthopedic surgeon weighed in as well, citing our client’s “significant disability, despite having surgical treatment on her cervical spine. She has significant numbness and tingling in the left upper extremity, which limits her ability to use the left arm and hand.”

Another neurologist further confirmed our client’s diagnoses, including post-laminectomy syndrome, cervical spinal stenosis, paresthesia, cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, and intervertebral disc disorder of the cervical region with myelopathy. In addition to reports from numerous healthcare specialists to support that our client is totally disabled, her disability claim is further strengthened by a myriad of clinical notes and imaging results.

Attorney Schaefer reminds United of Omaha that his client’s symptoms haven’t magically dissipated. “The culmination of medical records here highlights the absurdness of United’s suggestion that [she] has made a full recovery following her neck surgery,” Attorney Schaefer tells the insurer. “To the contrary, the records make clear that her condition continues to deteriorate.”

Fortunately, Attorney Schaefer and our hardworking disability lawyers successfully reversed the disability insurer’s unjust decision, restoring our Miami client’s LTD benefits and equipping her with deserved support to live the fullest quality of life possible.

Our Lawyers Specialize in Disability Insurance Claims

Because our law firm has always focused only on disability insurance, our lawyers are experts in legal representation for disability insurance benefits. That means our disability lawyers have:

  1. Won several major disability lawsuits that helped make better laws for disability claimants;
  2. Successfully represented hundreds of clients and won millions of dollars in disability benefits; and
  3. Experience fighting every major insurance company, such as UNUM, Hartford, MetLife, CIGNA, Prudential, and more.

Disability insurance companies have lawyers. You should too. Call Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side. Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we can help clients across the country. We can assist with the following:

  • Submitting a disability insurance claim;
  • Appealing a long-term disability denial;
  • Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; and/or
  • Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.

Call (800) 969-0488 to request a free consultation with a disability attorney. No fees or costs until you get paid.