People in Florida who have long-term disability insurance through their employers or as standalone policies may believe that they will be protected if they are disabled and no longer able to return to their jobs. Unfortunately, some insurance companies routinely deny valid claims. In one case, a federal judge reversed a long-term disability insurance company's denial of a claim by one of its insureds.
In the case, Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company denied a woman's claim for benefits. The 62-year-old woman had worked at a chicken processing plant in Mississippi in an area that was kept at a temperature of no more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The woman developed circulatory problems and Reynaud's disease, and her doctor said that she could not return to her job because exposure to cold temperatures could cause her veins to spasm and potentially result in gangrene.
The woman filed for long-term disability benefits with Reliance, and the company denied her claim. The court reversed the decision by the insurance company and awarded the woman her attorney's fees. The judge said that the case was part of a systemic problem of the company routinely denying valid disability claims.
Long-term disability insurance is designed to provide benefits to people who are no longer able to work at their jobs. When companies deny claims, people may want to consult with experienced attorneys who may assist their clients with building their files during the internal appeals process. If the process is exhausted, the attorneys may file a formal lawsuit against the company in the court that has jurisdiction over the matter. Having the help of an attorney after a denial may make it likelier that a claimant may ultimately succeed.
Source: Clarion Ledger, "Mississippi federal judge blasts insurance company for denying disability claims", Jimmie Gates, July 2, 2018.