Client Success Stories
What Sets Us Apart
Our Minnesota Law Firm has a proven track record of winning. When you are hurt at work or disabled and unable to work, the attorneys you hire can make all the difference in whether you will win your case, including your Workers’ Compensation settlement amounts, disability settlements and getting your benefits approved.
Fields Law Firm has a winning record of getting our clients the compensation and benefits they deserve while at the same time looking out for their long term interests. Here are just a few of our client success stories.
Workers Compensation Settlement Amounts
A Minnesota painter injured his back and neck about 15 years ago while working. He received workers compensation benefits for years, and was able to work part time at a hardware store and still receive benefits. Suddenly, the hardware store he worked at announced they were closing. Frightened that his lost employment would impact his benefits, he contacted Fields Law Firm to monitor his claim with the insurance company.
Sure enough, the insurance company was going to reexamine the claim based on an update to our client’s employment status. The Fields Law attorneys jumped into action. They contacted our client’s doctors for updated reports on his medical status, and filed a claim petition with the department of labor to challenge the insurance company in court. During preparations for trial, Fields Attorneys aggressively negotiated a lump-sum settlement for our client. He was overjoyed with the settlement amount, and pleased with the professional representation he received from Fields Law Firm.
A woman was working as a personal care attendant at an adult foster care facility when one of her clients became upset. The client attacked the woman and struck her, inflicting injuries to her head, neck, and back. She also developed PTSD and post-concussion symptoms. Fields Law Firm successfully defended an attempt to discontinue the woman’s wage loss benefits and then pursued settlement negotiations. We were able to leverage our defense of wage loss benefits into a large settlement reflecting the fact that the woman wouldn’t be able to return to work for several years.
We represented a carpenter who sustained a serious back injury while working for his employer that made him unable to continue working as a carpenter. Our client’s employer and its workers’ compensation insurer refused to cover the medical bills associated with his work injury. Our team fought the insurance company and helped him obtain a settlement, which included medical costs, wage loss, and the cost of an education. The final settlement for the client was $175,000. In addition to the settlement, medical benefits related to the client’s back remain open, meaning our team continues to work with the client’s doctors today to ensure that he gets all of the medical care that he needs due to his work injury.
A truck driver slipped during a routine unloading of his truck, and he twisted his ankle. When his symptoms persisted, he sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with a ruptured tendon. The driver contacted us and we monitored his case to ensure all benefits were paid. He required multiple surgeries to his injured ankle, and he ultimately developed disabling complex regional pain syndrome as a result of his original work injury. The restrictions precluded him from his past employment. The insurance company eventually started to deny paying for his medical treatment. We fought back against the denials, and we were ultimately able to secure a settlement in the amount of $168,500, which helped cover future medical expenses, wage loss, and potentially re-training.
Several years ago, a man was involved in a catastrophic work-related car accident. The impact resulted in the need for a serious spinal surgery, which the insurance company initially paid for. Years later the man needed a second surgery due to degeneration which the insurance company denied. In denying the second surgery, the insurance company relied on an independent medical examination that stated the man’s problems were not causally related to the car accident. Fields law firm worked closely with the surgeon who recommended the second surgery to establish causation. The insurance carrier agreed to pay for the recommended spinal surgery and pay the man a large settlement.
A nurse fell at work and injured her shoulder. She received worker’s compensation benefits for partial disability for a couple of years. Her condition did not improve and she was told by doctors that she would not be able to return to work. Around this same time, the insurance company that was paying her benefits went out of business. The new insurance company reexamined her file and found one doctor the year prior who said she could return to work. The new company cut her benefits significantly based on one doctor’s report out of the dozens she submitted.
Upset at her loss of income, she contacted Fields Law Firm for help. Our attorneys snapped into action, gathering medical records from all of our client’s treating physicians, and filing a petition with the Department of Labor. During preparations for a hearing, Fields Attorneys aggressively negotiated a generous settlement for our client. She was pleased with the fierce advocacy that Fields Law Firm provided, and she was overjoyed to enjoy the funds from settlement.
Our team represented a woman who sustained a leg injury while carrying cement bricks in her position as a laborer for a large construction company. As result of her work injury, the woman suffered a permanent partial disability and needed retraining in order to make a wage commensurate with what she earned before her work injury. Our team fought the insurance company to make sure the client was compensated for all of these expenses. The final settlement amount in this case was $125,000.
A 47-year-old engineer injured his back in a fluke accident at work, where his chair moved out from under him as he was trying to sit down. The man fell into a wall and then onto the ground. He required surgery and missed substantial time from work. Initially, the workers’ compensation insurer paid for his medical bills and wage loss.
Eventually the man returned to work, but continued to suffer from chronic back pain. Several years later, he wanted to get treatment for his chronic back pain, which stemmed from his work injury. However, the workers’ compensation insurer refused to pay for treatment, specifically, a spinal cord stimulator.
The man thought that the spinal cord stimulator was his last resort in terms of pain relief. He turned to Fields Law Firm for help. We obtained a written opinion from his surgeon, outlining the necessity for the spinal cord stimulator. The workers’ compensation insurer continued to fight. Eventually we were able to reach a compromise with the workers compensation insurer, where they paid for a portion of the surgery. We were also able to get some money into our client’s pocket for the time he missed from work and for future wage loss that he could incur in the future.
A Minnesota sanitation worker stepped off of a truck and into a pothole. He suffered a serious break of his foot and was unable to work. He filed a claim and was paid workers compensation benefits through his employer. He knew from other co-workers that workers compensation insurers often change their minds on paying out benefits, so he retained Fields Law Firm to monitor his claim. If the insurer changed their mind or said he could return to work while he was still injured, Fields attorneys would advocate for him.
After a few months of receiving benefits, the insurance company could not get a report from our client’s treating physician and said they were cutting off benefits. Our attorneys jumped into action and provided a different doctor who could give the report. They also stayed in touch with the insurance company to aggressively advocate for our client who was still out of work. Our client and the insurance company both agreed to mediate the decision. Fields attorneys negotiated a generous lump-sum settlement for our client. Our client was impressed with the professional representation Fields Law Firm provided and is very happy with his settlement check.
