Long term disability insurance companies are not known for warmth or compassion, but this particular denial has a particularly cold feel to it. On Easter morning, without warning, the only child of our client, a 53 year old woman, passed away. Our client was overwhelmed by grief, anxiety and depression, and was unable to concentrate in her job as a senior claims adjuster with an insurance company. Her work history was excellent – she had been with the company for 35 years.
She applied for long term disability benefits and Liberty Mutual denied her claim based on a paper review of her medical records by a psychiatrist who never did an evaluation in person and never even spoke with her.
The psychiatrist was contracted through Medical Consultants Network (MCN), a large company known for providing reports that favor the companies that hire them: the disability insurance companies.
By way of background – Medical Consultants Network (MCN) was founded in 1985 in Seattle, WA by Brian L. Grant, MD, Chair and Associate Medical Director. Originally a regional company called Medical Consultants Northwest; today MCN is a large national company that operates nationwide. We see their reviews of disability insurance cases often enough to know their corporate strategy, and the impact it has on our clients.
In our experience, MCN’s peer reviewing doctors are uniformly on board with helping MCN protect its business model. We went after this review with gusto, identifying every single inconsistency and flaw in the paper review and then backing up our position with the support of our client’s treating mental health provider. We attacked Liberty Mutual’s utter failure to conduct a full vocational analysis of our client’s occupational duties, its failure to have our client examined in person, and its decision to use a selective paper review to support its denial.
After considering the information that exposed these poor practices, Liberty Mutual overturned its decision on appeal and awarded long-term disability benefits to our client. She has a long road to recovery from such a loss, but she no longer has to battle with the long term disability insurance company.