Accountant who was previously on claim for 7 years gets LTD Re-Approved after Appeal to Lincoln Financial Group

An Accountant for LA County was forced to stop working in 2009 after suffering the crippling effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and numerous other debilitating conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Bodily Pain, Osteoarthritis, Neck Pain, Cervical Disc Disease, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Low Back Pain, and Lumbar Disc Disease. Due to the multiple chronic and disabling conditions affecting the claimant, Lincoln commenced payment of long term disability benefits in 2009. However, continued benefits were denied 7 years later when Lincoln came to an abrupt conclusion that the Accountant should no longer qualify for benefits.

In support of its denial, Lincoln cited the results of an Independent Medical Examination performed in 2011 and two medical records reviews that were done in 2009. Due to the wrong decision to deny her claim, the claimant decided to file an appeal on her own. Unfortunately, Lincoln was not persuaded and upheld its decision to deny the claim. The former accountant was now left unable to work and without any income. Dismayed by the decision by Lincoln to deny her claim and uncertain about her future with no income, she made the right decision to find assistance with her claim and found Attorney Alexander Palamara of the Dell & Schaefer law firm.

Appeals by Attorney Palamara

After reviewing the denial letters by Lincoln and speaking with the former accountant, it was clear to Attorney Palamara that Lincoln’s denial was improper and that his now client was still unable to work due to serious and debilitating conditions. The claim file from Lincoln was ordered along with our clients past and current medical records to develop a full understanding of her illness, claim, policy, and Lincoln’s handling of her claim. After compiling and reviewing all the necessary information, it was clearer than ever that benefits had to be reapproved. A detailed review of the claim file revealed Lincoln had ignored supportive findings in the IME report and the records reviews, including findings that the claimant was unable to handle any type of work, even sedentary work, and findings that the claimant suffered from weakness, numbness, swelling, and loss of range of motion.

An appeal was drafted and timely filed. The appeal focused on the supportive findings by Lincoln’s own physicians that had been ignored. It also focused on the objective medical evidence in support of her claim and highlighted the opinions of our client’s treating physician, who had indicated he strongly disagreed with the opinions of Lincoln’s reviewing physician and even felt the reviewing physician had distorted their conversation and his ultimate opinion. We also highlighted the numerous flaws and failure of Lincoln to perform a full and proper review of the claim.

As a result of our initial appeal, Lincoln only partially overturned its denial. Lincoln agreed to pay four additional months of benefits. While the partial approval was a small victory, it was not enough given our client’s ongoing inability to work due to multiple chronic and debilitating conditions.

To justify the latest denial, Lincoln relied upon another records review by a hired physician. This physician spoke with our client’s treatment provider and was advised our client suffers from poor grip, trouble walking, and that as a result of her persistent synovitis, she is unable to work at any occupation, including sedentary work. Despite being made aware of her condition directly from the treating physician, the reviewing physician chose to ignore this opinion and Lincoln again terminated benefits.

A second appeal was drafted and timely filed. This appeal highlighted Lincoln’s lack of support for its denial and its arbitrary decision to continue to ignore the opinion of our client’s treating physician. The appeal also argued the denial was improper because Lincoln failed to perform an updated IME. As a result of the second appeal, Lincoln arranged for another IME of our client, which took place roughly one month after the appeal was filed.

Claim Approval

Roughly two months after the second appeal was filed and one month after the IME, our client’s claim was finally reapproved indefinitely by way of a letter of November 2017. Thankfully, Lincoln made the proper decision to conduct an IME which confirmed the opinions of her treating physician. Of course our client is ecstatic to be back on claim and is now able to again focus on her health. She knows that the fight will continue, but she also knows that Dell & Schaefer will do whatever it takes to keep her on claim until she is ready and able to return to work.

If you have had a similar situation and Lincoln (or any disability insurance company) has denied your claim, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Alexander Palamara at Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation.

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Lincoln Financial claimants nationwide?

We represent Lincoln Financial clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Lincoln Financial disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Lincoln Financial. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Lincoln Financial.

How do you help Lincoln Financial claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Lincoln Financial long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Lincoln Financial:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Louis P., MD

My chronic health problems had progressed to the point that it was impossible for me to continue practicing my specialty as an obstetrician and gynecologist. With my physician’s support and excellent own occupation professional disability insurance policies I began the application process solo and with confidence that approval would be easy. After several months of endless and confusing demands for documents, files, records and reports by the insurance carriers I was in a panic over the realization that I was in over my head and that my entire financial future could be ruined by mistakes on my part during the application process.

Having seen ads by Dell & Schaefer, I contacted them on-line with a summary of my situation. A phone call was received from Gregory Dell within hours of submitting the on-line inquiry. His competence and knowledge was immediately apparent and reassuring. After a thorough discussion of my case I could not copy the files fast enough to get them to his office and in his capable hands. End of the story is that the results were much better than I could have imagined. Money is not one of my problems.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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