A press operator at a plastics processing plant was electrocuted at work. A tool he was holding contacted exposed wires and caused a strong shock. He experienced blurred vision, shaking spells, and severe pain in his neck and hands. His symptoms were too much and he was unable to return to work even after weeks of treatment. He applied for benefits through his employer’s workers compensation insurance. The insurer denied him benefits, saying that he was able to return to work.
Upset and still experiencing severe pain that made work impossible, he contacted Fields Law Firm for help. Our attorneys contacted the insurance company and all of our client’s doctors to establish a strong medical record. Fields Attorneys filed a claim with the Department of Labor to fight for our client’s benefits. During preparation for a hearing, Fields Attorneys were able to negotiate a generous settlement for our client. He was pleased with the strong advocacy from Fields Law Firm, and very pleased with the settlement amount.
Our team represented a machinist with a physically demanding job who sustained a herniated disc in his low back at work. Despite extensive chiropractic care and physical therapy, our client’s pain was too severe for him to continue to do his pre-injury job. The workers’ compensation insurer initially accepted liability for the work injury, but eventually discontinued paying the benefits arguing that the employee had stopped working and that his disabling condition was unrelated to the admitted work injury. Despite this, our workers’ compensation attorneys helped the client obtain a significant settlement in the amount $100,000, which allowed him to move past his unfortunate work injury.
We represented a hospital employee who sustained a significant back injury while transferring a patient at work. As a result of this work injury, our client has severe spondylolisthesis, which causes him disabling pain in his low back. Due his work injury, he can never work again. Our team helped the client obtain settlement against the hospital and its insurer for more than $110,000 due to his permanent, total disability.
A man working as a laborer for a recycling plant suffered a severe injury to his low back when he was setting up Gaylords. His symptoms extended into his right lower leg. He was unable to return to work and eventually underwent a lumbar fusion surgery. Unfortunately, the man remained symptomatic after his fusion surgery and was not able to return to his job at the recycling plant. In fact, his doctors determined that there was very little work that the man could perform in light of his ongoing pain and symptoms from his work injury.
Fields Law Firm argued that the man was rendered permanently and totally disabled as a result of his work injury and secured a large settlement for the man. As part of the settlement, the workers’ compensation insurer remains responsible for reasonable, necessary medical treatment related to his work injury.
A woman working for a canine boarding kennel suffered a disc herniation in her low back when a large dog knocked her over. Doctors treated her injury conservatively with injections and physical therapy. At one point, her doctors contemplated a surgical procedure, but the woman ultimately decided not to undergo surgery. The effects of her work injury left her unable to perform her work at the boarding kennel or any other work.
After receiving 130 weeks of Temporary Total Disability benefits, the maximum amount allowed under Minnesota law, Fields Law Firm helped the woman to pursue a claim for Permanent Total Disability Benefits. We were able to secure a large settlement for future wage loss benefits and as part of the settlement, the workers’ compensation insurer remains responsible for reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to her work injury.
A machinist slipped on oil at his workplace and suffered a serious injury to his back, which required a lumbar fusion. His workers’ compensation insurer paid for his medical treatment for a number of years, but when he developed chronic pain and depression as a result of this injury, the insurer ceased paying for his medical care. We were able to secure opinions from his doctors, which clarified the causal connection between his work injury and his development of chronic pain and depression. Ultimately, we were able to secure a settlement of $113,000 for our client.
A mechanic at a local thermal processing company injured his neck while moving a large motor during installation. He suffered a multi-level disc herniation. The insurance company originally accepted his workers’ compensation claim, and we monitored the claim throughout the process. After paying for multiple surgeries, the insurance company attempted to discontinue the workers’ wage loss benefits. We fought that discontinuance and won. We filed a petition for penalties based on previous late payments to the worker, and we ultimately secured a settlement of $110,000.
Our client was a metal worker for an engineering company, where he primarily moved metal parts around and ground metal parts as an order required. One day while moving various parts around, he heard and felt a click in his back. Within a month, he was unable to perform his essential job duties, and he was no longer able to work. The insurance company denied his claim outright.
We filed a claim petition on his behalf. The insurance company sent our client to their independent medical examination, and that doctor stated that any injury was due entirely to either our client’s overweight status or degenerative conditions. The case was scheduled for trial, but the insurance company agreed to mediate the matter before going to trial. The case settled at mediation for $125,000.
A lineman for a cable company suffered injuries to his wrist and hand when a concrete lid fell on him while his arm was extended underneath the lid working on cables. The insurance company originally paid for his wage loss and medical treatment. When it came time for the client to have surgery, the insurance company not only refused to pay for the surgery, but they discontinued the client’s wage loss benefits without providing any notice. We filed a claim petition to recover not only the wage loss and medical benefits that the insurance company should have paid, but also for penalties against the insurance company for failure to provide proper notice.
The insurance company offered $50,000 to settle before going to trial, and that offer was rejected. The Judge awarded the client every benefit requested at trial, including the maximum penalties allowed by statute. The insurance company appealed the Judge’s award. After both sides had submitted appellate briefs to the Court of Appeals, the insurance company finally settled for $100,000.
The insurance company then failed to send the settlement check in a timely manner as required by statute, and they ended up paying an additional $20,000 for penalties on the late payment of the settlement.
Long Term Disability
Long Term Disability Recoveries
Benefits Approved For Woman With Disabling Pain And Depression
A woman who worked as a Child Support Officer for her local county was denied disability benefits after becoming unable to work due to her battle with lower extremity lymphedema. This condition caused severe swelling in her legs that affected her gait and her ability to balance, which caused her to fall frequently. The woman also suffered from depression and had significant cognitive impairments, including memory problems and inability to concentrate.
She was confused and distraught about the denial of her benefits. The woman knew she needed to appeal the denial but her insurance policy was complex and she was unsure of the process.
Fields Law Firm helped the woman with her case from beginning to end. We reached out to three of our client’s treating physicians to get the information needed to reverse the insurance company’s denial. Our client found peace in knowing that she would not have to worry about paying her bills.
