• Can You Sue UNUM?

Can You Sue UNUM?

If UNUM denies your long term disability insurance claim, can you sue? Generally, the answer is yes – but with some qualifications. Learn more about what a claimant may expect from the administrative procedures and appeal process they’ll need to pursue after UNUM has denied their disability insurance claim.

What to expect in a Group Policy (ERISA) lawsuit with UNUM

The vast majority of UNUM disability insurance claims Dell & Schaefer handles involve group disability policies, known as ERISA policies. These are different from individual disability insurance policies in that the claimant received the policy from their employer. Under an ERISA policy, a claimant must first file an administrative appeal. If this appeal is unsuccessful, the claimant may then file a lawsuit in federal court.

There are several unique elements to an ERISA disability insurance claim. First, once UNUM has denied a disability insurance appeal, the administrative record is closed. This means that even if you’re approved for Social Security Disability after the appeal is denied, this approval won’t make a difference to your subsequent disability insurance lawsuit, since it’s outside the scope of the administrative record. You won’t provide testimony before the judge, nor will your doctors be subpoenaed to testify – instead, the court will decide your case on a paper record, based only on the administrative evidence and the motions filed by the attorneys.

But the most important thing claimants should know about an ERISA disability insurance claim is about the burden of proof. To prevail in a disability insurance  lawsuit, you’ll need to show two things – first, that you’re disabled (that is, you’re unable to perform some of the essential elements of your job); and next, that UNUM acted in an “arbitrary and capricious manner” by denying your claim for disability benefits. In other words, even if you’re disabled, if reasonable minds could differ on whether your disability prevents you from working, it’s unlikely that UNUM will be found to have violated the arbitrary-and-capricious standard of review.

An advantage of suing UNUM with a Group Policy (ERISA)

Although suing UNUM under an ERISA disability policy does present some challenges (such as the two-step appeal process and the arbitrary-and-capricious standard), it comes with some advantages as well. Disability claimants won’t need to come to court or testify, and after hiring Dell & Schaefer, you won’t need to do much work at all. Let us handle the heavy lifting of your disability claim and set aside any worries you may have had about the hassle of litigation or the lack of privacy associated with having to testify in open court about your medical conditions.

If your UNUM claim for disability insurance benefits was denied, give one of the experienced long term disability attorneys at Dell & Schaefer a call. By simply reviewing your denial letter and a copy of your long term disability policy, we’ll quickly be able to see whether we can assist you in fighting for the disability benefits you deserve.

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Questions About Hiring Us

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   *****

Brenda P.

Attorney Alex Palamara was a delight, and most cordial, efficient and timely in responding to my questions and concerns. The staff was professional and also a delight to work with. The entire law firm most definitely looked out for our best interests. It was a burden lifted off us not to have to deal with the insurance company and which gave us peace of mind. There’s no price tag that could be put on that.

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