Our client was a pharmacist for 32 years. His back began to bother him the last 6-7 years before he was unable to continue work. Pharmacists must be on their feet almost all day and his back condition precluded him from standing more than 20 minutes at a time. The disability insurer denied benefits after doing a job survey to determine that other employers (not our client’s) would allow him to use a stool to accommodate his back problem.
Stennett & Casino retained a vocational expert who performed a more thorough job market survey and found that although employers by phone indicate they will accommodate a disability, when it comes down to actually hiring among several applicants, the disabled are often left out. Insurers cannot use theoretical jobs as a basis to deny benefits. They must look at the real world market place in determining if one can return to work. Based on our vocational expert’s report and more thorough medical documentation of our client’s physical limitations, we were able to conclusively document our client’s disability, resulting in the insurer voluntarily paying disability benefits.