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Top Long Term Disability Insurance Blog Posts from Frankel & Newfield Law Firm

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Regular visitors to this blog learn from our educational approach to long and short term disability insurance claims law, conditions that cause disabilities, the disability insurance companies and the third-party claims management companies that routinely manage (or mismanage) claims for people who have filed disability claims.

We offer this to help claimants stay up to date with the trends and case law in disability insurance, as information is power. We believe that an informed claimant who understands how the disability insurance process works is better able to make good and informed decisions about protecting their disability benefits.

We thought it would be helpful to highlight our top blog posts. These are some which resonated with potential peers of yours who have experienced similar issues. If you have any questions about the information, or would like to speak with an attorney about your situation, you are invited to contact us by phone at 1-877-583-2524.

What Are Some Common Causes of Long-Term Disability Claims?
Pre-pandemic, no one expected to become seriously ill until well after retirement. Today we are surrounded with images of people who were healthy and robust but contracted Covid and became disabled. Even before Covid, people of all ages and stages of life become disabled through illness or accident.

What Does “Material and Substantial Duties” Mean in a Disability Claim?
We often use the phrase that a person is “unable to perform the material and substantial duties of their occupation” in our representation of clients. But what does it mean? It’s a defined term used in both private or individual disability policies and in ERISA or group LTD policies.

What are the timelines for an ERISA disability appeal?
People depend upon their long term disability benefits to protect their financial lives when they are too ill or injured to work. But for those who receive their long term disability insurance policies through work, it’s important to understand that benefits are governed by a federal law known as ERISA. There are strict time limits on every step of the ERISA process.

Do I Have To Undergo A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE?)
The FCE is often requested when a disability claim concerns an orthopedic or musculoskeletal claim, but it is not always required by your disability insurance policy. Even when it is, our position is that an FCE is both dangerous and unreliable in evaluating disability claimant’s abilities.

Disability Insurance Investigators Using Drones for Surveillance Videos
Insurance companies conduct surveillance of claimants all year long, but the use of video drones is a new weapon used against claimants. What was once an expensive and overly-technical device has become mainstream, and its use grows during the warm summer months. The use of flying drones is even more concerning, as they are able to take videos at high altitudes without anyone knowing they are present.

Long Term Disability Insurance Claims Managed by Sedgwick Busier Than Usual
Note that this blog post was written in 2019 – and in recent weeks we have seen once again an increase in the number of Sedgwick-managed claims increase dramatically. It seems particularly cruel during the holiday season for a company to send a massive number of denial and terminations letters, but we have noted an uptick in the number of calls we’re receiving from people whose disability insurance claims are managed by Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

What’s The Difference Between Short Term Disability And Taking An Employee Leave?
Employees considering taking a leave should understand the commonly confused short term disability (STD) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits. Short Term Disability (STD) is not an employee leave, but a way to replace wages for a short period of time, as determined by the employer.

CIGNA’s Decision to Terminate Long Term Disability Claim was Arbitrary and Capricious
A federal judge in Ohio determined that Cigna wrongfully terminated an LTD claim, failing to consider occupational requirements for the claimant and failing to account for the claimant’s Social Security disability benefits status. Not the first time, not the last, as Cigna has been embroiled in many individual and class action lawsuits for how it treats disability claims.

Sedgwick’s Doctor for Hire Denies Claims on Paper Review Only, Federal Court Overturns Denial
We routinely do battle with Sedgwick, the third party administrator for many long term disability insurance companies. And we routinely do battle with Dr. Martin Mendelssohn, an orthopedist hired by many insurance companies to conduct paper reviews of their claimant’s medical files. It’s always a pleasure to read about federal judges who agree with our position that long term disability insurance companies and their hired gun doctors must take the side effects of medication into consideration when reviewing a claim.

Licensed Professionals Be Warned: Pogue v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
A case heard in the appellate court in Tennessee sent a chilling message to physicians or any licensed professionals who file a disability claim who also have licensing issues which may impact their ability to practice. Dr. Pogue submitted a claim on three private disability policies he owned with Northwestern. He had surrendered his medical license following a nervous breakdown. Northwestern’s response was dramatic, swift, and frightening.

Slow Growing Variant of Lyme Disease Cure May Be in Sight
If it seems that we post a lot on Lyme disease, that is true – because every year, 300,000 people are sickened with Lyme. It is caused by a bacterium that lives inside common ticks and is transmitted to humans via tick bites. Treatment is usually with an antibiotic, but many people are not diagnosed until after serious side effects occur, and 10 -20 percent of Lyme patients suffer symptoms that last for many years.

If would like to speak with an attorney about your situation, you are invited to contact us by phone at 1-877-583-2524.

Jason A. Newfield

Written By:

Jason A. Newfield - Disability Insurance Attorney

Jason Newfield is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield. He has spent the majority of his legal career advocating for the rights of disabled workers. He has lectured other professionals, worked on a Federal Advisory committee, and published many articles in the field of disability insurance claims and litigation.

Learn more about Jason | See Jason’s Publications



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