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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19671
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello, I was on Long-Term Disability with JP Morgan Chase

Customer Question


I was on Long-Term Disability with JP Morgan Chase through The Hartford Insurance Co. and I am also receiving Social Security Disability. I received a six page letter from the Hartford Insurance Co. advising that that I no longer qualified for Long-Term Disability and that they were terminating it effective Feb 26, 2011. I have had two cervical spine fusions and I am fused from C-4-C-7. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia as a result of these surgeries. I also have a herniated disc at L5-S1 and suffer from Sleep Apnea and Depression.

The Hartford states that because I wrote on my Facebook that I had taken several trips one to Hawaii and others to Boston and Rhode Island that I no longer am disabled according to them they think I can do more and are able to work. Well I am not able to work because some days I am in so much pain I cannot even take a shower or function at any reasonable capacity. Other days I might be able to get out and do a few things however nothing of any strenuous capacity. There is no way I can work a regular work week because I never know how I am going to feel. I can be sick in bed for days at a time.

According to their policy it states that I must be able to work a normal work schedule if they determine I am not disabled.

So I guess my question is do I have a good chance if I attempt to take civil action against them for unlawful termination of disability and thus termination of employment.

In the letter the Hartford sent me it did state that I had 180 days to appeal their decision and then if they denied my appeal I could take civil action against them. Well I have not appealed their decision yet however I am going to appeal it but I have not been feeling well enough to sit down and do this. In the meantime my employer sent me a letter advising since I was aware that my disability benefits had ended that my employment was terminated.

They did not even give me the 180 days as it stated in The Hartfords letter to appeal the decision before they decided to terminate my Employment. My major concern is my benefits. I am receiving Social Security Disability however I am only Insured under Medicare Part A and B. I do not have Part D Medicare. I was insured through United Healthcare with JP Morgan Chase as my supplement policy to cover anything Part A and Part B Medicare did not include and also had prescription coverage with that as well through Caremark. So I guess I am going to have to try to get Part D with Medicare now. And my husband was also insured under my Plan with JP Morgan Chase so I guess he will have to find his own insurance since he is self employed.

I did call my Attorney that helped me with obtaining my Social Security Disability Claim and they advised me that as long as I was on Social Security Disability that my Employer had to keep my Long-Term Disability in tact and to respond to all of their accusations in the letter and send a copy of my SS Award Letter as well as advise that if they do not approve my appeal that I will report them to the Insurance Commissioner in FLorida which is where I reside.

Any help or insight with this matter would be great. Thanks.

Oh also they state that my Neurosurgeon agreed with their decision and that my Pain Management doctor did not agree with their decision.

709 Lake Stone Circle
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32083

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. However, I am not sure why your social security attorney believes that the decision of your LTD carrier is tied to your SSDI benefits. Unless there is something in your LTD policy that says there is an unrebutable presumption that eligibility for SSDI makes you automatically eligible for LTD, then it just isn't the case.

You can certainly use the Social Security determination as support for your appeal but, unless the language or similar language appears in your LTD policy, it will only be a piece of the evidence. I might suggest that you contact a local employment law attorney who handles issues related to ERISA, which your LTD policy falls under. They can very likely help you with your appeal, and if you have to file suit, they can do that on your behalf.

As for your termination, your company apparently had a more favorable employment policy then the general law in Florida. Normally,if the employee is stays out beyond their 12 week FMLA period, an employer can terminate them if they cannot return to work, whether they are on LTD or not. In other words, LTD does not provide job protection under the law. However, an employer can have a policy that is more favorable and apparently your company did. They though are not required to hold your job pending the LTD policy appeal process unless you are able to go back to work.

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