No. 7 – The long-term disability carrier is denying my benefits because my physician won’t respond to their request for information. What should I do?
The long-term disability carrier should not be contacting your treating physician without letting you know. In a 9th Circuit court case, Safon v. Wells Fargo & Company, Long-term Disability Plan, 522 F.3d 863 (9th Cir. 2008), the court held that direct contact with a treating physician was a direct violation of the ERISA fiduciary duty. This court also held that Met Life and Wells Fargo violated ERISA by attempting to use the physician's failure to respond as evidence against the claimant: "A doctor is not a lawyer; though he may provide information that is relevant to a claimant's disability, his actions...Continue reading