After Appeal Filed by Attorney Alexander Palamara, Cigna Overturns its Previous Denial of Long Term Disability Benefits for Retail Clerk Suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Pain

After receiving benefits for only 2 months, a retail clerk responsible for processing manufacturer returns was denied continued Long Term Disability Benefits by Cigna. Though she suffered from arthritis, chronic knee pain, chronic back pain, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, Cigna felt justified in its denial of her claim.

In its denial letter, Cigna stated it relied upon reviews by its own employees and made the determination that there was no support for any physical limitations and no restrictions from a psychiatric standpoint.

After receiving her denial letter, the retail clerk contacted our firm and spoke with disability insurance attorney Alexander Palamara. A detailed conversation with the claimant regarding her medical conditions and a review of the denial letter made it clear that Cigna had improperly denied benefits to a woman who was suffering from severe medical restrictions based on her diagnoses.

Dell & Schaefer Gets Involved

After the initial consultation, Attorney Alexander agreed to take on her case and help her fight to get back on claim. Updated medical records and the claim file were ordered to asses our client’s current medical condition and prove to Cigna that she is incapable of performing her own occupation. A review of the claim file revealed that the Cigna employee reviews were filled with factually incorrect information. The reviews by the Cigna employees claimed the opinions by our client’s treating providers were not supported by acceptable clinical diagnostic testing; however, our client’s medical records contained ample supportive and objective clinical diagnostic testing, suggesting the Cigna employees never even reviewed our client’s records or were grossly mischaracterizing the contents of the records. It was clear that instead of looking for items in our client’s medical records that supported the claim, the Cigna employees were simply looking for what wasn’t included as an excuse to terminate her continued benefits.

The Filing of the Administrative Appeal

After gathering all necessary documentation, a timely administrative appeal was filed. This appeal challenged Cigna’s unsupported conclusions, cited to the supportive and objective medical documentation, and criticized the reviews by Cigna’s employees. The appeal also addressed the fact that medical records, especially psychiatric records, are not written for the purpose of proving a disability claim as they are written to treat the patient. The appeal pointed out that Courts have stated in the past that the use of a paper review performed by an inherently biased employee who has never met with, spoken with, or laid eyes on a patient has very little credibility, especially in the context of psychiatric evaluations because the specialty is dependent upon interviewing and spending time with patients.

Roughly 2 months after the administrative appeal was filed, Cigna reinstated our client’s long term disability benefits. Although our client went nearly seven months without benefits, she is relieved to be back on claim, and our firm is committed to do whatever it takes to see that she remains on claim until she reaches age 65.

This claim is another example of how insurance companies ignore supportive documentation and hire unqualified and biased employees to deny a claim.

If you have been denied disability benefits by Cigna or any other disability insurance company, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Alexander Palamara at Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation.

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FAQ

Do you help Cigna claimants nationwide?

We represent Cigna 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 Cigna disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Cigna. 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 Cigna.

How do you help Cigna claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Cigna 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 Cigna:

  • 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, GoToMeeting.com 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.

Reviews   *****

Perrin B, DDS

Dear Mr. Dell,
I was given your name as a referral for representation for the counsel and filing of a disability claim on my behalf. I understood that this would be a challenging effort and that it would be time consuming, frustrating and nearly impossible to do on my own. Our initial meeting was so reassuring that I hired you on the spot. The navigation of my office sale, the negotiations, the process of dealing with my illness and its symptoms and the entire ordeal seemed overwhelming at times. You and your staff were and remain amazing. Your conscientious and genuine concern were so reinforcing, your timely and efficient follow through was consistent with the service you promised and often exceeded my expectations.

I suppose I should add that my disability insurance carrier must have been equally impressed by your individual and team efforts as I was granted a full approval for my claim. There was no way that I could have achieved this without your excellent, ethical and efficient representation. I would also like to add that your assistant was a godsend. A sympathetic and caring soul, her attention to every detail and her patient attention to my needs during the process added greater confidence and support for my efforts.

Mr. Dell thank you again for making this process easier to navigate for me. Please feel free to give my contact information to anyone considering your services as I would be happy to serve as a permanent source of endorsement for you, your staff and your excellent performance on my behalf. Thanks again, you are a life saver!

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