Bartolic Law has helped many doctors get long-term disability claims paid, under Individual Disability Insurance policies, and group long-term disability insurance coverage offered by the employer. In many cases, we advise clients with both, as doctors frequently have both group and Individual Disability Insurance. We have represented all kinds of physicians, including Cardiologists, Anesthesiologists, Gastroenterologists, and more. In one client’s case, we advised the client regarding the disability benefits under the Individual Disability Insurance policy and group long-term disability policy, and helped structure a plan of return to employment in a different role that protected the client from losing rights under any policy and maximized total income. While changing employers is not usually a concern under the Individual Disability Insurance policies, it can trigger a loss of coverage under a group long-term disability policy if your disability earnings exceed a certain threshold. By changing employers, the client would be subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion under a new group long-term disability insurance, so maintaining coverage under the existing group policy was essential until the client gained coverage under any new employer’s group policy.
As a surgeon, you rely on your brain, focus, hand dexterity, and coordination every time you enter an operating room. Once you experience a disability that impacts your mental or physical faculties, you might have to take a long break from surgery or step away from your career completely. When something like this happens, it can be devastating – both emotionally and financially. Not only does a disability threaten the career you worked so hard for, but how will you support yourself and your family if you lose your surgeon’s income?
Fortunately, the disability coverage you have should provide benefits that help to replace the wages you lost. Do not expect the insurance company to make it easy, though, as it is a business and profits are its priority. This often means that insurers deny valid claims or cause other headaches before you start to receive benefits. Protect yourself by consulting with a Chicago disability benefits lawyer as soon as you suspect you will need to stop working. The sooner you get professional legal help, the sooner you are likely to start receiving financial support from your disability insurer.
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)
As a surgeon, you face tough decisions every day, though one decision is simple – reach out to Bartolic Law if you need to file a disability claim. We regularly represent professionals like you, so please contact us for a claim evaluation as soon as you can.