In nearly all group disability insurance policies, the disability definition changes to an “any occupation” standard typically after typically24 months. This standard seems equivalent to Social Security, but is considerably more complex. The insurance definitions can vary based on earnings qualification and the degree of skill transferability. Bartolic Law leads the industry in demonstrating insurers incorrectly apply these changed definitions, either due to overstating your physical abilities or overstating the skills you employed in your prior work. In one client’s case, the insurer vocationally concluded it could not find an alternate occupation without the client’s physical ability to perform at the light exertion level. We suspected the insurer pressured an independent medical examiner to change her opinion, and shortly after serving the doctor with a subpoena, the insurer folded and reinstated the claim in full.
In Contreras v. United of Omaha, Bartolic Law obtained a judgment that helped our client, and thousands of others around the country, by persuading the court the insurer’s assumption a claimant can always earn at least the median wage in a substitute occupation is not credible, especially when the degree of transferability of skills is quite low. Bartolic Law has worked with the best vocational experts for so long, we can identify at the outset when the insurer’s vocational expert’s opinion lacks enough credibility to withstand judicial review. This is a small sample of our results.