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Colonial Life Denies Georgia Doctor with Chronic Pain LTD Benefits

A Doctor Becomes a Patient

Although Dr. X planned on working until her retirement, the chronic pain she experiences from multiple conditions forced her to leave her profession. As a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician (physiatrist) in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. X specialized in treating patients who suffered from physical disabilities and impairments.

Her work was physically and cognitively demanding because it involved hands-on work with her patients as well as collaboration with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other specialist doctors to develop individualized strategies for her patients. As Dr. X’s pain progressed and worsened over time, it became clear to her that she couldn’t continue working as a physiatrist, the profession that she loved. Her own disability forced her to give up her career helping others manage their disabilities.

Ultimately, Dr. X’s own physicians diagnosed her with degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, cervicalgia spondylosis, osteoarthritis, and myelopathy. These are all conditions that can be associated with the chronic pain she experiences. They also present limitations that make it impossible for Dr. X to continue working.

For example, a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) determined Dr. X can neither stand for more than 20 minutes at a time nor sit for more than 30 minutes continuously. She is also unable to lift more than eight pounds and does not meet the median strength requirement of a physiatrist. This precludes Dr. X’s ability to work in her profession.

A Denied Claim Is Reversed

Upon leaving her profession, Dr. X filed for disability benefits. Her insurance carrier, Colonial Life, denied her claim. Seeking legal help, Dr. X reached out to us at Dabdoub Law Firm. In a letter to Colonial Life, we demanded that it reverse its decision and award Dr. X the benefits she sought. We demonstrated the severity of her disability and how it irrevocably impacted her career as a physiatrist.

Our efforts ultimately concluded with a reversal of Colonial Life’s denial, providing Dr. X with the disability benefits she needed.

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