-- Oct. 21, 2009
Statement regarding Jack Whitten's claim
While we sympathize with Mr. Whitten's condition, The Hartford believes we have handled his disability claim fairly and strongly rejects any suggestion otherwise.
The Hartford has a long history of honoring our obligations and our overarching mission has always been to ensure that people with disabilities receive the benefits to which they are entitled. In 2008, The Hartford paid $1.3 billion in short and long-term disability benefits to nearly 300,000 individuals. When appropriate, we work with people receiving disability benefits to help them return to active, productive lives and reclaim their independence through a broad range of services such as physical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation and job skills training.
In Mr. Whitten's case, he has received disability benefits for more than six years in an amount totaling more than $215,000 and continues to receive benefits from The Hartford. In two instances – after Mr. Whitten's own physicians declared that he was capable of full time sedentary work – benefits were terminated. His benefits were retroactively reinstated when additional, new information was provided.
In May 2008, Mr. Whitten's benefits were terminated a third time after an independent medical review by a board-certified neurologist concluded his physical capabilities were greater than we previously understood, and that as a result he was now capable of sedentary work. Mr. Whitten's attorney provided updated information about his medical condition in September 2009 – several months after he underwent surgery – and we reinstated his benefits retroactively within days.