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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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.


Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

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