Large Settlement Recovered After Unfair Denial By Insurance Company
Our client became totally disabled from her job as a pharmacy technician due to chronic back pain, caused by bulging and herniated discs in her lumbar spine. Her insurance company denied our client benefits claiming that her job was sedentary and was within her physical capabilities.
The client was confused because her job required constant standing. It also required her to be moving around the pharmacy and between the counter and the filling station for nearly the entire work day. After unsuccessfully appealing the decision on her own, she came to us for help. We were happy to fight the insurance company to get her the benefits she desperately needed.
Based on our experience, we knew that the insurance company had not considered how physically demanding our client’s job could be. We sent our client’s file to a vocational expert for an Independent Vocational Review. This person conducted a national and local job outlook study and determined that the position of pharmacy technician requires constant standing and walking.
The team at Fields Law Firm drafted a strong appeal for our client, exposing all of the insurance company’s errors. In the end, we recovered a large settlement for our client without having to go to court.
Significant Settlement Secured For Man Suffering From Multiple Sclerosis
A young man who worked as a technician became totally disabled from doing his job due to his battle with multiple sclerosis. He was experiencing a decline in his cognitive and neuropsychological functioning. About nine months after he started receiving benefits, his insurance company cut off his benefits claiming that he no longer met the definition of “totally disabled” under his policy. The insurance company claimed that the man’s participation in social activities and exercise proved that he was able to work.
The former technician chose Fields Law Firm to help him appeal the insurance company’s unfair decision. We know that being disabled does not mean that a person must not or cannot engage in any social or recreational activity. In fact, our client’s doctor had recommended he exercise to improve his symptoms. Our team prepared an appeal highlighting the insurance company’s errors.
The insurance company also failed to consider all of the symptoms of his MS, such as fatigue. We strengthened our client’s case by gathering statements from his treating physicians outlining the restrictions that the insurer missed. We resolved the case with the insurance company through mediation. Our client was thrilled with the results of the settlement.
Long Term Disability Appeal Won For Disabled Nurse
The Fields team had the opportunity to help a 64-year-old nurse suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia after the insurance company cut off her benefits. The insurance company argued that the nurse should be able to find a sedentary job using her transferable skills. The insurance company relied on an incomplete analysis of the nurse’s ability to find work, and claimed that the nurse should pursue positions that would require considerable training and education.
The former nurse came to Fields Law to represent her in appealing the discontinuation of her benefits. The team at Fields Law helped the client through the entire process. We worked diligently to prove that the former nurse was truly unable to find suitable work. The Fields Law Attorney prepared an appeal that detailed the mistakes and thoughtlessness of the insurance company’s review of the nurse’s claim. The insurance company had no choice but to reinstate her benefits.
Benefits Reinstated After Unjust Discontinuation
A staffing specialist at Allina Hospitals and Clinics had been receiving disability benefits from their insurance company since 2003, when she was forced to stop working due to her systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, and life-threatening pulmonary emboli. The insurance company abruptly discontinued her benefits at a time when her health was continuing to decline. She was very ill, requiring 24-hour home health care, along with IV fluids and tube feedings. Her medical expenses were substantial. She had already appealed the discontinuation once on her own, but the insurance company upheld its decision to discontinue.
Fearful for her future and the future of her family, the woman contacted us at Fields Law Firm and discussed her case with an Attorney. Our team determined exactly what was necessary to prove our client was disabled. We collaborated with her doctors to make clear to the insurance company the severity of her condition. Because of our work, our client’s benefits were reinstated and she was provided back pay for the time her benefits had been wrongfully cut off.
Substantial Settlement after Denial of Benefits
Our client became totally disabled from his work due to his inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis, restless leg syndrome, low back pain, and cervical radiculopathy. He worked for many years as a director of employee services for his employer. This job required him to travel to worksites in his region weekly for inspections. His physical limitations due to his conditions, especially with respect to standing, made it impossible for him to continue this work. However, his insurance company denied the worker’s claim for long-term disability benefits, alleging that the worker’s occupation was sedentary in nature. The insurance also claimed that a statement from the claimant’s physician did not contain physical restrictions severe enough to preclude him from performing the duties of his job.
The disabled employee made the decision to get Fields Law Firm to help him fight the insurance company’s wrongful denial of benefits. The Fields Law team showed that the insurance company failed to properly evaluate our client’s claim, and that by doing so, the insurance company breached its fiduciary duty to our client. First, they had wholly misstated the physician’s statement, ignoring important limitations and restrictions imposed on our client by his doctor. In addition, they misclassified the disabled worker’s occupation as a sedentary position, when in fact, the position was not sedentary in nature at all. Attorney Operana provided evidence that his client’s job was actually performed at a “light duty,” or even “medium duty” exertional level. Our team filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of our client. Attorney Operana was able to settle the case for a lump sum without having to go to court.
Disability Benefits Reinstated after being Discontinued Based on Invalid Workability Assessment
Our client worked as a mixer driver for a concrete company. Our client became disabled from doing this job due to chronic back and bilateral knee pain. His diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea also contributed to his disability. The insurance company initially paid our client long term disability benefits. However, the insurance company abruptly discontinued his benefits based on an Employability Assessment it conducted, which stated that our client was capable of performing gainful employment based on his lack of restrictions and limitations, as well as his education, transferrable skills, work history and residual capacity.
The disabled worker, confused and distraught about the insurance company’s actions, came to Fields Law Firm. Our team was able to spot critical errors made by the insurance company when it discontinued our client’s benefits. In preparing the Employability Assessment, the insurance company had based the analysis of his workability on a misleading report from a doctor. This doctor had released our client to work with no restrictions, but he only based his decision on the resolution of a temporary shoulder injury our client suffered from. The doctor did not consider our client’s disabling conditions, for which he was approved for benefits in the first place. the Fields Law Attorney prepared a strong appeal exposing the insurance company’s mistakes, leaving the insurance company having no choice but to reverse its decision and reinstate our client’s long term disability benefits.
