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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Do you help Cigna claimants nationwide?

We represent Cigna 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 Cigna disability insurance policy?

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.

How do you help Cigna claimants?

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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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.

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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   *****

Dawn P.

I had to quit working after 8 years of dealing with chronic pain from 2 bulging and torn discs from an injury and failey back surgery. I was approved for Long term disability through my employer benefits, with Unum. They covered me with payments for one year, and suddenly sent a letter that their doctors disagreed with my surgeon and pain management doctors, and they felt I could go back to work full time. I hired a local attorney, trying to save some money, but I don’t think he had much experience dealing with big LTD companies such as Unum. He filed terrible appeals on my behalf with little to no effort on his part of building a good case for me. After a year of dealing with his condescending attitude and loosing my final appeal, I decided to call up Dell & Schaefer. I had contacted them a year prior when searching for an attorney. Cesar was willing to take my case and felt I had a good one. But I didn’t want to pay the percentage he was asking for if we won back then. The old saying, “you get what you pay for”, proved to be true in this case and I regretted not hiring him from the beginning!

Once I did hire him, and thank goodness he was still willing to take my case even though he was dealing with defending poor appeals by my previous lawyer, things got moving along for me. Because of his years of experience dealing with Unum, and his record of wins against them, within 6 months we had a settlement I could live with! The stress I suffered before Cesar and weight on my shoulders was gone! Cesar is a kind, caring, attorney who will fight for your rights! His assistant Michal always talked to me when I called in with questions or to check up on my case and never made me feel bad for calling. It was nothing like the previous relationship I had with my other attorney and his staff, who avoided me. Cesar explains the process well and keeps you updated on your options throughout the process. He was worth every penny!

I am grateful for their representation and would recommend anyone with an ERISA case to call him!

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