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Reliance Standard May Deny Benefits Based on Substance Abuse

Nov. 8, 2019, 6:31 PM

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. defeated a lawsuit by a man who said he was wrongly denied disability benefits for his substance abuse disorder under an exclusion for pre-existing conditions, according to a decision by the Eleventh Circuit.

Reliance reasonably relied on medical records suggesting Anthony Ferrizzi suffered from substance abuse issues during the relevant window for gauging pre-existing conditions, the court said Nov. 7.

Ferrizzi objected to the pre-existing condition determination, saying he wasn’t diagnosed with or treated for these issues during the relevant window. But Ferrizzi’s medical records provided sufficient evidence of substance abuse even without a diagnosis...

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