Disability Insurance News:
Hartford Long Term Disability Benefit Denial Reversed by Minnesota Federal Judge
Nationwide disability insurance attorneys Alex Palamara and Gregory Dell discuss the importance of strong medical support and proper medical documentation.


Disability Insurance News:
Hartford Disability Company Field Interview Request and Video Surveillance
Hartford Disability Company, and other disability insurers, use video surveillance and field interviews as a technique to deny claims. A recent federal court case found that Hartford correctly terminated long term disability benefits for a claimant who was caught on video surveillance engaging in activities which she had claimed she could not do.


Resolved Cases:
Lincoln Financial Reinstates Disability Benefits To School Teacher
Following an Appeal submitted by Dell & Schaefer, Lincoln approves disability benefits under the any occupation definition to a school teacher with cognitive issues.

In this video, Attorneys Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discuss a recent court decision in which Principal Life attempted to ignore an income qualifier in an “any occupation” definition as a technique to deny benefits. The court determined the policy language to be ambiguous and provided an interpretation in favor of the claimant. If you have been denied by Principal Life, or any disability insurance company, call Attorneys Dell & Schaefer for a Free Consultation.

Disability Insurance News:
Principal Life Disability Denial of Truck Driver Reversed by Washington Federal Judge
Principal Life Insurance long term disability benefit denial is ruled unreasonable by a Washington Federal Judge.


Resolved Cases:
Another Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Long Term Disability Claim is Reinstated Following Appeal by Disability Attorney Alexander Palamara
Sheriff’s Deputy suffering from back issues, knee issues and migraines gets re-approved for LTD benefits after Appeal by Dell & Schaefer.


FAQ: Interview With Disability Company:
What Should I expect if Metlife wants to send someone to Interview me?
Our disability lawyers have helped hundreds of claimants nationwide to prepare and get through a MetLife investigator interview. If Metlife has requested an interview always seek representation from a disability lawyer.

In this video, Attorneys Gregory Dell & Rachel Alters discuss a recent court ruling in which Reliance Standard failed to reasonably evaluate the cognitive aspects of the plaintiff’s requirements to do her job as an attorney. Unfortunately for the policy holder, the court remanded the claim back to Reliance Standard for further evaluation of benefits.
Continue Reading Reliance Standard Denial of Disability Benefits for an Attorney Reversed by Kansas Judge

FAQ: Disability Companies:
If I Sue Unum for a Disability Insurance Denial, What Should I Anticipate?
Disability insurance Attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss the numerous issues that a long term disability claimant should expect when filing an ERISA disability lawsuit against UNUM.


FAQ: Social Security Disability Benefits:
Does Social Security Approval Mean Disability Insurance Benefits Will Be Paid?
The answer to this question is NO and a recent case brought by a FEDEX employee against Aetna insurance company is an example of an SSDI approval and a long term disability denial.


Disability News:
Liberty Wrongfully Denies Long Term Disability Benefit Depression Claim Based on Filed Review
Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are two of the most common causes of disability. In a recent case against Liberty Mutual, a pediatrician claimed he was unable to work due to anxiety and depression.

Prior to her disability Hadar Meiri was Vice President, Human Experience Strategy Director for MediaVest USA, earning an annual salary of $165,000. In July 2014 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer for which she underwent a total thyroidectomy. She had also had a history of Hashimoto’s Thyroditis and Hypothroidism. Following her surgery she continued experiencing fatigue and weakness. She also developed symptoms of brain fog, poor memory, fatigue, and poor focus.
Continue Reading US District Court Judge Orders Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company to Pay Long-term Disability Benefits to Disabled Executive After It Denied Thyroid Cancer Claim

Disability News:
Long Term Disability Claims Due to Back Pain
One of the most common causes for filing a short or long term disability insurance claim is due to “back pain.” Although this encompasses a wide range of conditions – from disc herniations and bulges to soft tissue disorders and fibromyalgia – insurance companies will evaluate entitlement to benefits as a result of back pain in the same manner regardless of the medical basis for the pain.


