Dell & Schaefer successfully appeal denial by Liberty Life

Before going on disability our client was a hardworking and dedicated Business Coordinator for Hoffman La Roche who was greatly admired by her co-workers for her professionalism, tenacity and leadership. After working more than 20 years for Hoffman La Roche she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to suffer through the overwhelming effects of chemotherapy. Following her treatment she was placed on Aromasin, an estrogen blocker which is known to cause severe debilitating side effects to many patients.

Our client was unfortunate to be among the group of patients who suffer the debilitating effects of an Aromatase inhibitor regimen. The resulting side effects, which included persistent and severe joint pain and stiffness, chronic fatigue, generalized body pains, chronic neuropathy, numbness and tingling in her hands and feet, headaches, tension, insomnia, memory loss and difficulty concentrating forced the Hoffman La Roche employee to stop working on February 7, 2011.

Unable to return to work she filed a claim for disability benefits with Liberty Mutual as well as with the Social Security Administration. Both claims were approved.

Denial of Benefits by Liberty Life

Liberty Life paid our client Long Term Disability benefits until March 21, 2013 when they terminated her benefits claiming she was no longer disabled. In support of its decision Liberty Life relied upon an internal review by one of its hired doctors and completely ignored her treating doctors’ opinions that she could not work due to continued complications from the Aromasin treatment.

First Level Appeal

Before retaining Dell & Schaefer our client decided to take on Liberty Life alone and submitted her own appeal of Liberty Life’s denial of benefits. After submitting her appeal she was forced to wait until September 17, 2013 when Liberty Life sent another letter denying her appeal. It was at this point that she realized she needed an experienced ERISA attorney to help her fight Liberty Life for her benefits.

Second Voluntary Appeal

Upon contacting our firm Attorney Peña immediately started working on her claim. Many disability policies allow only one appeal after a denial of benefits, after which, a lawsuit must be filed. Luckily for our client her policy allowed a second voluntary appeal.

In preparing the appeal Attorney Peña thoroughly analyzed Liberty Mutual’s complete claim file including the medical review conducted by Liberty Life’s hired doctors. During the analysis it became apparent that Liberty Life had failed to properly review and consider the side effects of our client’s Aromasin treatment. The appeal challenging Liberty Life’s denials included all the medical records from our client’s treating physicians including documented objective evidence supporting her claim as well as extensive medical literature surrounding the disabling symptoms caused by an Aromatase inhibitor regimen.

Liberty Life Overturns Denial and issues a check for unpaid benefits

After completing its review Liberty Life sent a letter reinstating benefits effective March 22, 2013. Liberty Life issued a check for all unpaid benefits dating back to the initial denial. The fight, however, did not end there—Liberty Life miscalculated the benefit amount and initially agreed only to pay unpaid benefits through September 2013, the date representing 24-months of benefits and the date the more stringent “any-occupation” definition of disability began.

Fortunately for our client, Dell & Schaefer remained on the case and immediately demanded that Liberty Life issue all unpaid benefits and approve our client’s claim under the more stringent policy language. Liberty Life has since then approved our client’s claim and will continue paying benefits as long as she remains disabled. Dell & Schaefer will continue managing the ongoing claim against Liberty Life to ensure our client has the best chance of remaining on claim for as long as she is disabled under the policy language.

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FAQ

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.

Reviews

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.

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