Cigna overturns Short Term Disability Denial and awards Long Term Disability Benefits

A former employee of Critigen, Inc. contacted our office after the Life Insurance Company of North America (aka Cigna) denied her claim for Short Term Disability (STD) Benefits. This Client Services Manager had previously worked at Critigen since 2011 but found herself unable to continue to perform the material duties of her regular occupation due to serious neck issues. In fact, she had 3 prior surgeries that were unsuccessful. In addition to the chronic neck pain, the Client Services Manager also suffered from: Cervical Post Laminectomy Syndrome, Chronic Cervical Radiculopathy, Cervical Disc Displacement, Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease, Bilateral Upper Extremity Pain, Numbness and Tingling in the Bilateral Upper Extremities, Bilateral Shoulder Pain, Bilateral Knee Pain, Bilateral Knee Osteoarthritis, Bilateral Feet Numbness and Tingling, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Headaches, Right Occipital Neuritis, Vertigo, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Osteopenia, Fatigue, Arthralgias, Fibromyositis/Myositis, Paraesthesia, Mild Chest Pain, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Shortness of Breath, Reactive Airways Disease, Chronic Cough, Impaired Sleep, Blurred Vision, Lacrimal Disorder, Sleep Apnea and Anxiety.

As one can imagine, with such a list of injuries and sicknesses, there was no way that our now client could continue working despite her desire and efforts. Because she could not continue to work, she made a claim for Short Term Disability benefits through a policy her employer provided through Cigna. This policy, and the accompanying Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Policy, was in place for this very reason: to provide income if she is “unable to perform the material duties of… her regular occupation.”

After stopping work in May of 2014 and applying for STD benefits, benefits were in fact approved and paid for a short time period. Unfortunately, benefits were only paid through July 14, 2014 and by way of a denial letter dated July 29, 2014 Cigna informed her that benefits were terminated because “the medical information on file does not document ongoing severity of your condition that would preclude you from your occupation beyond July 14, 2014.”

Realizing that she could not return to work and that she was unable to perform her own regular occupation or even any occupation, this Colorado Client Services Manager found disability Attorney Alexander Palamara of Dell & Schaefer.

Alexander Palamara of Dell & Schaefer Gets Involved

Within hours of being contacted, Attorney Palamara reviewed the denial letter and relevant medical records provided. From this review it was crystal clear that not only was Cigna’s decision blatantly wrong, but there was no way that the Colorado Client Services Manager could return to work in the foreseeable future, if ever.

Review of the Claim File

After reviewing all of the medical records from our now client’s treating physicians and after reviewing the entire claim file from Cigna, it was apparent that the reviews relied upon by Cigna, reviews that were conducted by its own employees, were so biased that they possessed zero reliability. An administrative appeal challenging Cigna’s findings and ultimate determination was quickly filed. This appeal not only demanded overturning of the STD denial but commanded that LTD benefits be approved. The appeal challenged Cigna’s internal reviews and pointed out the overwhelming objective evidence found in our client’s medical records that easily demonstrated her satisfaction of what it means to be disabled under the policies.

Cigna Overturns Its Incorrect Decision and Awards STD and LTD Benefits

Within a month of the appeal being filed, Cigna contacted our office and informed us that the denial of STD benefits was being overturned. Shortly thereafter, LTD benefits were also approved. Our client has now received all STD benefits owed and is now receiving LTD benefits monthly.

Our client is pleased that Cigna is now paying benefits rightfully owed. She knows that with the help of Attorney Palamara and Dell & Schaefer, she will continue to receive benefits as they will do whatever it takes to see that she remains on claim until she is able and ready to return to work.

If you have been denied disability benefits by Cigna or any other disability insurance company, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Alexander Palamara at Dell & Schafer for a free consultation.

Find more CIGNA disability insurance cases on this page.

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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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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.

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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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Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Alan Jay R.

I was given the complete run a round with my insurance company on my LTD. I called Dell & Schaefer and spoke with Steven Dell and after an hour long conversation, he advised me that he would handle my case. In six weeks in his hands, my case was approved and my long term disability claim was approved. The insurance company still tried to make my life a living hell but, with Steven Dell, they backed off. Great Firm and I thank them for their help.

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