Thank you to the Blog reader who sent me this email. Sharing is a good way to help others understand their own unique claims. I couldn’t do it without you!
You were very kind to give me your thoughts on my situation in the past. I wanted to give you an update and let you know if you wanted to anonymize the details and not use my name you could use my case on your blog. Liberty (now Lincoln) is really using everything they have to not pay on a STD claim.
The background is also shown in the emails below; I filed a STD claim back in Fev 2018. I was out of work for panic and anxiety disorder until end of April 2018, when I returned to work.
The background is (also shown in the emails below); I filed a STD claim back in Feb 2018. I was out of work for panic and anxiety disorder until end of April 2018, when I returned to work.
First Liberty denied the claim, saying it wasn’t covered, because it was a work related injury and was workers comp. I appealed. On appeal, Liberty paid the claim from Feb. 2-28, and said they would request medical records to show proof of disability from Feb. 28 to April 28.
Liberty repeatedly sent the same letter (like the same generic letter 4 times) to my doctor and me requesting medical records, test results, and patient notes. I and my doctor repeatedly responded by saying if there was anything in particular they needed, please provide the request in writing saying what was needed that wasn’t already included in the Liberty Mental Evaluation and Certification forms completed by my doctor in mid-February, the narrative summary sent by my doctor on Feb. 28, 2019 (the exact day of the period they now were requesting), and a new narrative summary sent by my doctor in mid November 2019 to provide the updated details, along with updated forms. We also both told Liberty in writing that he does not provide patient notes or phone calls, but would respond to requests in writing. He also sent them a bill for the narrative summaries, which Liberty refused to pay.
In January 2019, Liberty denied the claim for the second time, saying that they had not received all the information they requested. I appealed again. Liberty just contacted my doctor again via phone call to “have some questions answered”. He told them to send any questions in writing.
As an aside, Liberty never sent me a copy of the Plan Summary, even though I asked my employer and Liberty numerous times. I contacted the Department of Labor in January 2019, and after that my employer sent me a copy. The DOL also told me, as did you, that I have a right to sue for damages for the delay. Of course, that means I have to sue.
As I said, I just am passing this along in case you want to use it on your blog. Its quite ridiculous – the claim is worth about $25,000 and I can’t believe that its worth it to Liberty to spend so many resources on this. My employer is self insured for beyond the NYS statutory amount, so maybe my employer is directing them to fight this.
It’s a good thing in one respect that this has dragged on so long. I was in no condition last year to expend the time and energy to fight this, which I suspect is what Liberty counts on. It’s draining and exhausting. I have come to the conclusion that Liberty will find a way to deny the claim and chance that I won’t continue to appeal. These companies really are the worst – why have disability insurance if they never want to pay a claim.
Anyway, keep up the good work. Your blog is a fantastic resource.