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Disability Insurance Blog

The importance of a favorable short-term disability claim

At Frankel & Newfield, PC, we represent people across the U.S. seeking disability benefits under long-term policies AND those with short-term disability insurance claims. 

Short-term claims are important when missing even a few paychecks can weaken your family’s financial safety net and because if the disabling impairment lasts longer than the time limit of the short-term policy, you will need to make a claim under your long-term policy.

Judge weighs LTD insurer conflict of interest and claimant rights

On February 26, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued a decision under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, known as ERISA, in which the judge meaningfully interpreted the law casting favorable light on the claimant’s legal rights. The plaintiff had sought review of the insurer’s denial of her long-term disability claim under the policy offered by her employer and this opinion looked at an important issue of evidence. 

ERISA is a federal law establishing standards and procedures for the insurance claim process under employee disability insurance policies obtained as part of employment benefit packages. ERISA is complex and an experienced disability insurance attorney can help protect a disabled claimant’s rights throughout the claim process and secure rightful benefits.

Long-term disability insurance claims based on multiple sclerosis

Unfortunately, many people who file claims for long-term disability insurance benefits - LTD - because of multiple sclerosis (MS) have their claims denied by the insurance company.

MS is a complex, progressive condition, which by its nature may be difficult to document and establish consistent deficits in functionality, sometimes due to the waxing or waning of symptoms. Engaging an experienced LTD lawyer early on in the claims process can greatly enhance the chances of timely and seamless claim approval.

Orthopedic LTD claims -- When you can't work

At our law firm, we often represent claimants seeking long-term disability benefits under their disability insurance policies after sustaining orthopedic injuries or diseases that prevent them from performing the tasks of their jobs 

These kinds of impairments require comprehensive medical evaluation and detailed documentation so insurance claim examiners have all the medical evidence they need to accurately assess disability and to prepare a file should an appeal be needed.

Long-term disability insurance protects your financial security

Here at the law firm of Frankel & Newfield, PC, we dedicate our entire practice to comprehensive advocacy for injured and ill employees across the country in their claims for benefits under long-term disability insurance policies. We are prepared to step in at any phase of a claim

  • Initial filing
  • Ongoing claim management
  • Development of supporting medical and vocational records and evidence
  • Administrative review and appeal within the insurance company process
  • Negotiation with insurer toward potential claim settlement
  • ERISA lawsuit for benefits under an employer-provided policy in federal court
  • Suit for benefits under a private policy in state court
  • Appeal of a lawsuit denying benefits to a higher court
  • Insurer review or termination of benefits
  • Bad faith action in court against the insurer

Long-term disability claims for impairment from cardiac problems

At our law firm, we regularly represent people in their long-term disability insurance claims based on heart disease or cardiovascular disorders, related to the heart or vascular system. These problems cause a variety of symptoms that potentially affect the ability to perform work activities as well as to tolerate work activity. 

Develop the medical evidence 

Unique challenges in disability insurance claims for depression

Depression can impair a person to the extent that he or she can no longer perform at work. When job tasks become impossible because of symptoms of depression, it is appropriate to file a claim for benefits under the person’s long-term disability or LTD policy. 

Nature of depression claims 

Pogue v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company - Licensed professionals be warned

A recent case heard in the appellate court of Tennessee sends a chilling message to physicians or any licensed professionals who need to file a claim on their disability policies and have licensing issues which may impact their continued ability to practice.

Dr. Pogue, a physician who practiced in Nashville, Tennessee, owned three private disability insurance policies with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance (Northwestern). He submitted a claim to Northwestern, stating that he suffered from a severe anxiety disorder, had experienced a total nervous breakdown and could no longer think clearly enough to practice medicine. He said that he had surrendered his medical license.

The importance of disability insurance for physicians

Here at Frankel & Newfield, PC, we represent doctors across the country when their disability insurers deny their claims or prematurely terminate their disability payments. The practice of medicine is both physically and mentally demanding, with long hours, stressful situations, life-and-death decision making and potential exposure to radiation and chemicals. For these reasons, unexpected disability and an interruption of salary is not unexpected. 

Doctors can be financially vulnerable 

Unfairness inherent in disability-insurer use of doctor rosters

When someone buys disability insurance or joins a group disability policy at work, he or she deserves to be financially protected should injury or illness interrupt the ability to work and earn a living. Accordingly, when it becomes necessary to file a claim under his or her disability insurance policy for benefits, it should be enough proof for the insurer look at the claimant’s medical records from treating physicians as well as other objective medical evidence like lab tests, X-rays or other kinds of scans, depending on the condition. 

Unfortunately, disability insurers regularly pay doctors who do not treat claimants to either conduct independent medical examinations, called IMEs, or to conduct paper reviews of the medical and other evidence in the file and express an opinion on disability. (Whether an insurer may force a claimant to attend an IME usually depends on the terms of the insurance contract.)

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