In the case of D. Nielsen Pollock Vs Standard Insurance Company, filed at the District Court for the Southern District Of California, the plaintiff complained that the Standard Insurance Company (Standard Insurance) have breached the Employee Retirement Income And Security Act Of 1974 (ERISA) and suing for the recovery of disability benefits under the terms of an employee benefit plan for which Standard Life is the insurer of benefits under the “DILLINGHAM CONSTRUCTION HOLDINGS INC. GROUP LONG TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE POLICY.”
When making a case for a claim of disability benefits, it is essential that a claimant has strong medical support from treating physicians. The disability insurance companies are not under any duty to help a claimant further his or her claim for disability benefits. It is the burden of the claimant to ensure that he or she had provided sufficient proof of his or her disability status. This case of Almetta T. Campbell Vs. Hartford Life And Accident Insurance Company is a good example of how a disability insurance company can easily win a disability denial if the administrative record does not have strong medical support. Disability claimants must anticipate and be prepared for a change of the policies definition of disability from own occupation to any occupation. ERISA governed policies can make it difficult for disability claimants to prevail.
In the case of Gwendolyn Byrd vs. UNUM Life Insurance Company Of America, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court to challenge the Unum Life Insurance Company’s (Unum) decision to terminate her long term disability benefits after paying for 5 years. In the review for the abuse of discretion, the District Court granted summary judgment to Unum. The plaintiff is appealing this decision by the District court.
After 5 years of receiving long term disability benefits, Robin Dolan suddenly receives a letter in 2006 from Disability Reinsurance Management Services stating that her disability benefits had been wrongfully calculated and she must repay $163,661.57. Approximately 5 years after receiving this dreadful letter and extensive litigation, Ms. Dolan has finally received an Appellate Court ruling stating that Liberty Mutual was wrong in their interpretation of the disability policy. Unfortunately Ms. Dolan has had to suffer through the unreasonable actions of Liberty Mutual and their third party administrator DRMS.