Success Story: Charlie Brenneman
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.
Charlie had been forced to stop working as the front desk concierge at a condo building in downtown Calgary, and his condition was yet to improve more than a year after filing a long term disability claim. His doctors had diagnosed him with arthritis – their expertise had allowed him to get his claim approved – but so far they hadn’t found a way to reduce his symptoms.
On most days, he could barely make it downstairs without suffering excruciating pain. The thought of doing the rounds at a high rise condo was unthinkable with or without an elevator, and long overnight shifts didn’t sound much better.
His wife and children – and in particular his daughter – brought him groceries and took care of many of his day-to-day needs. Charlie hated relying on other people, but their support was invaluable as he worked to regain his independence.
But he didn’t think twice about getting on a plane for his daughter’s destination wedding. The date had been picked and the tickets booked two years in advance, long before Charlie’s disability claim, and he would never let his arthritis keep him from celebrating such an important day with his family. When the time came, Charlie managed to get himself onto the plane and made it to the resort in the Dominican Republic.
Though Charlie couldn’t enjoy the trip as much as he originally hoped, the ceremony itself was beautiful, and he did get to spend a few days lying on the beach instead of a hotel bed.
The insurance company found out that he had been to the Dominican after family members posted the wedding photos on social media, many of which featured a smiling Charlie.
They immediately terminated his disability benefits, telling him that if he was healthy enough to go on a tropical vacation, he was healthy enough to work. They ignored Charlie when he told them he’d actually spent most of the week in excruciating pain and that he was only in the Dominican for the sake of a once-in-a-lifetime family event.
Needless to say, Charlie was distraught. He still couldn’t work and he didn’t know how he was going to keep his life together without his disability benefits. The whole thing felt patronizing and unfair, as if he was being punished for celebrating with his daughter.
He was thrilled when Share Lawyers told him they could help to get the disability benefits he was entitled to, going back to when he was cut off and into the future. He met with the team and they quickly went to work collecting medical documentation and sifting through his insurance company’s policy on taking a vacation while receiving benefits. The lawsuit was filed, and Share Lawyers was able to get Charlie his benefits and back to focusing on the road to recovery.
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