Berkshire Life Insurance Company approves long-term disability benefits for a dentist suffering from lumbar disc disease

Our client, a general dentist, purchased a long-term disability policy from Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America. The policy defined “disability” as the inability to perform the substantial and material duties of his regular occupation. Our client maintained a solo dental practice since 1995. After several years of practice, Dr. Q began experiencing back pain which made it difficult for him to bend over patients for long periods of time and perform most of his dental procedures.

The pain continued to worsen as time went on. Dr. Q’s treating neurologist diagnosed Dr. Q with lumbar degenerative disk disease and associated radiculopathy. Eventually, the pain forced Dr. Q to put his practice up for sale and discontinue the practice of dentistry.

Knowing that the application process for long-term disability benefits could be complicated, Dr. Q contacted Dell and Schaefer to assist him in submitting his claim for long-term disability benefits. Attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia gathered all of the medical, financial, and occupational information necessary to submit Dr. Q’s claim for long-term disability benefits. Berkshire delayed payment of Dr. Q’s disability claim as Dr. Q. had began working in a new occupation as a dental professor. After field interviews with Berkshire and our client, Attorneys Dell & Schaefer were able to prove that the material duties necessary to be a professor are not similar to the material duties required to work as a solo general dentist. Once Berkshire accepted that Dr. Q could no longer practice dentistry on patients, they agreed to pay long-term disability to our clients. Berkshire agreed to pay benefits just prior to Attorneys Dell & Schaefer filing a lawsuit for their failure to pay. Attorneys Dell & Schaefer continue to maintain Dr. Q’s long-term disability claim with Berkshire on a monthly basis.

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FAQ

Do you help Berkshire claimants nationwide?

We represent Berkshire 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 Berkshire disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Berkshire claimants?

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

  • 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   *****

Michael F.

Having had several lung surgeries including a wedge resection, lobe removal and pleurodesis as well as MAC lung disease, I was diagnosed with stage vi (end stage) COPD in October 2012. With my lung function at 23% it was becoming very difficult to manage my daily life let alone continue working in my management role at a large healthcare company. After meeting with my primary physician and my pulmonologist, it was agreed that I should stop working and submit a claim for disability. I was 52 at the time. My short term disability plan with Mutual of Omaha paid my claim for 3 months at which time it was converted to my long term disability plan with no issues. I continued to collect my LTD benefit from February 2013 until November 20th 2014 when I received a letter saying I could return to my previous position and there was nothing in my medical records to indicate disability. I was shocked to say the least, as my condition is chronic and progressive and in fact my condition had continued to decline. I didn’t know what to do and knew I did not have the knowledge or experience to appeal their decision. I was very afraid as we depended on this income to pay our bills, that’s why I held the policy for many years, to protect my family. I want to add that I applied for and was approved for Social Security disability benefits shortly after diagnosis.

I immediately started to search for attorneys that handle disability claims and found literally hundreds that handled SSDI claims, but few that handled employer/private policies. I found Dell & Schaefer and filled out their quick online form and almost immediately received a reply from Gregory Dell (yes, an actual person responded!) who let me know that he asked Rachel Alters to call me. I don’t think it was more than a half hour before I received a call from her. I immediately felt a sense of relief as she explained the process and what she would be doing for me.

From that day forward, I have been met with OUTSTANDING customer service from Rachel Alters and Kathleen Bordes. Any time I reached out with questions or concerns they were very responsive and always left me feeling satisfied that I had the best in my corner. The process took many months and a lot of leg work on Rachel and Kathleen’s part. When I was finally sent a draft of the appeal, I completely understood why it takes so long. The level of detail was unbelievable. I actually feel like I better understand my disease after reading it! The appeal was filed timely and my denial was overturned very quickly. When I learned it was overturned, I have to admit I had tears in my eyes. I want to add, that even if the appeal didn’t have the positive outcome that it did, I would feel exactly the same about the exceptional job done on my case. I’m not sure I can ever truly express how grateful I am, and how blessed I feel to have found Dell & Schaefer and especially Rachel and Kathleen!

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