Attorneys Dell And Schaefer obtain lump sum buy-out of an Unum long term disability insurance policy for a drywall contractor

Our client, a General Contractor who owned his own dry wall installation business, had a long term disability insurance policy he had purchased from Unum in 1988. Like so many professionals, our client never imagined, expected, or wanted to find himself in a position where he would have to rely on long term disability benefits. He simply paid the premiums each month and focused his attention on making his business grow.

In January of 2007, our client was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in herniations at the C6-C7 and C7-T1 levels, as well as left neuroforaminal narrowing at the C6-C7 level. These injuries prevented our client from performing the material and substantial duties of his occupation and he decided to file for long-term disability income benefits. In March 2007, attorneys at Dell and Schaefer were able to secure long term disability income benefits for our client; however UNUM paid monthly disability benefits under a reservation of rights. The reservation of rights means Unum would agree to pay monthly disability benefits, but by doing so they were not acknowledging that our client was disabled under the terms and conditions of the policy. Dell and Schaefer continued fighting on behalf of our client to ensure Unum would adhere to their obligation to pay our clients disability benefits under the terms of the policy.

After a year of fighting with Unum on behalf of our client, Unum finally removed the reservation of rights and acknowledged that our client was totally disabled due to his inability to perform the material and substantial duties of his occupation as a drywall contractor. Despite the objective findings contained in the medical records that clearly established our client was totally disabled, Unum insisted on receiving monthly claim forms from our client and his treating physicians. Unum continually attempted to find a way to justify terminating our client’s benefits. In July of 2008, Unum sent our client to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) to determine the level of our client’s impairment. For several months after the IME, Dell and Schaefer continually requested a copy of the IME report. Unum would not cooperate, sending Dell and Schaefer on a “goose hunt” to locate a copy of the IME report. Finally, after constant pressure by Dell and Schaefer, Unum finally provided a copy of the IME report in November of 2008.

Upon receipt and review of the IME report, it was clear that Unum had to finally acknowledge what attorneys at Dell and Schaefer had been arguing all along: that our client was totally disabled from performing the material and substantial duties of his occupation. To try to bring an end to the constant barrage of requests and harassment to our client from Unum, attorney Gregory Dell contacted Unum to discuss a lump-sum buyout of our client’s long-term disability policy.

The buyout negotiation was challenging as our client’s policy had an own-occupation definition of total disability until age 55 and then changed to the inability to perform any gainful occupation. Unum had fought our client on the own occupation definition and it appeared inevitable that they would battle once again when the definition of disability changes. After extensive negotiations, Attorneys Dell & Schaefer was able to convince UNUM that our client would be disabled from any gainful occupation and secure a confidential lump-sum buyout that extended beyond the own-occupation period.

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FAQ

Do you help Unum claimants nationwide?

We represent Unum 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 Unum disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Unum claimants?

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

  • 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Pat (Florida)

My experience with Dell & Schaefer, especially attorney Cesar Gavidia and his staff was excellent. I contacted Dell & Schaefer when I needed help as my disability insurance carrier terminated my benefits at the 2 year mark of my disability. I spent about 2 months putting together what I thought may be a decent appeal of that decision. However, the further I got into the workings and gaining some understanding of how the appeals worked under ERISA, I realized there was a lot at risk and only had one shot at it. I sought advice from an immediate family member who is also an attorney and was advised “get a firm that specializes in this type of work, then get the best”. Hence my decision to chose Dell & Schaefer.

Upon acceptance of my case, I felt that I was the center of attention for Attorney Gavidia. I had already used up 1/3 of the 180 days allotted to file the appeal working on my own so we were in a bit of a time crunch. Hundreds of pages of medical records the detail of the termination of benefits, my disability policy and several other different documents were delivered to attorney Gavidia. In short order those documents were reviewed and our strategy of appeal was discussed and developed. Necessary appointments and evaluations were coordinated and our appeal was submitted before the 180 days had expired. At the 45 day mark my insurer requested a 45 day extension on the decision. I was advised by Mr Gavidia’s assistant Michal who reassured me that this happens in most appeals. At the 90 day mark we received a favorable decision on the appeal, benefits were reinstated and back pay was awarded, but the story was not over.

After the initial termination of benefits by my insurer, I was alienated and expressed my desire with attorney Gavidia to try and find an amicable separation for all parties. Attorney Gavidia tactfully used some facts and disputes of the initial claim to open conversation with the insurer’s attorneys. He developed a dialog proposing, although I remain totally disabled as defined by my plan, a lump sum buy out of my future monthly disability benefits. Attorney Gavidia was successful in reaching an agreement that was acceptable to all parties and made sure that I had the final say on acceptance or not.

Thus, working with Dell & Schaefer I had my benefits, which had been terminated, restored, received back-pay for benefits that were withheld and missed, and successfully and satisfactorily “divorced” from my insurance provider in the form of a lump sum buy-out of my future disability benefits.

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