McDermott Law, LLC has been successful once again in obtaining a reinstatement of terminated long-term disability (LTD) insurance benefits for a woman with chronic back pain. Ms. H had suffered from multilevel degenerative disc disease in her lumbar spine and had previously undergone a T4-L4 fusion in 1995. Since that surgery, she has continued to suffer debilitating pain in her lower back, radiating into her lower extremities. Ultimately, the significant pain rendered Ms. H unable to perform the duties of her own occupation, prompting her to submit a claim for short-term disability benefits with Lincoln Financial (Lincoln National).
Lincoln initially denied Ms. H’s claim in 2011, so she contacted our office to assist her in preparing an appeal of her denial – claim governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Our office was successful in convincing Lincoln its original decision was incorrect; Lincoln granted Ms. H her short-term disability benefits as well as commenced paying her long-term disability insurance benefits. For the next few years, Lincoln periodically requested updated information, which our office assisted Ms. H in providing.
More recently, Lincoln determined Ms. H no longer met its definition of disability and terminated benefits without notice. So, we undertook the task of submitting another appeal of the adverse decision. In terminating Ms. H’s benefits, Lincoln relied on the opinion of a vocational evaluator who identified inappropriate occupations it claimed Ms. H could perform. Our office set forth extensive arguments as to why Ms. H could not perform these occupations. We also submitted supportive opinions from Ms. H’s treating physician and an independent Long-Term Disability Evaluation, supporting the reasons why Ms. H could not perform the duties of a sedentary occupation.
After reviewing our appeal, Lincoln agreed our client was in fact still “disabled” according to the terms of the long-term disability insurance policy and reinstated her benefits. If your claim for long-term disability benefits has been denied or terminated, we may be able to assist you as well. Our office has handled hundreds of long-term disability insurance appeals. Please contact McDermott Law, LLC for assistance in submitting a thorough, comprehensive appeal.