The Lincoln Financial Group abruptly terminated our client’s long term disability benefits during the “own occupation” portion of her claim. A 55 year old woman who previously worked as a manager of a nursery, which required a fair amount of physical labor as well as managerial abilities, she suffered from severe orthopedic difficulties which required multiple surgeries. There had not been any change in her condition, so the termination made no sense and only added to the hardships that she was experiencing. Frankel & Newfield was retained to represent her in an ERISA long term disability insurance appeal.
When we dug into the medical records and the reports from Lincoln’s claims adjuster, there was one short doctor’s office note that might have indicated some improvement – – but it was contradicted by the sheer volume of documentation, including data from medical studies and analysis from several doctors that clearly indicated that she was no longer able to perform the tasks of her job.
As is typical during many long term disability ERISA appeals, Lincoln’s description of the physical and cognitive aspects of her job were completely inaccurate. We attacked the medical reviews conducted by the medical doctors hired by Lincoln, and developed further medical and vocational support for her inability to work, not only in her former occupation, but in any occupation. We were successful in our ERISA appeal, and she is now receiving her disability benefits.