FAQ: Claim Handling
When is the Best Time to Submit a Claim for either STD or LTD insurance benefits?
The answer to this question depends on numerous factors such as disability policy language, medical support and treating physician medical documentation. In this video, disability insurance attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia discuss some of the common issues encountered when selecting a date of disability.


Disability News:
United of Omaha criticized for relying on in-house medical review and failing to obtain independent examinations
This case was decided by a district court in Illinois and involved United of Omaha Life Insurance Company. An ERISA action was filed by the Plaintiff, Gina Tassone, after her LTD benefits were terminated. She had been paid two-years of regular-occupation benefits for her inability to work as a Finance Manager and like many group disability policies, her insurance policy’s definition of disability changed after two-years of benefits.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to improve community life, to give back, and to help others in need. However, if you are receiving disability insurance benefits you may be putting your benefits at risk. In this video, Attorneys Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discuss what you need to know before you volunteer if you are receiving disability insurance benefits.

As we have indicated time and time again, an ERISA administrative appeal is one of the most important documents to be filed as part of your disability insurance claim. Second only to the initial application for benefits, your administrative appeal is often your only opportunity to provide evidence of disability sufficient for an insurance carrier to overturn a denial of benefits. Although some insurance carriers such as Lincoln require a mandatory second appeal and others such as Prudential and Cigna allow for voluntary second appeals, the vast majority of insurance carriers only allow for one level of appeal and if that is denied the only recourse available is to file a lawsuit under ERISA. We have explained the perils of litigating an ERISA based disability policy on many occasions on our website, as such, in this article so we will not go into the Arbitrary and Capricious standard of review commonly applied in ERISA cases. However, it is important to note that in a lawsuit brought under ERISA there are no jury trials nor is there live testimony at “trial,” which means neither you as the insured or your doctors will be allowed to testify before the judge, and last, relevant to this article- no new information after the final denial of benefits will be allowed at trial. With this final caveat, it becomes all the clearer why filing as complete an Appeal as possible is crucial to receiving your disability benefits.
Continue Reading Court Rejects New Information in ERISA Disability Case

FAQ: Appeals & Lawsuits:
What Should I Expect When Suing Prudential for a Disability Insurance Benefit Denial?
Disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discuss their experience in handling ERISA lawsuits against Prudential.


Resolved Cases:
Cigna Overturns Denial Following Dell & Schaefer Appeal
Ms. D contacted our firm when she was denied long term disability benefits by her disability insurance carrier, CIGNA. Ms. D was a Catheterization Lab Tech and was often required to perform her duties during stressful situations involving emergencies like heart attacks and other life-threatening events. She was required to be on call for a minimum of 24 hours, often 2-3 times per week. She had a demanding job that required her to have the ability to maintain focus and concentration.


Resolved Cases:
After appeal filed by Attorney Jay Symonds, CIGNA overturned its previous denial of short term disability benefits for New Jersey Project Manager
Our client, Mr. W, formerly worked as a Senior Project Manager of an Industrial building/construction contractor. In May 2015 a number of medical issues, including chronic pain syndrome, cervical post laminectomy syndrome, cervical pseudarthrosis, as well as degenerative cervical joint disease, cervical facet arthropathy, spinal stenosis, forced Mr. W to stop working and submit his claim for disability benefits, first under his employer’s short-term disability (STD) policy and then continuing under its long-term disability (LTD) policy.


Disability Insurance Claims News:
California Court Rules Disability Claim Accrues When Disability Terminates
Soon after plaintiff left work, the television station fired him. He only learned from another employee that he had long-term disability coverage through the television station and that United was the insurer. The employer refused to give him a copy of the policy, and he did not receive one until after his attorney filed a suit for wrongful discharge and retaliation. Plaintiff then filed a claim for long-term disability benefits.