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.

Videos, Questions, Resolved Cases, Lawsuit Summaries & Company Reviews

disability insurance companies complaints

View videos, articles, resolved cases and claimant reviews about your specific disability insurance company.


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.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

Jeff P. (Oklahoma)

After a very long and frustrating ordeal to keep my LTD payments coming I decided to seek assistance from and attorney. After much research and asking those in the legal profession Dell & Schaefer seemed to be the top choice. I reached out and Alex Palamara was the attorney assigned to my case. All I can say is the experience was outstanding. Both Alex and his Paralegal, Danielle Lauria were excellent to work with. They were very kind, concerned, understanding of my frustrations and treated me with the utmost respect. Communication was excellent with regular updates and telling me what I could expect in each stage of the process.

Alex was also very straight forward with what to expect and no pie in the sky promises or expectations were made. In the end we won our case and I believe it was solely due to their experience and knowledge of not only the laws but the insurance companies as a whole. I would highly recommend them and am very grateful for the help they afforded to me.

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us