Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and service. Lockheed has several facilities in the state of Colorado employing thousands of people.
Cigna provides long-term disability insurance to employees of Lockheed Martin. Cigna is the claims administrator for these insurance policies which are underwritten by Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA).
In the disability policy provided to Lockheed Martin employees, Cigna defines disability as follows:
“The Employee is considered Disabled if, solely because of Injury or Sickness, he or she is:
- unable to perform each and every material duty of his or her Regular Occupation; and
- unable to earn 80% or more of his or her Indexed Earnings from working in his or her Regular Occupation.
After Disability Benefits have been payable for 24 months, the Employee is considered Disabled if, solely due to Injury or Sickness, he or she is:
- unable to perform each and every material duty of any occupationfor which he or she is, or may reasonably become, qualified based on education, training or experience; and
- unable to earn 80% or more of his or her Indexed Earnings.”
McDermott Law, LLC has represented several Lockheed Martin employees whose disability claims were denied by Cigna. It has become the standard practice of Cigna (LINA), in denying disability claims, to reach the conclusion that an insured’s medical records do not provide documentation of a significant physical or mental disease process or injury which would render him or her Disabled.
For years, this office has represented individuals whose disability claims have been denied. It has become commonplace for most insurance companies to reach this conclusion. Practically every denial letter we have seen over the past several years from Cigna with regard to disability claims has contained similar language. There is no plan requirement that “documented significant measured limitations” be present before an individual can be considered disabled.
Yet, this is one of the the issues we typically need to address in assisting a denied claimant through the internal appeal process or in litigation.
Like most employer-provided disability insurance benefit plans, the claim is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (aka “ERISA”). As such the internal appeal procedure one must adhere to following the receipt of a denial is often the most crucial phase of the claim process. It cannot be taken lightly. Click here for more information about the ERISA appeal process. It is strongly recommended such a person contact an attorney knowledgeable in the ERISA laws and procedure to obtain advice and representation.
If your disability benefits have been denied by Cigna, please contact a Colorado disability lawyer at McDermott Law, LLC as soon as possible to discuss your claim in more detail. McDermott Law, LLC has been successful in resolving disability cases with Cigna.