Disability Insurance Cases Nationwide

How Do I Appeal a Disability Insurance Denial from The Hartford?

When it comes to filing Hartford disability appeals, there are some crucial things to know. The appeal process begins just after receiving a disability insurance claim denial in which The Hartford company has rejected your claim. But then what?

Before rushing in and making your own response to the denial, disability insurance attorneys Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters have some important details to help you choose the proper path forward. They’ve handled hundreds of ERISA appeals involving Hartford, with continuing increases due to the company’s 2018 acquisition of the long-term disability division of Aetna.

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When MetLife Insurance Company dishes out a denied disability claim, it’s crucial that your initial appeal is comprehensive and convincing. That’s because you only get one shot at it. Disability insurance lawyers Greg Dell and Alex Palamara, who have handled more than 1,000 of these MetLife claims, explain what’s involved in the process and what it takes for a successful ERISA appeal.

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As experts in long-term disability insurance claims, attorneys Greg Dell and Stephen Jessup explain the intricate layers involved in disability benefit denials and related lawsuits. Assuming that an individual by Cigna has completed all possible appeals and is now faced with filing a lawsuit, here’s a look the roadmap for filing that suit. From filing timelines to realistic expectations and possible remedies, these Dell & Schaefer disability insurance attorneys dig from a deep well of experience handling hundreds of Cigna claims, appeals and lawsuits across the country.

From Denial Letter to Lawsuit Filing

So, you’re holding a denial letter in your hand and have no idea what your options are – or even if any hopes of reprisal exist. The letter states that you have exhausted all remedies and the matter is closed. But that’s far from reality because that’s the point at which ERISA allows you to file a lawsuit to reassert your rights and claim legitimate disabled status.

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Juanita Nichols worked as a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Coordinator at Peco Foods, Inc, a chicken processing plant in Sebastopol, Mississippi. As part of her job, she was regularly exposed to cold temperatures as chicken processing plants are required by federal law to operate much of their facilities under a certain temperature for food safety reasons.

In late 2015 and early 2016, Nichols was diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomenon, a circulatory disorder. The condition meant that Nichols could develop gangrene if she continued to work in colder temperatures. On January 28, 2016, Nichols stopped working due to her limitations with working in the cold.


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For approximately 16 years, Shirley Lacko was employed by BKD, Inc., an accounting firm. When her health issues forced her to quit her job, she applied for both short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits due to her numerous documented medical problems. At the time she stopped working on September 25, 2015, her position was that of Senior Manager in the Audit Department with an annual salary of $93,250.04.

The disability insurance group policies her employer provided to her were issued by United of Omaha Life Insurance Company (United). United initially approved her claim for STD from October 12, 2015, through November 22, 2015.

United informed her she would receive no benefits after November 22, 2015. United seemed to accept that Lacko had a plethora of medical problems, but it concluded that she failed to prove that these problems prevented her from performing a material duty of her regular occupation.

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After working for a law firm as a healthcare attorney for more than seven years, Amanda Foster began having intractable migraine headaches, so she stopped working. She received long term disability (LTD) benefits from Principal Life Insurance Company (Principal) from September 4, 2013, until they were terminated effective December 9, 2014.

Foster filed two administrative appeals and submitted additional medical records. After Principal paid numerous physician reviewers, it denied her claim and found she was not disabled according to the meaning of her disability insurance policy. She then filed an ERISA lawsuit. That was decided in favor of Principal, so she appealed that denial to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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In Colon L. Carter v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine held that Aetna did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying Plaintiff’s claim for long term disability (LTD) benefits. Specifically, the Court held that “the insurer had a reasonable basis and sufficient evidence to deny the plaintiff’s claim for benefits. The Court therefore grants the insurer’s and denies the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment.”

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In Pamela Fleming v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), Plaintiff, a litigation attorney, was in a car accident in 1994 and suffered serious injuries to her spine. She never fully recovered and by July 2005, she was only able to work four hours a day and eventually had to completely stop working.

In December 2005, Unum approved Plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefits. Through the years, she periodically submitted updated medical records and continued to receive benefits until September 26, 2016, when Unum informed her by letter that her benefits were terminated. Unum stated that it believed she was no longer disabled and could return to work. After exhausting her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed this ERISA lawsuit.

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