Our 53-year old client was a Vice President at one of the leading cosmetics companies in the world. Her position required an extremely high level of executive function, including the ability to analyze complex data and make decisions that impacted a global brand. However, the numerous debilitating and disabling conditions she suffers from, including active Cochleovestibular Meniere’s, recurrent vertigo episodes, dizziness, balance issues, nausea, pain and whirring in ears, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating, made it impossible for her to perform in her position.
When her disease and subsequent symptoms became too much for her to handle, she reluctantly filed a disability claim through her company’s ERISA disability insurance policy with Lincoln Financial.
Before filing a claim, she consulted with multiple medical professionals for evaluation of her conditions, all of whom were extremely supportive of her disability. At first, her claim was paid, but when Lincoln began to cherry-pick through her medical records, using arbitrary claims practices, her benefits were terminated.
We know this was a result of financial pressures within Lincoln as a result of keeping her on claim for a prolonged period of time. The company did not want the financial exposure of paying her claim.
She retained the services of the disability law firm Frankel & Newfield to create an appeal that would overturn Lincoln’s wrongful denial. We gave Lincoln more than sufficient support as to why she could no longer work on a full-time sustained basis in both a physically and cognitively demanding career.
The firm also worked closely with her team of doctors and healthcare providers to challenge Lincoln’s biased and unreliable peer reviews conducted by unqualified in-house physicians.
In addition to subjective medical documentation, the appeal contained reports from her treating physicians and a plethora of medical literature supporting the severity and co-morbidity of our client’s conditions.
Less than a month after the appeal was submitted, Lincoln reversed its decision and our client’s future and back benefits were reinstated. We continue to monitor her claim to ensure that Lincoln does not terminate her disability claim again.
This pattern of paying on claim at first, and then terminating claims is not unusual, unfortunately. People are often lulled into a false sense of security when their disability benefits are being paid, then are stunned when, for no good reason they can understand, benefits are terminated. Retaining an experienced disability law firm to fight back is the best way to protect these claims. Trying to manage an ERISA appeal on your own is never a good idea.