Long Term Disability Benefits Won Under “Any Occupation” Definition of Disability
A woman who worked for many years as a personnel officer for the state was unable to continue to work due to a number of serious and debilitating mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, bipolar 1 disorder, and ADHD. The insurance company accepted her claim and paid her long term disability benefits for two years under the “your occupation” definition of disability. After two years, the insurance company continued to pay benefits under the “any occupation” definition of disability. Despite the woman’s continuing impairments and limitations, the insurance company discontinued her benefits based on an Independent Review Report prepared by a doctor who reviewed the woman’s medical records.
Confused and distraught about the insurance company’s action, the woman called Fields Law Firm for help. Our team immediately began working on an appeal to fight the insurance company’s discontinuation of benefits. We argued they had ignored important parts of our client’s records, which showed that her condition had not improved and that she continued to suffer from limitations that make her disabled from any occupation. The appeal was a success, and the insurance company reinstated our client’s long-term disability benefits. Our client was put at ease, knowing that she would have financial security despite her disabling mental health conditions.
Long-Term Disability Benefits Reinstated after Insurance Company Applied Wrong Definition of Disability under Policy
Our client worked as a packager in a factory for many years until she became disabled due to chronic back pain in January 2013. At that time, the insurance company began paying her long-term disability benefits. However, the insurance company seized her benefits in September 2015, alleging that her medical records did not continue to support severe and incapacitating symptoms that would warrant work in any capacity beyond that date.
Our client was frustrated and confused because she knew she could not return to work in her condition. She called us for help in appealing the insurance company’s discontinuation of her benefits. The Fields Law team prepared a strong appeal letter for our client, in which we exposed the fact that the insurance company had applied the wrong standard of disability in discontinuing her benefits. Our client’s policy provided for payment of disability based on an inability to perform the duties of her “own occupation” for 36 months. At the time of its discontinuation, our client did not need to prove she was unable to work “in any capacity” in order to remain eligible for benefits.
The appeal prepared by Fields showed that the insurance company had breached its fiduciary duty to our by misusing video surveillance. The appeal also highlighted why the insurance company should not have ignored the Social Security Administration’s finding that our client is totally disabled from any job in the national economy.
In the end, Fields was successful in appealing the insurance company’s decision and our client’s benefits were reinstated. Our client was thrilled that the benefits on which she relies will continue.
Discontinuation of Long Term Disability Benefits Appealed and Reversed
A customer service agent suffering from an immunity virus, chronic low back pain, and coronary artery disease was abruptly cut off from his benefits based on the insurance company’s selective and partial review of his medical and vocational records. In support of the discontinuation, the insurance company stated that the claimant should be capable of frequent and continuous sitting and frequent standing and walking. The insurer relied on the opinion of a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist who reviewed the worker’s file and opined that he was able to perform sedentary work.
The disabled worker called Fields Law Firm because he knew that his insurance company had made a mistake. Our team prepared a winning appeal for our client that exposed the inadequacy of the insurance company’s review. In preparing the appeal, we gathered reports from our client’s treating doctors and highlighted parts of his medical records to show that he remained entirely disabled from not just his own, but any occupation. We forced the insurance company to admit its mistake, reinstate our client’s long term disability benefits and award him back pay for lost benefits.
Benefits Reinstated After Wrongful Discontinuation
Our team had represented a worker who was unable to continue his job due to neurocardiogenic syncope, an autonomic nervous system reflex disorder that causes the individual’s heart rate and blood pressure to drop, leading to fainting episodes. In discontinuing the worker’s benefits, the insurance company relied on the opinions of two doctors who had never even seen the man, but felt that he could perform sedentary work based on their review of his medical records. Additionally, the insurance company stated that the man’s restrictions, as provided by his treating doctor, were “preventative” in nature and not indicative of his ability/inability to perform gainful work.
The Fields Law team presented a strong brief to the insurance company, in which they argued that it had not applied the correct standard of disability when it found that her client was not disabled. they argued that the fact that her client’s restrictions were in place to prevent him from fainting and sustaining further injury did not preclude payment of benefits under his policy. The Fields Law team also gathered updated medical records for the client and illustrated that his condition had not improved since he was initially awarded benefits. Based on these efforts, the insurance company agreed to reinstate the man’s benefits.
Settlement Awarded after Discontinued Benefits
A custodian working at a public school was forced to stop working due to degenerative joint disease, arthritis, and tendonitis in his shoulder. The worker’s long-term disability insurer, initially awarded the man benefits. However, after paying benefits for several months, the insurance company discontinued his benefits. The insurer alleged that the definition of disability had changed and that the man no longer met the definition of disability. The insurance company based its denial on the opinion of a vocational consultant.
The disabled worker came to us for help getting his benefits reinstated. We fought hard for him every step of the way. We filed a strong appeal directly to the insurance company, which demonstrated that the vocational consultant’s opinion was not supported by the claimant’s functional capacity. Our team also represented the former custodian in his claim for Social Security Disability Benefits. After our client was found disabled by the Social Security Administration, we used the SSA decision to support our client’s claim for ongoing long-term disability benefits. We helped the client obtain a significant settlement for his case, helping him to find some peace despite his inability to work.
Reinstatement of Benefits Under “Any Occupation” Definition of Disability
A housekeeping staff manager very much enjoyed her work and was a valued employee at the hotel where she worked until she became physically disabled from performing her job. She was initially awarded long-term disability benefits based on her inability to perform her own occupation. The insurance company discontinued her benefits after 24 months, alleging that she could perform sedentary work and was therefore, not disabled from performing any occupation.
Our team argued that our client was unable to continue her job as staff manager. We also argued she was unable to perform any job at all. We reached out to our client’s treating physicians in an effort to gather support for our client’s claim. We showed that the insurance company’s conclusion that our client was able to perform any occupation was not supported and was inconsistent with her medical records. After the insurance company denied our client’s claim at the administrative level, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the disabled worker. In the end, we settled the case without going to trial. Our client was thrilled with the outcome of the settlement.
