HOW CIGNA MISHANDLED MY HUSBANDS CLAIM:
CIGNA in their settlement agreement dated May 13, 2013 did not follow the agreed to Enhanced Claim Procedures in the handling of my Long term Disability claim for symptoms and the problems associated with my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
CIGNA wrongfully terminating my LTD claim, CIGNA supported a finding of disability before the Social Security Administration (SSA), and then disregarded the SSA's finding of disability.
My LTD benefits were approved by CIGNA personnel on January 13, 2014. I became entitled to monthly SSDI benefits beginning July 2014. On October 14, 2014 I received a letter from CIGNA stating I had 30 days to provide requested information. My LTD benefits were canceled on October 23, 2014. Seven (7) working days after the letter was sent out the decision was made that I was no longer eligible for LTD benefits under my plan. Within a 10 month time frame they tell me I am eligible under my STD and LTD plan for benefits, they help me with my SSDI claim which was approved, they then inform me of a review and give me 30 days to comply, they make a decision 7 working days later that I am no longer disabled. CIGNA did not comply with its own deadline.
My Social Security Disability Income awarded was not given significant weight. I was not given any information on the basis for determining the weight of my award and its relevance. The only thing I was told about SSDI was that they had confirmed that all available medical information was received based on my notification of benefits and a call to me asking if independent testing by SSA had been done. CIGNA has not explained why it discounted my SSA decision supporting my disability.
CIGNA provided me with the resources to prove to the government that I am permanently disabled. Then they promptly and surreptitiously cancel my benefits and claim I am not disabled and I am capable of working.
CIGNA made no attempt to resolve discrepancies in medical statements or conclusions. I am at a loss to understand how the review team at CIGNA came to the conclusion that my Parkinson’s disease has reversed its progression and that I am now better that I was at the beginning of the year. This conclusion does not align with what I have learned or experienced since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It also does not align with what is on the CIGNA website “Parkinson’s is progressive, which means it gets worse over time.”
CIGNA did not at any time during the review process ask me for any of my own statements regarding my disease and its progression. I could not find where my claim manager had ever reviewed my reporting of symptoms. I do not believe that all my conditions were considered.
My claim manager did not seek any further clarification from my physicians even though my records indicated additional symptoms. I could not find where any attempt was made to clarify the functional discrepancies between the CIGNA reviewers and my treating physicians.
We are working through the CIGNA labyrinth of paperwork and filing an appeal. I just hope that this information gets out and something is done to protect the consumer.
Make sure you ask all your physicians to document your symptoms, limitations and restrictions at every appointment.
Physicians do not use medical records to document disability unless asked to.