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Blog | ERISA and Disability Rights and Benefits | Alabama | The Martin Law Firm, LLC

Can Your Therapist Do This? [Video]

Posted by David P. Martin | Feb 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Hopefully you have avoided tragedies that may require you to go to therapy. However, some experience heartbreaking situations and a good therapist is critical to the care needed to get them on the right path to recovery. However, what happens if your therapist is having her own problems?

Kelly had been a therapist for a long time. By the time she was 61, osteoarthritis had begun to affect her back and hands. She developed neuropathy and fibromyalgia. She also had knee replacement surgery. The fibromyalgia made her feel achy and in pain all over. The neuropathy made her feet feel like someone was poking pins in them. It was painful to sit for very long. And, knee replacement surgery requires intense and prolonged rehabilitation.

A therapist must be a good listener and uses her cognitive skills to assist patients dealing with a host of problems. Good notetaking and patient charting after appointments are a necessary element of the profession. Her doctors prescribed gabapentin, trazodone, hydrocodone, Norco, and Prozac. All of these interfered with her ability to think and to focus. Without the medicines, Kelly couldn't concentrate because of the pain. With the medications, her mind was not up to par. She couldn't do her job.

Kelly filed a claim for long-term disability benefits on the policy for which she had consistently paid her premiums for years. Her short-term disability claim was paid, but the insurer refused to pay the long-term disability claim. Though it makes little sense, we see this all the time.

Kelly challenged the denial of her long-term disability claim, noting that they had focused on her knee which was not the root of her problems.

ERISA is not fair. If an insurer can get away with not paying your claim, it will. ERISA insurers are like water – they seek the lowest level and find a way to escape. Combine the insurers economic motivation to find a way to avoid paying a claim with the deference that courts give to those decisions and you wind up with one of the least fair and most challenging areas of the law.

Kelly's attorney realized that her case was governed by ERISA and called us. We filed suit. We were able to settle her case during discovery.

These cases are risky, complex, and challenging. However, in every case we seek to rebuild the justice that was otherwise lost in the process. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

About the Author

David P. Martin

Senior & Managing Attorney


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