Description: This passage is mainly about liberty mutual login. In this passage, the disability lawyers discuss disability lawsuits against Liberty Mutual, which is a recent Liberty Mutual disability denial of a client with fibromyalgia and the disability claims handling tactics of Liberty.
Welcome to another edition of disability insurance law TV, my name is Gregory Dell, I’m an attorney with the law firm of attorney Schaefer, and today I have joined by attorney Rachel Altars and attorney Stephen Jessup, and in today’s episode, we are going to discuss the Liberty Mutual Group which is also known as Liberty life insurance as well.
We’re going to specifically discuss the way in which they handle long term disability insurance claims as well as some recent claim denials of long term disability insurance claims that have taken place around the country, before we get started, I want to let you know a little bit about the financial history of the Liberty Mutual.
Liberty Mutual is from a financial perspective, last year they had over 301 billion dollars in revenues and over 1 billion dollars in profits, they have over a hundred billion dollars in assets that they manage, so you’re dealing with an extremely large company that obviously has all of the resources to evaluate long term disability claims and fights long term disability claims if that need should arise.
There is something about my personal opinion especially about Liberty Mutual, I find that they’re one of the top companies in denying long term disability claims, and we handle cases for companies that have long term disability policies all over the country, and I find especially recently that a lot of denials have been with Liberty Mutual probably more.
So than any other company, most of the Liberty Mutual disability policies are ERISA governed policies, which means that they’re group disability of policies provided by the employers, so Liberty Mutual tends to be a company that is taking advantage of ERISA, as I’ve said in many shows, we’ve done that.
I think ERISA is a terrible law that takes advantage of claimants as it is, so Liberty Mutual has jumped on that bandwagon and you can see a lot of denials from Liberty Mutual, so Steve and Rachel, I think that I’ve prepared some cases today to discuss whether it’s case that our firm is personally handled or case that has been handled around the country.
Steve, what do you have to discuss today? I am looking on cases on the country, I’ve handled quite a few Liberty Mutual appeals, but one case is in particular and I think that this happens with a lot of people that ask for that once they get them, now it seems to be with Liberty Mutual, they also handle the short term disability claims handling, even though the assets may come out of the company.
So it’s a situation where Liberty Mutual will approve it, then when you’re doing that rollover into the long term, that’s when the denial comes in and we get a lot of calls, they denied me, I request the claim file, I want to send it to you, and obviously with the risks, they give you 180 days or six months to follow your appeal.
It seems like a long time especially receiving money, but in this case, I have found how important it is to make sure when you’re requesting the claim file, now you want an attorney on board with getting certain information, in this one case, I have found that it is a rather recent one in New York only a couple of years ago.
There are so many facts in this case, but something that is shocking to me is that they send this lady to an independent medical evaluation, she goes and she’s physically examined by the doctor which a lot of companies now aren’t even doing, and this doctor says that she’s totally disabled, he writes a report to Liberty.
Liberty is not happy with it, they want follow-up questions to what they send with the job description, because with job description when he does the first go-around and he sticks to his guns, they end up approving her for a little bit, but then they have a peer review doctor look over to court along with three separate video surveillance events.
And that doctor uses the IME report to say that she can work, she’s not disabled, when requesting the documentation, Liberty doesn’t turn over the surveillance, they don’t even turn over the follow-up questions to the IME doctor where the doctor reiterates his opinion that she’s being totally disabled.
So it’s processing them hiding information in the claim file saying that it isn’t asked for with enough specificity, and it is an ERISA file where they are required to give over the whole file after denial exactly, so eventually when it gets into court, the judge says that you are sure that you don’t provide with the full review, because you don’t have the opportunity to respond to this.
Then the problem becomes the situation for now where you’re with in this case for three years after the initial filing, and the judge remands back saying that if the record is incomplete, because counsel should have a chance to argue new liberties evidencing in its entirety, so the process is even longer, because an attorney who isn’t versed.
What to ask for, what to look for and what the insurance company usually does isn’t able to get that information readily available, and you are going through and finding their appeals, one of my recent ones that I have filed is quite some time ago, Liberty Mutual tends to try to drag things up, they want more and more.
Unfortunate with ERISA, sometimes you get to be careful, because if you do that, we’re not going to do this, it may be used against you later by the judge saying that the insurance company’s act is reasonable, and it seems that they will put you through the wringer a lot more than some of the other carriers, especially recently on the group policies and group claims.
Then they deny the claim especially in that transition point from short-term to long-term disability, I also find that their denial letters that whether it’s short term or long term disability are short and don’t have a lot of information in them, the ERISA regulations require them to tell a claimant as to the information that they’re missing in order to perfect their claim or prove that they’re disabled.
I think that you have a case that you’re working on recently where the claimant comes to us after they are denied their long term disability claim, then you have worked on the appeal and I think that it iss on fibromyalgia, could you tell us a little bit about some of the problems that you’ve been experiencing with that case?
This is a claimant that has severed fibromyalgia, and the problem in the case is that when they initially denied her, they pointed out the reason in the denial letter that they are denying her, because she didn’t have a neuropsychological test that was one of their major reasons and the functions, their limitations and restrictions weren’t listed.
So what happened was that we sent her for neuropsychological tests and had a thorough one done, there was a cognitive dysfunction and they completely disregarded that, they didn’t even mention that in their denial of the appeal, they also completely disregarded the fact that she had a functional capacity evaluation, where she wasn’t even able to perform.
On the first day of testing, she was in much pain and they didn’t mention it in the denial letter at all, so she was originally denied her claim and they said that there’s no neuropsychological exam, there’s no functional capacity, she goes back out and gets a neuropsychological exam at their request.
She gets a functional capacity exam at their request, both of those show limitations, and then you send all that information to the carrier and then they respond and say that we still don’t think that she’s disabled, in fact they don’t even mention that, we even performe those tests and they say that in fact she doesn’t have any restrictions limitations.
Because the doctor shouldn’t give her restrictions and limitations, they should have her use her muscles more doing as many activities as possible, and therefore she can go back to work full-time, because that will benefit her even though she’s in so much pain that she can hardly move, it doesn’t make any sense.
So her treating doctors are saying that you have all these frictions limitations and they’re saying that you should be doing more activities exactly, so what’s frustrating about this particular claimants case is that now she’s stuck in a position, where her only remedy is to go ahead and file lawsuit in federal court.
What’s especially frustrating now is that she’s gone over a year with no income coming in, she’s got a company that does a botched job on reviewing her file and doesn’t give her a fair review, a lawsuit will be filed, she’s been a winner, but it’s going to be a year and a half two years, she’s going to go with no income coming in.
Liberty Mutual can get away with this, with the only consequence being that at the end of the day, they have to pay her benefits, and possibly if the judge decides to award them to pay for her attorneys fees, but the comment about that what you have said and what the doctor has said is that she should do more activities.
It is concerning and embarrassing for Liberty Mutual, and her treating physicians tells her specifically that she should not be doing any activities, she should rest as much as possible, because she is in much pain that she has caused severe fatigue, and they even hurt her, they never see her, they never examine her, they think that they have one of their higher doctors look at her records and regard it as what we think, because she needs to do more activities.