It is vital that you hire the right long-term disability firm to represent you. Debra Swanson had to learn this the hard way, as a recent ruling in the Fifth Circuit court of Appeals in the Southern District of Texas demonstrates. How did Swanson’s attorney fail her? Her counsel failed to file a proper appeal.

Swanson’s story begins in January of 2002, when she was approved for long-term disability benefits through her employer’s plan with Hartford Life Insurance Co. (“Hartford”). The following year, on April 4, 2003, Hartford notified Swanson that her benefits would be terminated because she had been cleared to return to full-time work. She had 180 days to appeal this determination.

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