Reinstatement of Discontinued Disability Benefits
A hospital technician for a large healthcare provider suffered from chronic cervical spine and neck pain that radiated down her arms into her fingers, causing tingling and numbness. The insurance company discontinued her benefits alleging that she no longer met the definition of disability under her policy and was not entitled to benefits. The insurance company based its decision to discontinue benefits on a report from an Independent Medical Examination. The technician came to Fields Law Firm to challenge the insurance company’s decision.
Our team gathered evidence to show that our client continued to meet the definition of disability and her condition had not improved since she was originally awarded benefits. The Independent Medical Examination report that the insurance company relied on misstated, ignored, and selectively cited the substantial medical evidence in the file that supported our client’s disability. We argued that the insurance company had actually breached its fiduciary duty to our client in denying her benefits. Our team eventually filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of our client. We successfully settled the case for an amount that put our client at ease, knowing that she would have financial security despite her disabling condition.
Reversal of Initially Denied Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Claim
A former business technology analyst contacted us when the insurance company denied her short-term and long-term disability benefits despite the fact that the she was unable to work due to her rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease. The insurance company’s denial of benefits was based on the opinion of a doctor who had never even seen our client; he merely reviewed her medical records and then gave an opinion that she was not disabled.
The Fields Law Disability attorney drafted a strong appeal for our client, pointing out that the doctor, whose opinions the insurance company relied on, selectively reviewed the records, and ignored vital facts. We also obtained letters from our client’s treating doctors to refute the insurance company’s denial of benefits. In the end, the insurance company reversed its denial of benefits and our client received back pay as well as ongoing monthly benefits. Our client was thrilled that we got her the benefits she deserved.
Benefits Originally Denied, Reversed on Appeal
A nurse who had enjoyed her work for many years became completely unable to do her job due to her chronic mental health issues. She suffers from depression and anxiety, which significantly affected her ability to care for her patients at work. The insurance company denied the nurse’s application for long term disability despite the fact that she submitted a letter from her attending physician that stated she would likely never be able to return to work.
Our client turned to Fields Law Firm for help during this difficult time. Our team prepared an appeal that exposed the insurance company’s deficient review of our client’s claim, especially its failure to consider how our client’s mental health condition made it impossible for her to complete tasks required in the nursing profession. The appeal summarized diagnostic testing and the opinions of her doctors in support of her inability to work as a nurse. The insurance company finally realized its initial decision was in error.
Award after Original Denial of Long-Term Disability Benefits
Our disability attorneys filed an ERISA appeal for a nurse who worked for many years on the labor and delivery floor of a hospital and in a special needs nursery. The former nurse suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy/complex regional pain syndrome (RSD/CRPS). The insurance company denied her disability claiming that she did not meet the policy definition of disability and that there were no objective findings of her impairments. However, its denial was based on an incomplete review of our client’s medical records. Our client’s records were fraught with evidence of her ongoing pain and symptoms, which made her simply unable to do her job.
Our team fought hard to reverse the decision of the insurance company. We obtained letters from our client’s treating doctors to refute the denial. We also supported the appeal with the Social Security Administration’s finding that our client is entirely disabled due to her RSD/CRPS. Our appeal presented the medical evidence clearly so that the insurance company could not deny that she is disabled. She was thrilled to have the decision reversed and to be awarded ongoing benefits. Since our client was injured at work, we were also able to represent her in a workers’ compensation claim. We helped her obtain a significant settlement from the workers’ compensation insurer.
Reinstatement of Discontinued Disability Benefits
The insurance company reinstated disability benefits after the Fields Law Attorney successfully appealed its decision to discontinue a disabled worker’s benefits. Our client, who had worked for years as a financial assistance specialist, was unable to work due to major depression and anxiety. The insurance company, which had initially paid her benefits, suddenly ceased even though she had seen no improvement in her symptoms.
Our firm prepared an appeal that showed her psychological condition had not changed and that she remained entitled to benefits. In this appeal, we showed that the insurance company based its denial on a selective and partial review of our client’s medical records. We also obtained medical opinions from her treating doctors to support the persistence of her impairments. Our appeal was successful and our client was incredibly relieved when she learned that her benefits would continue.
Discontinuation of Disability Benefits Appealed and Reversed
Fields Law Firm had the opportunity to represent a hospital-worker when the insurance company erroneously and arbitrarily discontinued her long-term disability benefits. The insurance company sent her to a doctor for an “Independent Medical Examination” and then based its discontinuation of benefits on the doctor’s opinion that our client was capable of sedentary work.
Our attorney’s familiarity with the law allowed them to identify vital errors that the insurance company made in considering our client’s claim. We drafted a strong appeal arguing that the insurer must provide sufficient evidence of an improvement in order to discontinue benefits, which it could not in this case. We worked with doctors to reinforce our client’s ongoing restrictions and limitations due to her condition. We refuted the opinion of the independent medical examiner. The appeal was successful. Our client was relieved that she would continue to receive her long-term disability benefits.
Initial Denial of Disability Benefits Reversed on Appeal
The insurance company denied a welder’s claim for long term disability despite his inability to do his job due to a significant neck injury. The welder was bending over his work station when a piece of metal jumped into his welding helmet and hit his eye. He tried to stand up quickly to get the piece of metal out, but the back of his helmet got caught as he was attempting to stand up. He “wrenched” his neck. He made every attempt to return to work but it became impossible due to the pain in his neck that radiated into his upper extremities. He tried various jobs, but nothing worked.
The insurance company claimed that the welder’s medical record did not support an impairment that would prevent him from performing his job as a welder. The welder came to Fields Law Firm to help him stand up to the insurance company to get the benefits he deserved.
Our team drafted an appeal to show that the insurance company overlooked medical evidence and provided little to no rationale for its denial. We know that an insurance company cannot discontinue benefits based on a selective or partial review of a beneficiary’s file. We provided a strong legal argument in the appeal, forcing the insurance company to change its position. The man was awarded back pay, along with ongoing monthly benefits.
