After Being Offered $20,908.56 in Back Benefits and Interest, Attorney Alex Palamara Helps Disabled Nurse Receive $450,213.86 plus $5,000/mo going forward Due to Regulatory Settlement Agreement

A former employee of the Visiting Nurse Association contacted our office after the Life Insurance Company of North America (aka CIGNA) sent her a letter in May of 2015 advising her that after a new review was conducted on her claim they now agreed that she was disabled and eligible for benefits for the limited time period of 09/04/2009 through 12/03/2009. As such, CIGNA told her it would pay benefits in the amount of $10,878.00 plus interest in the amount of $10,030.56 (a total of $20,908.56).

With this letter, a check was enclosed and the letter stated that by “cashing the enclosed check, you agree to accept this payment as full satisfaction of all claims you may have that, in whole or in part, arise out of or relate to (your disability insurance policy) during the Remediation Period and to forgo litigation and release Life Insurance Company of North America from any further liability regarding the denial or termination of benefits under the (policy) during the Remediation Period.”

After receiving the aforementioned letter, this disabled Nurse contacted Dell & Schaefer for information and advice as to this offer and the Regulatory Settlement Agreement. Prior to speaking with our law firm, this former Visiting Nurse Association employee was tempted to cash this check immediately as she was still disabled and any such funds would be an immediate blessing to her family. After speaking with Attorneys Gregory Dell and Alexander Palamara, the disabled Nurse was convinced that more could be done and more money could be a possibility.

Regulatory Settlement Agreement

In 2013, the Life Insurance Company of North America entered into a voluntary settlement agreement with participating state insurance regulators whereby it agreed to review certain previously denied or terminated claims made by residents of those states between January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2010. This period is known as the “Remediation Period.” CIGNA agreed that it would review claims it denied during that time period under enhanced claim procedures. Basically CIGNA agreed that it did a terrible job on some disability claims in the past and now agreed to give a new and proper review of those denied claims.

Dell & Schaefer Gets Involved

After being hired by the former employee of the Visiting Nurse Association, Attorney Alexander Palamara immediately investigated the claim. Attorney Palamara ordered a copy of the claim file from CIGNA. The claim file contains all the documentation CIGNA has obtained or created with regards to this Nurse’s claim. A quick review of the claim file showed not only that this Nurse should have been found disabled in 2009 when she first stopped working, but it also showed that CIGNA had enough information to justify continuing benefits through the present day. In fact, the Claim File contained a recent review by a doctor hired by Cigna. This independent doctor agreed that our now client remained unable to perform the material duties of her own occupation and any occupation. In his revaluation of April 24, 2015, Dr. Randal Wojciehoski found that our client would be completely functionally limited from 09/4/2009 forward. Furthermore, Dr. Wojciehoski stated that “(c)onsidering the complex comorbidities, it is my opinion to a reasonable degree of medical probability that (the claimant) remains completely and totally impaired from 09/04/2009 and beyond.”

Administrative Appeal Filed by Dell & Schaefer

Now armed with support not only from her medical records and her treating physicians, our client was also supported by CIGNA’s own medical reviewer. As such, an administrative appeal was filed outlining why CIGNA should determine that our client has been and continues to be disabled and how much money she should be paid above the $20,908.56 previously offered. Beyond supportive medical records, we offered financial proof that benefits should be paid from 09/04/2009 through the present.

The appeal was filed on August 21, 2015.

Cigna Agrees to Pay More Money

On October 14, 2015, we received a letter indicating the CIGNA now agreed with our assessment. At first CIGNA only agreed to pay through October 11, 2010 as it wanted to review updated medical information and get more information into her earnings from that time to the present. After being provided the requested information, CIGNA had no choice but to pay benefits through the present and agree to continue paying a monthly benefit until our client is no longer disabled.

Although it has been a tough and long fight that continues to this day, our client is happy that CIGNA finally agreed that she was disabled and is now paying her claim. Although one could question whether the initial offer of $20,908.56 was made in good faith and within the spirit of the Regulatory Settlement Agreement, our client’s receipt of over $450,000 shows that CIGNA is able and willing to correct a wrong it previously created.

Our client also knows that with the help of Attorney Palamara and Dell & Schaefer, she will continue to receive benefits as they will do whatever it takes to see that she remains on claim until she is able and ready to return to work.

If you have been offered money from CIGNA due to the Regulatory Settlement Agreement based on a past denied claim, although it may be tempting to immediately cash the check, please contact our office for a free consultation before you do so. First, the initial offer may only be a fraction of what is owed. Secondly, cashing the check may result in your losing your ability to challenge the amount paid and to get additional money. So please contact us as soon as such a letter is received. We will do whatever it takes to get you what you deserve.

Questions About Hiring Us

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, 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   *****

Mark M., DDS

If you have a disability insurance situation, you need a pro like Steven Dell from the start to guide, support, and battle the insurance company for you. Don’t try to take on the powerful insurance companies on your own as they have all the tactics in place to try to delay and deny your claim, no matter how legitimate. If you try to do the claim on your own, you will be at a disadvantage. Our experience with Steven Dell was exceptional. I was diagnosed with severe cardiac disease. As a result, my cardiologist and other doctors told me that I needed to cease working immediately or risk a severe heart attack or death. Unfortunately the disability insurance company did not see it that way and tried to delay and dismiss the seriousness of my illness and attempted to set up a denial.

The insurance company is on your side as long as you are paying your premiums and do not file a claim. I found out that the insurance company will try to do all that they can to deny paying a claim. Fortunately Steven Dell was on our side from the start and helped us get through this stressful and lengthly process of filing a disability claim. Steven Dell advised and guided us through each step of the way and on many instances had to go head-on with the insurance carrier. The amount of paperwork in filing a claim can be substantial. Mr. Dell’s professional staff (especially Merlin) was efficient in handling everything to ensure that all the necessary paperwork was in order and submitted to the insurance company. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Dell, he was a Godsend, and we were able to win the case. If you have a disability situation you need a pro like Mr. Dell from the start if you want a successful outcome. Our lives are better now because of Steven Dell ~ Thank you Steven!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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