Disability Insurance Blog



Monday, November 25th, 2013

A pediatric radiologist with Bi-Polar disorder was denied disability benefits by Lincoln Financial Group. Lincoln defended its decision to deny her claim with two main arguments: that her condition had not significantly worsened from the time of her initial diagnosis to the date of disability, and that the woman, in her mid 50s, had made the claim at this time so that she could retire while receiving disability benefits. Our client had been advised that the hospital where she worked was not renewing her contract.

Our client had worked for many years as a Pediatric Radiologist, a profession that requires high analytic skills, the ability to work with complex radiology systems, and a gentle and personable manner. Patients are usually seriously ill children and their worried parents and she was well regarded by peers and patients.

We worked with this client in filing her initial claim, and were prepared for the denial based on our experience with claimants in her age group, as well as claimants whose employment situations are in a state of transition.

On appeal, our defensive strategy was to methodically attack the basis for the determination as untrue, but that alone was not going to win the appeal. Frankel & Newfield engaged a forensic psychiatrist to meet our client and perform a comprehensive evaluation and records review. This report was compelling, outlined the specifics about her condition and her inability to perform the tasks of her job, and helped facilitate the successful appeal.

This report was bolstered by a strong supporting statement from her treating doctor and therapist, along with compelling statements of support from colleagues and friends and family members. Lincoln appreciated the nature and extent of her impairment and reversed its decision.

Our client is now receiving her significant monthly benefit.

Claims filed by individuals in their 50s and 60s are often denied by long term disability insurance companies. The insurance companies contend that claimants are attempting to add disability benefits to their retirement income. Our clients would much rather be healthy and end their careers on a successful note. The tactic is used add another layer of complexity and delay to the claim denial.

If your claim for disability benefits has been denied, or if you are considering filing for disability benefits and you are concerned about the insurance company denying your claim based on your age or the status of your job, call our office today to speak with a partner. We have represented many individuals that were initially denied disability benefits based on these fact patterns and we can help.