As a new employee to Ball State University, have you ever questioned whether your insurance carrier will “be there” when you are disabled from an injury or accident? As a BSU employee, you may make monthly premium payments for long term disability coverage through payroll deduction, only to find out that when you need it, the insurance carrier is putting up road blocks to your rightful and deserved disability benefits. The consequences of denials or early terminations in disability benefit claims can be devastating.
The O’Ryan Law Firm has represented numerous employees of several universities, including Ball State University, who have become disabled because of serious illnesses such as chronic pancreatitis, Lyme’s disease, fibromyalgia, degenerative disk disease, and cancer. A large number of those clients were employees who had worked for a university for many years, some even decades, before reaching the point where they were no longer able to work because of their medical conditions.
Ball State University’s Long-Term Disability Plan is an income replacement plan for BSU employees who become disabled due to an illness or accident. The following is general information regarding long-term disability coverage provided to BSU employees:
- With claim approval, the plan provides income replacement benefits to BSU employees who become disabled due to an illness or accident after a 60-day waiting period.
- Replaces up to 60 percent of a BSU’s employee’s salary, to a maximum of $15,000 per month, before deduction of other income benefits such as Social Security Disability, Worker’s Compensation income, or similar benefits from other sources.
- After the first 26 months of disability, the continuing benefit period percentage is reduced from 60 percent to 20 percent. Maximum duration of benefits is based upon your age when disabled and your Social Security normal retirement age.
- Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance is one of Ball State’s mandatory ancillary benefits, with pretax premiums subsidized by the university at 75 percent.
- Ball State employees’ share of premiums can be figured by using [(base salary) x 103 percent] / (12 x $0.00076)
Hartford Insurance Company is the insurance carrier for the BSU long term disability program. Many university employees have contacted our office after Hartford denied their claim upon their initial application for benefits or when Hartford wrongfully terminated the benefits before an employee was actually able to return to work.
Under the BSU employee benefit program, a disabled BSU employee receives, in addition to monthly disability benefit payment, medical coverage, life insurance coverage, tuition reimbursement for their children who attend BSU and retirement annuity deposits. When Hartford wrongfully denies or terminates a BSU employee’s disability claim, all of those benefits are immediately terminated. As a consequence of Hartford Insurance’s wrongful denial of disability benefits, the disabled BSU employee will no longer have the medical coverage they need for treatment, they will lose their life insurance coverage, be required to pay full tuition for their kids and lose retirement contributions. As a result, Standard Insurance’s denial can have a dramatic impact on the life of a disabled IU employee.
Hartford typically hires consulting physicians, nurses and vocational rehabilitation specialists, who never examine let alone meet our clients, to review the person’s medical records and conclude, contrary to the treating physicians, that the client does not have any restrictions or functional impairments. Hartford then uses the conclusions of the consulting physicians as the reason to deny our clients’ claims. Hartford is also infamous for conducting surveillance on their disability claimants in order to utilize even the most minimal activity to justify the denial of a claim.
The O’Ryan Law Firm has successfully handled the appeals and lawsuits of BSU employees when they are wrongfully denied disability benefits or their benefits are prematurely terminated . If you have received a denial or termination letter from Hartford Insurance or need help with your application for disability benefits, please contact us so that we may discuss and assist you on the best strategy for moving forward with your disability claim.