If this condition prevents you from working, long-term disability (LTD) benefits available through your employer can help make up for lost income. But unfortunately, valid claims are sometimes denied by insurers, and those applying for benefits must file an appeal. If you’re dealing with a denied LTD claim for spinal stenosis, our long-term disability attorneys in Chicago may be able to help. Bartolic Law has helped many people with Spinal Stenosis. Recently, we helped a client who worked in sales and spent a significant amount of time on a computer obtain long-term disability benefits due to cervical spinal stenosis. The insurer contested the claim.
We involved a vocational expert to demonstrate the client’s occupation required frequent to constant computer use, and due to the cervical stenosis radiating to arms and affecting neck movement, the client could not perform such work. Despite the insurer denying the claim, we were able to get our client paid in full, not a settlement.
Here are several tips for filing your spinal stenosis disability claim. Prior to filing your claim, review the terms of your LTD policy to make sure your condition is covered. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires your employer to provide copies of all policy-related documents, free of charge and at your request. To protect your rights to long-term disability benefits and in filing a claim, it is important to carefully document your spinal disorder. This includes visiting your doctors regularly, being compliant with medication, testing, and treatment, and getting copies of all test results, and maintaining your own medical records.
You will also need to make sure doctors document your disability, get second opinions or verification of your disability from other sources, and keep your own journal detailing the impacts your spinal stenosis has on your life. All of the above is important evidence that can be used in your case and presented to insurers when filing disability claims for spinal stenosis.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
At Bartolic Law, we provide the trusted legal guidance you need in filing disability claims. Our goal is to help you get the benefits you deserve. It’s never been easier to get the help you need. Complete this questionnaire to request your case evaluation from a Chicago long-term disability lawyer. You can also book an appointment online.