Discontinuation of Disability Benefits Appealed and Reversed
A woman who worked as a housekeeper became entirely unable to work due to chronic back pain and degeneration of her lumbar discs. The insurance company paid the woman her long-term disability benefits for 24 months because she could not perform her job as a housekeeper. After 24 months, the insurer ceased her benefits, stating that in order to continue to receive benefits, she needed to be disabled from any occupation. She came to Fields Law Firm distraught, knowing that she could not work at all anymore due to her pain, but that the insurance company was stopping her benefits.
We could see that the insurer had failed to properly evaluate our client’s claim. The insurer relied excessively on certain evidence, while ignoring evidence that was supportive of her disability. We drafted an appeal that exposed the insurance company’s mistakes. We also reached out to her doctors to obtain reports supporting her disability, which were vital to her case. These reports allowed us to prove that our client was unable to work in any occupation. In the end, we were successful in reversing the insurance company’s denial of benefits and our client was awarded ongoing benefits.
Successfully Appealed Denial of Disability Benefits
A teller at a bank came to us after the insurance company denied her disability benefits. She was distressed because she suffers from advanced degenerative disc disease, cervical radiculopathy, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain and simply could not do her job. She deals with ongoing pain in her back, arms and legs that has diminished her quality of life and has made it impossible for her stand for long hours at work. The insurance company claimed that there was not enough evidence to support her disability so it denied her.
The woman called Fields Law Firm to represent her in appealing the insurance company’s denial. We worked with her doctors to obtain objective evidence of the impairments that make her unable to perform her own occupation. The doctor provided us with information concerning our client’s functional restrictions and limitations, which allowed us to directly attack the insurance company’s assertion that was able to do her job.
Through thorough analysis of the law and our client’s case, we drafted an appeal that exposed the insurance company’s improper and deficient review of our client’s limitations. Our appeal was successful and our client now receives the benefits to which she is entitled. She was very relieved that our team was able to fight the insurance company to pay her benefits without having to file a lawsuit.
Denial of Benefits Reversed on Appeal
The Fields Law team helped a former middle school worker who was forced to stop working due to major depression, anxiety, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and urticarla. Her disability insurer denied her long term disability benefits. The insurance claimed that she was able to perform the material duties of her job. The insurance company based its denial on a doctor’s review of our client’s medical records that was entirely inaccurate. This doctor had never even seen our client and he conducted a selective review of her medical records.
The appeal we drafted for our client revealed the inadequacy of this doctor’s review and showed that the doctor ignored substantial medical evidence that was contrary to his conclusions. We used medical records to show the severity and persistence of our client’s symptoms. Fields Law Firm helped the worker fight every step of the way to reverse the insurance company’s denial of benefits and ensure that the she continued to get the benefits she deserves.
Settlement of Long-Term Disability Claim
A woman who worked for years in community outreach was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and hypertension. Her biggest barrier to working was her extreme fatigue. She struggled with cognitive function deficits, such as poor memory, making it difficult to complete tasks at work. In denying her disability claim, the insurance company stated that because she has use of her arms and can walk unassisted, she was capable of meaningful employment. The insurance company primarily based its decision on the report of a Physician Consultant that it hired to review her claim.
The disabled worker came to Fields Law Firm to represent her in appealing the insurance company’s decision to deny her claim. Our team gathered evidence from the woman’s treating doctors and drafted a letter to the insurance company appealing its decision to deny benefits. The insurance company refused to change its decision so we filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of our client. We fought for her knowing that the insurance company’s review of her claim was truly inadequate and that she was entitled to benefits under her policy. We negotiated with the insurance copmany to settle the case for our client so she did not have to go to court. Our client was very pleased by this resolution to her case. Our team also represented this client in her Social Security claim.
Benefits Denied, Reversed on Appeal
A registered nurse was forced to leave her job at a hospital because she suffered from a rare pelvic condition that made her unable to work. Her long term disability insurer denied her application for benefits, claiming that there were no “functional tests” in her file that supported her inability to work. She called Fields Law Firm to represent her in appealing the denial. We were able to spot the errors that the insurance company had made in reviewing her case. We know that given the rarity of her condition, the insurance company should have sent her to a doctor to be examined before it denied her. Our appeal highlighted this failure, along with the fact that the insurance company never even talked to any of the nurse’s treating doctors and did not obtain all of her medical records. By reaching out to our client’s doctors and presenting the medical evidence, we prepared a successful appeal. The former nurse was happy to know that she would receive the benefits she deserves.
Denial of Long-Term Disability Benefits Reversed on Appeal
The insurance company took away benefits from a disabled custodian who worked at public school. The man suffers from bilateral knee problems. He injured both of his knees when he fell on ice. The insurance company argued that the custodian was able to perform a sedentary or “light” job, and therefore, not entitled to benefits. It based its decision on results of a functional capacity evaluation that was never even conducted.
The man retained Fields Law Firm to represent him in appealing the erroneous decision. Our team prepared an appeal by gathering evidence to show that the man is precluded from performing the substantial and material duties of any job. This meant obtaining support from his doctors and a vocational expert. We were victorious in our appeal and the man was awarded his benefits. He was relieved knowing that he had financial security despite his inability to work.
Reversed Initially Denied Disability Claim
The insurance company denied a probation officer her long-term disability after she became unable to work with her clients due to her mental health. The disabled worker retained our firm to represent her in appealing the insurance company’s denial. The insurer relied on the opinion of a doctor who had never seen our client and who discounted and erroneously ignored valid neuropsychological testing that demonstrated our client’s inability to work. The denial did not even consider how her mental limitations affected her ability to do her job.
Our disability lawyers prepared an appeal for our client, which demonstrated the validity of the neuropsychological testing and obtained a letter from our client’s treating doctors to support her disability. In the end, the insurance company reversed its denial of benefits and our client received back pay as well as ongoing monthly benefits.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Recoveries
Younger claimant hurt on the job and denied disability following back surgeries
A 34 year old man injured his back on the job. He received some workers’ compensation benefits; however, those benefits were not enough to cover his permanent disability. He applied for benefits and was represented by another law firm but following his hearing, the Judge denied his claim.
