Hi, I'm Nick Ortiz. I'm a board-certified disability insurance attorney in Florida.
Today, I'm here to talk to you about The Hartford and long-term disability claims.
You may be here because The Hartford has either unreasonably delayed in the processing of your LTD claim, or they wrongfully denied or terminated your benefits. There are several primary reasons why The Hartford denies LTD claims.
The first is that they had one of their doctors either review your file or conduct a medical examination of you to investigate the claim, and their doctor may have come up with conclusions that, while you do have some limitations, you don't have enough limitations that would keep you from being able to do full-time work activity, and the insurance company uses that report against you.
A second reason why the insurance company may have denied you is because they had a vocational expert, or a vocational analyst, which is a job analyst, review your file, and their job analysts said that based on your medical records and your limitations and your work history that you can still perform work activity.
A third reason why The Hartford may have denied your claim is because of a change in the definition of the term disability. Under most group plans, the term disability is defined as the inability to perform the material duties of your own job for the first 24 months. What that means is for the first two years it's whether you can perform the material duties of your job or your own oc, we call it, own occupation. So for example, if you're a doctor, and you're a surgeon, and you cannot perform the material duties of being a surgeon, then you may qualify for the benefits under that plan. However, after two years, most policies change to say whether you could do any job or what we call any occupation. So using the same doctor example, if they say they understand that you cannot be a surgeon, but perhaps you could be a teacher or a professor, then they can deny your claim under the any occupation standard. So many claims are cut off at this two-year mark when there's a change in the term.
A fourth reason why LTD claims are denied by The Hartford is because they say that there is insufficient medical evidence to support the claim. What that means is, they are saying that they have reviewed all the evidence in the file, and they just don't think that it's significant enough to keep you from doing work, but here's one other thing. Sometimes they just don't have all the information, and therefore, it's insufficient because they don't actually have all your records, and that's one thing that we can do is help make sure that the insurance company has all the medical evidence to make the right decision in your case.
A fifth reason why The Hartford may have denied your case is because they have conducted surveillance, and that surveillance can be in one of two ways. First and foremost, they may have conducted covert video surveillance. What that means is they have actually hired a private investigator to follow you around and video record you, and the insurance company is saying that your activity level on that recording is inconsistent with the disability that you're alleging, but in today's day and age, there is a second form of surveillance, and that is by tracking you on social media. You can rest assured that the insurance company is following you on Facebook, on Twitter. If your privacy settings aren't set correctly, they may see what you're posting, including pictures and posts, and they may say that your activity levels identified in your social media is inconsistent with a disability, but the insurance company has not yet denied your claim.
You may also be here because they're simply taking way too long to issue a decision.
There are certain statutory time limits within which the insurance company has to make its decision. If they have not made a decision within those time limits, then you may have legal rights to enforce your claim, so I encourage you to contact us right away to discuss your legal rights. Our number is 850-308-7833. If you're not ready to talk to someone just yet and you'd like some additional information, then I encourage you to download a free digital copy of a book that I wrote called The Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long-term Disability claim. If you visit www.freeltdbook.com, you can download a copy right away. We look forward to hearing from you.