Thrivent disability claim denial, My second experience 2009 on, Appeal request letter Nov. 2, 2015 with struggle details
Until a letter was received by the NC Insurance Commission dated August 10, 2018 from a senior claims examiner at Thrivent, I did not know the definitive reason why Thrivent personnel responded in such a bizarre “Alice in Wonderland” manner to the disability contract requirements. I have the letter and will reveal it at the appropriate time.
Below is a letter I sent to Thrivent on November 2, 2015 requesting an appeal.
“To whom it may concern:
This is a request for an appeal.
Appeal is the next step indicated by Cheryl Scanlan in the letter dated February 15, 2011 and the Thrivent dispute resolution program.
You may be wondering why the delay in responding.
That is a valid question.
I will summarize.
The events of 2009 were life changing. I was fortunate to have not suffered a stroke when I was taken to the emergency room, evaluated and kept overnight as a precaution. The right side of my body had become numb and though that gradually disipated, my right foot remained numb and has been so to this day.
I was discharged not knowing the full extent of my medical condition.
I had an appointment with the attending physician soon after being hospitalized. Dr. Grover was not a specialist and I had never met him before the hospital stay. Aside from suggesting this vitamin and that the only thing I can say for him is that he referred me to a podiatrist, Dr. Molan who did the right thing and referred me to a spine specialist.
The spine specialist ran a number of tests and determined that I had lower spine damage and a atypical neuropathy of the right foot. He also indicated on multiple occasions no work for me. This information was conveyed to Thrivent at least twice.
In a letter from Faye Erickson, dated September 1, 2009, in response to a letter written by my attorney, W Russell Congleton, there appears to be some confusion about the chain of treatment and referral. Thrivent received a timeline of treatment from me dated June 16, 2009. This is provided again as exhibit (A).This clearly reveals the chain of treatment and referral. Of course Dr. Hartman, the spine specialist, was not at the hospital when I was first treated because no one knew what the problem was and normal medical channels were followed to get me to the right specialty.
From the moment I left the hospital I was transported by my “lady friend” who I was living with. I was dependent on her for transportation for many months. I was also having difficulty dealing with the neuropathy and associated lower back pain, exacerbated by propping up my foot. I was also confronted by continuing my responsibilities in business, paying bills and other family responsibilities. This was further impacted by attempting to gather data and respond to the demands of Thrivent at a time when I needed help not hindrance. I had owned and payed for this policy for approx. 25 years and hoped that I would never need it. But I did need it. I was shocked and disappointed that a policy that I took out from Aid Association For Lutherans would treat me that way. A life long Lutheran.
I took out the policy the first time that I became self employed as a computer consultant. Over that time I functioned as an employee again and consultant again toward the end, increased my salary steadily and continously worked. I also began investing in real estate as a transition to pre retirement and eventual retirement. This began in the late 90’s and included obtaining a NC real estate salesperson license and later broker license. The licenses were obtained primarily for the knowledge and power in real estate transactions.
By 2009, I owned a cottage at the Outer Banks that I purchased in the lates nineties which turned out to be an excellent investment. I, functioning as the contractor, pulled a permit subcontracted some work but did much of the construction to double the size. Roommates helped to make the payments. I owned 2 houses in great areas of Greensboro. The one that I moved in to after my “lady friend” terminated our relationship was purchased as an investment in 2004. It has turned out to be another good investment. The house at the Outer Banks was sold prematurely to pay other bills. It was an excellent investment but also required my attention which I was then unable to comply with.
There were numerous properties I owned with my daughter and other investors. I did a great amount of labor on these houses as well as negotiating financing.
When I first took out the policy I was self employed. There was no specified employee like paycheck per month. My income was based on a yearly amount. My real estate business income was based on a longer term basis. This was well under way when I became disabled. I was no longer able to physically travel to and work on property or to properly mentally deal with them. This was exacerbated by the demands of Thrivent.
When I used the word semi retired earlier, it was only in an attempt to be fair and accurate. In no accepted sense of the word was I anywhere near retired. I worked very hard physically and mentally on real estate investments for income in the short term and long term going into retirement. When I filled out your forms it is important to remember I did so under stress and impaired physical condition, under some of the worst of circumstances. Aside from my then lady friend assisting me, my daughter ran errands to the spine specialist’ office on multiple occasions.
I was forced to make a decision after attempting twice to comply with Thrivent demands. I decided to cut my losses and to attempt to survive on savings and borrowing. I decided to keep the house I am currently residing in on the edge of downtown Greensboro and continue making payments. The other house in
Greensboro, in a great area of Greensboro, I was not able to make payments on, due to the fact that the renters had decided they could not purchase it and I could not maintain it. I was also able to make payments on my vehicle. I was urged by Thrivent representatives to continue making policy payments, which I did for some time. This added insult to injury.
Also as a result of not being able to depend on Thrivent, I cancelled my life insurance policy and was not able to pay some other bills. My credit was ruined. My savings/retirement fund was greatly depleted. In addition I began my social security payments early, thus reducing the amount I received. But thank God the government came through for me. Who would have believed that the goverment did what they promised and the private sector didn’t.
My lady friend decided to break up with me. Perhaps the stress was too much for her and for me. Despite that revelation it is good to find out who you can depend on. I am weary of fair weather friends. I moved back to Greensboro thank God into the house I was able to make payments on.
There is much more to this saga including an earlier encounter with Thrivent and your personnel. In 2001/2002 after severe knee issues and surgery, on the recommendation and urging by the local Thrivent rep, I filed a claim. This was a much simpler scenario and one that I decided to not fight long as a battle. But what I discovered out of this, beyond the disturbing conversations with Thrivent personnel was shocking and makes me question your procedures for claim filing and challenges.
I was slandered and libeled by multiple Thrivent personnel/agents.
I have proof.
And the associated lack of compliance with my request for more information is interesting along with your requirement for mediation.
Thrivent’s apparent lack of concern regarding employee’s and agents slander and libel of me and request non compliance is disturbing.
I really did not have the time and energy to reenter this controversy but I vowed to myself that I would not drop this travesty of equity for my benefit and others.
I vow that I will not end this inquiry and investigation until I am satisfied that justice is done.