He decided to reapply for benefits a second time; this time he chose our law firm for representation. We argued that his various back conditions, such as low back pain, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, radiculopathy, and nerve compression, caused him so much pain that he would be unable to maintain work on a full time basis.
Social Security initially denied his application and reconsideration appeal; we attended a hearing with him and the Judge approved his claim. He now has the financially security that he and his family need and deserve.
Client was able to obtain benefits even though they returned to work
A client suffered an injury on the job in 2012 where he hurt his shoulder. He required surgery and rotator cuff replacement. He did not know how long his injury would take to heal or whether he would ever be able to return to work. He attended physical therapy and gradually, his shoulder returned to normal. He eventually returned to work full time about 14 months after his injury.
We helped him apply for Social Security benefits for the time period he was off work. Many people do not realize that as long as you are disabled and unable to work for a period of 12 months, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Following a hearing with a Judge, we were able to obtain benefits for him, even though he had returned to work full time by the time we attended his hearing.
In 2014, the same client sought our services again. Although he was able to return to work, he again injured his shoulder, requiring additional surgeries. We helped him apply for benefits a second time and were able to get him approved for benefits following a hearing. He will now receive ongoing benefits as long as he remains disabled.
Benefits obtained for individual while in prison
A client suffered from a numerous mental health conditions such as a learning disability, gender identity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, adjustment disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, dependent personality disorder, and ADHD. We helped the client apply for benefits. However, while his claim was pending with Social Security, he committed a crime and was sentenced to prison for a few months.
At the time of his hearing before the Judge, he was still incarcerated. Our attorneys traveled to the prison and represented him from prison while the Judge appeared by video. We argued that due to his mental illnesses, he was disabled and unable to work. We also argued that the crime he committed would not have happened but for his mental illness. The Judge approved his claim. When he was released a few short weeks later, he began receiving benefits.
13 year old child awarded SSI benefits
The parents of a 13 year old boy contacted our law firm for assistance in helping their son obtain benefits. The boy had been diagnosed with a variety of conditions, which included oppositional defiance disorder, depression, anxiety, and a learning disability. He had an IEP in school and required special care when attending school and doing his schoolwork.
Social Security denied his initial application and reconsideration appeal and we requested a hearing. At the hearing, we appeared with the boy, his father, and the Judge. We argued that despite his weekly medical treatment and medications, he was disabled and unable to engage meaningfully in school. Both the boy and his father testified at the hearing. A medical expert also testified at the hearing. The Judge made a favorable decision at the hearing.
Claimant awarded benefits following death
A client who suffered from a liver disease sought our services in applying for disability benefits. Social Security denied her claim initially and at the reconsideration stage. Social Security said her condition did not restrict her from doing her old job. We appealed their decision and requested a hearing before a Judge.
Unfortunately, while we were waiting for a hearing to be scheduled, the client experienced significant medical complications and passed away. Following her death, we were able to locate a next of kin and substitute a party in her place. We wrote the Judge, outlining the facts and evidence in the case, and argued that the claimant should have been awarded benefits. The Judge found in our favor and awarded benefits to the deceased claimant’s family.
Client approved for both Social Security and Long-term Disability benefits due to mental condition
A client worked as an office administrator for a school district for many years. She suffered from a lifetime of mental illness; however one day, the stress of her job got to be too much and she had a nervous breakdown. She left work and was admitted for psychiatric treatment. She applied for Long-term Disability benefits initially through The Standard Insurance Company, but was turned down. She sought our help for an appeal and at the same time, we also helped her apply for Social Security benefits.
For both cases, we argued that her mental conditions of PTSD, depression, and anxiety were so severe that she could not return to her old job, let alone any other job. We obtained medical support from all of her physicians and were able to overturn her Long-term Disability claim. We were also eventually able to obtain Social Security benefits without having to go to a hearing in front of a Judge.
Successful in obtaining Disability benefits for Iraq War Veteran and his family
A young 36 year old Army Veteran who served in Iraq was honorably discharged after serving two tours. He was injured during combat when an IED blast hit his convoy. He sustained physical injuries that included a traumatic brain injury, headaches, back pain, and hearing loss from the explosion. The assault also caused him to have severe mental impairments such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
When he came back to the United States, the VA found him disabled and immediately paid him 100% VA Benefits. However when he applied for benefits with Social Security he was denied. We immediately requested a hearing before a Judge and since he was a 100% Service Connected Veteran, we were able to have his hearing scheduled quickly. At the hearing, we argued that the combination of his impairments rendered him disabled from performing any work. The Judge immediately awarded the veteran and his children benefits.
20 year old awarded SSI benefits following hearing
We helped a 20 year client and his family apply for Social Security benefits. He suffered from ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, Autism, pervasive developmental disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning. He had always done poorly in school and required an IEP.
The client and his family initially applied for Social Security on their own but they were denied. They sought our help for a reconsideration appeal. We ultimately had to request a hearing for his case. At the hearing, we argued that the combination of his mental, developmental, and cognitive deficits rendered him disabled from doing any work.
The Judge was still a bit skeptical about his claim requested additional medical information following the hearing. The client then underwent additional neuropsychological testing after the hearing. We submitted that testing and argued that he was disabled. The Judge ultimately granted his case and awarded him SSI benefits.
Individual granted disability after obtaining doctor’s opinion following hearing
A 52 year old individual suffered from back pain, vision/eye impairments, tendonitis of the shoulder, fracture of the toe/foot, headaches, diabetes mellitus, generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and pain disorder. We argued that his impairments limited him to no more than a sedentary (sit down) type job and that since he was over 50 years old, he should be found disabled based on the Social Security Medical/Vocational Rules.
The Judge at his hearing pointed out that Social Security’s doctors stated he could still perform light work and that there was not enough evidence in his records to demonstrate that he was limited to a sit down type job. We requested additional time after the hearing to obtain an updated opinion from the client’s own treating doctor so we could clarify his restrictions and argue that Social Security’s doctors were incorrect in assessing his abilities.
