William Gets His Fair Share
Computers are a boon to our workdays, but sometimes…not so much. Here’s a case where my client William Henderson was denied his rightful disability benefits because his doctor didn’t update his computerized medical records. Luckily, another attorney sent William to my office for help.
William devoted 33-years of his life working in a job he loved which had a big impact on his community. You see, William was a Process Technician with E-One, a manufacturer of firefighting equipment and ambulances, among other vehicles that rolled out of the manufacturing plant.
In his job, William coordinated communications between production, engineering and management, and physically performed plumbing trouble shooting requiring constant climbing, exposure to moving parts and vehicles, electrical currents, scaling high scaffolding and exposure to loud noise.
William took his job seriously and took great pride in performing his physical tasks. While William was devoted to his job, he also looked forward to the next phase of his life: retirement – “possibly starting a small business along with continuing to boat, fish and travel with my wife,” said William.
But ongoing and worsening health conditions made it impossible for William to keep working and severely impacted his retirement plans. It all started when William began experiencing vertigo affecting his balance, initially blamed on sinus problems. But a specialist at the Mayo Clinic discovered a different cause.
The Mayo Clinic’s Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) physician found that William’s cochlear bone had rubbed a hole through the dura mater, causing bone against skull, which was surgically corrected in 2014. The surgery alleviated William’s vertigo for a while, but with time, he again started experiencing more frequent vertigo and light-headedness. To add injury to insult, William suffered a stroke in 2021, causing memory loss and injury to his nerves responsible for balance and light-headedness.
“I was feeling like I was drunk 24/7,” said William.
Eventually, William had no choice but to stop working and file a long-term disability claim with his employer’s disability insurance carrier, Lincoln National Life. Naturally, he was denied, but for the wrong reasons.
Disability Denial = Fighting for Justice
Lincoln National denied William’s disability benefits when they plied through his primary care physician’s computerized medical records and discovered this outdated physician’s note:
“Patient states that despite his illness, he is able to perform activities of daily living and is able to work.”
In direct contradiction of William’s more current medical record history and assessment documentation, Lincoln National seized upon this outdated statement and on December 18, 2021, through E-One gave William an unwelcome Christmas gift: an e-mail advising that his claim had been denied.
On appeal, we proved through William’s accurate medical records that his progressive medical conditions no longer allowed him to perform his job. Lincoln National agreed, approved his claim and paid his back benefits.
William says, “Claudeth and her team did a great job on my appeal. We were very impressed and will refer Claudeth to anyone we know who find themselves in a similar situation. The day she called us to let us know that my claim had been approved was a welcome call and a happy day in our house!”
If you, your patients, or clients have an injury or medical condition preventing continued work and have been denied disability benefits from an employer-sponsored disability insurance program, contact me for a free evaluation. Why? Because it’s what I do to protect the rights of hard-working folks like William. Case Closed.