CIGNA Overturns Its Decision to Deny Continued Disability Benefits for Former Employee of Science Applications International Corporation

A former Senior Software Engineer for Science Applications International Corporation was forced to leave work on August 28, 2009 due to a multitude of medical issues. These conditions included Depression, Left Ulnar Neuropathy, Low Back Pain with Radiation to the Right Lower Extremity, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and Lumbar Disc Disease. Soon thereafter he applied for and was initially approved by CIGNA for Long Term Disability Benefits with an effective date of February 27, 2010. This claimant received benefits through February 26, 2012 when he was informed on February 24, 2012 that his disability benefits would cease. In the denial letter, CIGNA informed the claimant that because they only found that he was disabled due to depression, his claim would therefore be limited to 24 months as his policy has a 24 month limitation for mental health disabilities. “I have seen hundreds of disability denial letters in which a disability insurance company wrongfully claims a disability condition is mental and not physical,” stated attorney Alex Palamara.

Claimant’s First Administrative ERISA Appeal With CIGNA is Denied

After being denied long term disability benefits the claimant attempted an administrative appeal on his own. Unfortunately this appeal was denied by way of a letter dated June 11, 2012, where CIGNA again ruled that his physical capabilities were not sufficient enough to satisfy that he be “unable to perform all the material duties of any occupation,” the current definition of disability under his policy. In support of this contention, CIGNA now relied upon the findings of an Independent Medical Examination (IME) which found only minimal restrictions based on his physical disabilities. CIGNA used the results of the IME and had a Transferable Skills Analysis completed which found various jobs that the claimant apparently would be able to perform given the restrictions found by the IME doctor.

Claimant Contacts Attorney Dell and Schaefer To Help With Cigna Disability Appeal

Unwilling to give up, the claimant contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer for assistance in filing the last administrative appeal. Upon obtaining an overwhelming amount of supportive medical documentation from the client’s treating physicians, Attorney Alexander Palamara was able to show that the client’s physical conditions were more than enough to qualify him as disabled under the policy. Attorney Palamara used CIGNA’s IME results against them to show that it would be unreasonable to expect this client to be able to perform all the material duties of any occupation.

On February 18, 2013, nearly a year to the day after he was first denied, CIGNA informed Attorney Alex Palamara that it had decided to overturn its previous decision and found that the client qualifies for disability benefits beyond the 24 month mental nervous limitation.

If you have a similar situation involving a case against CIGNA or any other disability insurance companies, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Chad B. (Illinois)

I originally spoke with 3 other long term disability lawyers about my case before contacting Dell and Schaefer. None of those law firms would take it. They said the chances of me winning was not good. After finding Dell and Schaefer online I spoke with one of the attorneys that has since left. He did take my case but later it was picked up by Rachel Alters. Rachel is amazing and a very intelligent attorney. She not only won my case but also was able to get my back pay for 6 months.

I also cannot say enough about Sonia Nogueira. Sonia was always quick to answer any of my questions. I would usually hear back from her within hours of sending her a email. I do not know where I would be if I hadn’t contacted them. My family and I cannot thank them enough. Don’t let an insurance company tell you they are not responsible for paying you. I paid them for 20 years monthly and they looked for any reason they could not to have to pay me when I needed my benefit. Thank you Rachel and Sonia for all you guys do.

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