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ERISA • Employment Law

The Hartford Disability Insurance Claim Process: What to Expect

10 Dec 2019

Understanding disability insurance benefits can be confusing, and having your claim denied by your insurer is all too common. If you are preparing to file a long-term disability claim with The Hartford, or if your claim has been denied, an experienced disability benefits attorney may be able to help you present a stronger case and increase your chances of obtaining benefits. Attorney Adam H. Garner of The Garner Firm, Ltd. has successfully represented many clients in their fight to receive disability benefits from The Hartford. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some typical methods used by The Hartford and other long-term disability insurers during the claims process and possible next steps after a denial. While the information here is intended to give a helpful overview of what many disability plan participants experience, it’s important to remember that no two cases are the same, and many factors can influence the outcome of a disability claim or appeal. To discuss the specifics of your claim, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

The Hartford Disability Claims Process

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., commonly known as The Hartford, is one of the largest providers of group and employee benefits in the United States. Most claimants obtain coverage under a long-term disability insurance policy from The Hartford through their employer as part of a group disability plan.  

After a claim has been filed, The Hartford may use surveillance to monitor claimants’ behavior, including online posting. Claimants have reported being followed and recorded by private investigators hired to presumably find evidence that their disability claim is not valid. To help defend against this tactic, it is important that you observe any restrictions your doctor has given you regarding movement or physical activity. You are not required to be a prisoner in your own home, but your physical activities should be consistent with your disability.  Surveillance footage rarely tells the full story of a person’s limitations, and a skilled disability benefits attorney can help you document the true impact of your condition. 

Another common tactic used to declare a claim invalid involves gathering biased or inaccurate information about the claimant’s health. Large insurers like The Hartford may request that the claimant visit multiple doctors or specialists, request the same document numerous times, or send a questionnaire to the claimant’s doctor. These moves are often designed to trick you or your doctor into saying or documenting something that conflicts with your claim and can be used to deny your benefits.  Likewise, long-term disability insures, like The Hartford, have been known to cherry-pick participants’ medical evidence, focusing only on those medical records that support denying a claim while ignoring those records that support a finding of disability. 

What to Do If You’ve Been Denied Disability Benefits by The Hartford

Denial of long-term disability benefits from The Hartford is common, but there are ways to fight back. Group insurance policies issued by The Hartford for short-term and long-term disability are often regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as ERISA. This law gives policyholders specific rights, including the ability to appeal a denial of benefits.

A skilled ERISA lawyer can explain all the options in your case, and if applicable, help you file an appeal. The deadlines for filing an appeal are strict, so it’s important that you reach out to an attorney early in the process.

If Your Disability Insurance Claim was Denied, The Garner Firm, Ltd. May Be Able to Help

At The Garner Firm, Ltd., our attorney understands that disability benefits exist to help those in need support themselves and their families. We know how devastating a denial can be, and we have helped many families through this difficult process. If you believe that your disability insurance claim is being wrongly delayed or denied by The Hartford, contact The Garner Firm, Ltd. today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we may be able to help.

Experienced Counsel

Mr. Garner is an ERISA employee benefits and employment attorney with over a decade of experience. The laws governing employee benefits, the employment relationship, and the workplace are complex.

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