Disabled attorney forced to sue UNUM for her disability benefits

A 53-year-old disabled attorney and her New York disability attorney filed a Federal lawsuit against the insurer UNUM on July 15, 2011 for collection of her disability benefits. A Toxic Tort Trial and Litigation Attorney and partner at a well-known firm, the claimant was forced to stop working due to her deteriorating medical condition in April 2009.

Diagnosed with Choruidal Osteoma, a benign boney tumor of the eye when she was 13, the claimant was diagnosed in 2006 with “Coroidal Neovascularization (‘CNV’),” which causes major visual loss. Experiencing frequent capillary hemorrhages in her eye, pain and worsening myopia, the claimant underwent “intravitreal Lucentis injections,” an injection method in which medication is injected directly into her eyeball for several weeks. Unfortunately, the procedure failed to improve her failing eyesight. Consequently on April 15, 2009, the claimant ceased working and applied for short-term disability benefits from UNUM.

The Claimant Qualifies for Short Term Disability Benefits under Her UNUM Policy

Qualifying for her short-term benefits, the claimant was awarded her short term disability benefits for a full 26 weeks. Being classified as totally disabled, the claimant applied for her long-term benefits per her firm’s group UNUM plan. Offering the claimant Vocational Rehabilitation Services, UNUM admitted that she “was incapable of performing her regular occupation.” And, according to her disability attorney, the offer of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in addition to the award of her short term disability benefits verified that the claimant was disabled per the terms of her UNUM disability plan. However, UNUM denied the claimant her long-term disability benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in a letter dated December 14, 2009. Appealing the denial, the claimant submitted additional medical documentation of her condition in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution and to avoid litigation.

UNUM Denies Claimant’s Disability Claim Appeal

UNUM proceeded to uphold its denial of the claimant’s disability claim, chose not to have her examined by a physician of the insurer’s choice, and chose to rely on paper reviews by out-of-state doctors instead. Failing to pay the claimant’s disability benefits, UNUM has “not honored its contractual obligations” to the claimant which has lead to her and her disability lawyer filing this subject lawsuit to attempt to force the insurer to uphold its obligation to the claimant and approve her disability claim. In the claim against UNUM, the claimant and her lawyer asked the District Court to enter judgment against UNUM for:

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Do you help Unum claimants nationwide?

We represent Unum 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 Unum disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Unum. 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 Unum.

How do you help Unum claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Unum 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 Unum:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Ken A. DC

First of all, may I say this: if you are a professional and find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to file a claim against your disability carrier – do not try this on your own! HIRE A PROFESSIONAL! This was advice that I was given and I am very great full I was smart enough and followed it. Your next decision is whether to hire a ‘disability claims consultant’ or an attorney which specializes in professional disability claims. I decided upon the later. The reason being an attorney has ‘power’ and ‘authority’ and actually ‘represents you’. He/she has authority (power of attorney) to actually communicate with your insurance company and do ‘Whatever It Takes’.

A disability claims consultant does exactly that… they ‘consult’ with ‘you’ (not the insurance company) and make recommendations… they tell you what to do. Mr. Dell actually told my insurance company that my claim was legitimate and justified and that they were simply going to pay my claim.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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