We were able to obtain an opinion from the client’s treating physician indicating that he was limited to no more than a sit down job. We provided this information to the Judge on this matter and included the evidence for the Judge’s review. The Judge ultimately agreed and awarded the claim.
43 year old with a history of seizures awarded benefits
A client had a history of seizure disorder. He suffered from both grand mal and petit mal seizures. Under Social Security’s rules, if an individual suffers from at least one grand mal seizure (convulsive epilepsy) every three months or one petit mal (non-convulsive epilepsy) once a week, despite prescribed treatment, that person should be awarded benefits.
Although the medical records showed the client did suffer from these sorts of seizures, Social Security still denied his case. We had to request a hearing before a Judge. While we worked on his case throughout the process, we told the client to keep a diary of his seizures on a calendar in order for us to prove to the Judge that he was experiencing seizures regularly. At the hearing, we presented this information to the Judge and the Judge immediately awarded his claim.
Client with renal failure and chronic kidney disease denied; awarded at hearing with our help
A client initially applied for Social Security benefits on her own. She suffered from multiple conditions such as end stage renal failure, chronic kidney disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and anemia. She also previously had a kidney transplant and had undergone dialysis.
Despite all of this, Social Security still denied her initial application and her request for reconsideration. Following her denial, she hired our firm to help her file a request for a hearing and represent her before the Judge. At the hearing, we argued that her condition qualified under Social Security Listings of Impairments or alternatively, due to her physical restrictions and need to undergo dialysis, she would be unable to maintain full time work. The Judge agreed with our position and awarded the case immediately at the hearing.
Client awarded benefits without having to attend hearing
A 58 year old client who previously served in the military and worked as a computer engineer sought our help after becoming disabled. He suffered from a history of Hepatitis C with cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy, early dementia, and back pain.
Social Security initially denied his application and reconsideration appeal. We filed a request for a hearing. While his hearing was pending, we requested that the Judge award the case via an On-The-Record decision. We argued that due to his Hepatitis C and hepatic encephalopathy he met Social Security’s Listings of Impairments criteria.
Specifically, Social Security required his “serum albumin” level to be below a certain threshold. We carefully examined his medical records for this information and offered a legal argument with medical backing that he should be found disabled. The Judge ultimately sided with us and awarded our client’s case without having to attend a hearing.
44 year old mother with mental and physical impairments awarded benefits
A client was hurt on the job and suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and back pain. As she remained off of work, she developed anxiety and depression. Social Security initially denied her application and reconsideration appeals, stating that she could return to her old job as a cashier or restaurant worker.
We appealed Social Security’s decision and requested a hearing before a Judge. Prior to the hearing, we obtained medical support for both her physical and mental impairments. We argued that the combination of her physical impairments, TBI, depression, and anxiety, made her totally disabled. We argued that she did not have the ability to properly understand and remember work tasks and instructions.
Specifically, according to Social Security, if an individual has significant (marked) restrictions with the ability to concentrate, maintain social functioning, or the inability to do activities of daily living, they can be eligible for benefits. The Judge ultimately agreed and awarded benefits following the hearing.
Younger individual with chronic back pain awarded after hearing
A 38 year old woman suffered a back injury and subsequently developed degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine. She was very limited in her ability to sit, stand, lift, and carry. She applied for disability benefits but was denied and had to request a hearing.
We did a thorough workup on her case and obtained numerous narrative reports and opinions from her treating physicians. We had her physicians address her physical limitations and outline what other residual difficulties she would have in a work setting, such as side effects of medication and difficulties with focusing on her work due to her pain levels.
We presented all of this evidence to the Judge at the hearing and argued that due to her difficulties, she would need to take unscheduled breaks throughout the workday and would, therefore, be unemployable since employers would typically not allow for unscheduled breaks. The Judge ultimately awarded her case based on this.
Client awarded past-due benefits for his time off of work
A client suffered an injury to his back when he was just 27 years old. He had previous work experience as a truck driver, fabricator, and mechanic. He attempted to try and return to those jobs, as well as others, but could not do so due to his restrictions. He eventually required a lumbar surgery and had to go through intensive therapy.
We helped him apply for benefits. We ultimately had to appeal his claim and request a hearing. While we were waiting for the hearing to be scheduled, the client was able to recover well enough to return to full-time work. Rather than withdrawing the claim entirely, we asked the Judge to award a closed-period claim of disability benefits beginning from the date the client got hurt and ending on the date he was able to return to full time work.
A medical expert who testified at his hearing also agreed that he was disabled during that time and the Judge immediately awarded his case and approved his backpay lump sum, which was over $20,000.
Veteran awarded over $60,000 in past-due benefits by Judge
A Veteran who served multiple tours came back suffering from severe PTSD and depression. We helped him apply for Social Security but his application and reconsideration appeals were turned down. We had to request a hearing before a Judge. Due to his military service, he was deemed 100% disabled by the VA.
To support his case, we used the information obtained from the VA as well as information and opinions received by his doctors. We argued to the Judge that due to his severe PTSD and depression, his condition qualified under Social Security’s listings of impairments.
Alternatively, we argued that even if his conditions did not specifically meet Social Security’s criteria, he could still be found disabled due to the severity and frequency of his panic attacks. The Judge awarded his case on the day of his hearing and the client was entitled to receive past-due benefits totaling more than $60,000.
39 year old client awarded over $50,000 due to back pain, obesity, knee pain, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia
A client became disabled following a back injury when she was only 36. She initially suffered a back injury and underwent a lumbar discectomy and decompression. She attempted to recover and return to work, but was not able to do so. She applied for Social Security but was turned down on her initial application and reconsideration. We had to file a request for a hearing.
By the time the hearing came along, she was 39 years old and suffered from additional impairments, including degenerative joint disease of the foot, knee pain, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches. Also due to her inability to work, she developed depression and anxiety.
At the hearing, we argued her back and/or knee pain qualified for Social Security’s listings of impairments. After questioning of the medical expert, the expert agreed that the client met these requirements and the Judge issued a favorable decision. She was awarded over $50,000 in past-due benefits for her and her children.