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Woman sues insurer for not paying claim after nervous breakdown

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Not all long-term disability claims involve physical injuries or illnesses. Mental health issues can also require a person to take a significant period of time off from work.

In West Virginia, a woman is suing Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for its failure to pay her claim after she reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown. The woman, who was a senior loan officer at a bank in that state, had spent 40 years in banking when the breakdown occurred last year.

She took time off from her job under the Federal Medical Leave Act. However, her doctor said that the woman's disability would likely be a long-term one. Therefore, she filed a disability claim.

According to the lawsuit, MetLife justified the denial of its claim with the opinion of psychiatrist who not only never met with the woman but has consistently sided with insurers when asked for an opinion in disability claims.

The plaintiff says that she provided multiple statements from physicians who said that the woman was suffering from a major depressive disorder. This disorder, according to the suit, met the insurer's criteria for payment.

The suit accuses MetLife of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. That law provides a number of protections to workers, including protecting their disability benefits. She is asking that MetLife pay her claim.

Mental illnesses can often be more difficult to document sufficiently for insurers than physical illnesses. You may require the assistance of a disability attorney with experience dealing with wrongfully denied disability claims who can work to obtain for you the benefits you rightfully deserve.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Bank officer accuses MetLife of refusing to honor her disability claim," Robert Hadley, Feb. 11, 2016

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