Another Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Long Term Disability Claim is Reinstated Following Appeal by Disability Attorney Alexander Palamara

In the past 2 years, Dell and Schaefer and Attorney Alexander Palamara have had great success in convincing Life Insurance Company of North America, which is commonly known as CIGNA, that its decisions to deny continued Long Term Disability Benefits to employees of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office were incorrect. For our previous story, please visit:

Like the previous case, our client worked as a Corrections Deputy Sheriff. He was employed in that position since 2007 and due to his employment he was covered under the long term disability (LTD) insurance policy for all sworn Law Enforcement Division Deputy Sheriffs, Sergeants, Lieutenants and other qualified employees.

Unfortunately for our client, due to various conditions that included Low Back Pain, Upper Back Pain, Neck Pain with Radiation to the Bilateral Shoulders, Left Upper Extremity Pain with Radiation to the Left Hand, Bilateral Knee Pain and Swelling, Bilateral Knee Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Coronary Artery Disease, he was forced to stop working in July of 2012. Shortly after leaving work, our client filed a claim for benefits with Cigna and benefits were initially approved for the period of January 7, 2013 through January 6, 2016. By later dated December 17, 2015, further benefits were denied as Cigna determined that he did not satisfy the new definition of disability that kicked in after 36 months of benefits.

Like most group disability insurance policies, what it means to be disabled will change after a set period of time. In the Palm Beach County Law Enforcement LTD Policy, for the first 36 months one must prove that he/she is “unable to perform the material and substantial duties of his or her regular occupation…” After benefits are paid for 36 months, to then continue to qualify for benefits, he or she must be “unable to perform the material and substantial duties of any occupation for which he or she may reasonably become qualified based on education, training or experience.” This change in definition is the time in which most approved claims are denied.

Unfortunately for our client, his claim was denied by Cigna at the change in definition of disability. In support of its decision to deny benefits, Cigna relied up on the reviews of a Nurse Case Manager and a Medical Director, both of whom were employees of Cigna. These two reviews led Cigna to believe that our client was now capable of performing a sedentary occupation. Cigna then stated that a “Transferable Skills Analysis” found two occupations that he would be able to perform and denied further benefits as of January 7, 2016.

Alexander Palamara of Dell & Schaefer Files Appeal

After speaking with the client, it was readily apparent to Attorney Palamara that CIGNA’s to decision to deny continued benefits was flat out wrong. It was clear that there was no way that our new client could physically handle the requirements of any occupation for which he may reasonably become qualified based on his education, training and experience.

After gathering Cigna’s claim file and updated medical records from our client’s treating physicians, an administrative appeal was drafted to challenge Cigna’s denial. Our appeal summarized the long history of support of our client’s treating physicians and the objective medical documentation. To further support out client’s claim, our client submitted himself to a medical functional capacity assessment where the Board Certified Physiatrist, after conducting a battery of tests, concluded that the “patient will be unable to maintain gainful employment… secondary to acute, intermitted exacerbations of chronic pain.”

A few months after the appeal was filed, our client, the Palm Beach County Corrections Deputy Sheriff, was reapproved for benefits and continues to receive benefits to this day. Although our client was without benefits for 10 months, he is happy to be back on claim. He also knows that he can trust Dell & Schaefer to keep him on claim until he is able to return to work or until his policy expires.

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 & Schafer for a free consultation.

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   *****

Joseph F., DDS

When I became disabled early in my career as a dentist, I was expecting the disability insurance process to be a nightmare. With the help of Mr. Jessup and his team, it was far better than I ever thought it could be. He walked me through all the steps and made sure that we did everything that needed to be done to ensure a timely and positive response. Looking back on all the little details, I can’t see any way that I would have been able to handle it all by myself, let alone handle it in such a way to make sure everything was done in the best possible way to obtain a favorable response.

Having now gone through the process, I am certain that anyone faced with the prospect of filing a disability claim needs counsel and I can think of no better counsel than Mr. Jessup and his team and Dell & Schaefer.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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