Our Lawyers Get Your Long-Term Disability Benefits Paid
98% percent of our clients collect disability benefits. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the USA to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits. Thank you for considering our law firm to help you.
Discover How Your Disabling Condition Should be Presented to Your Disability Company
Disability insurance companies always argue that Diagnosis does not equal disability. Proving that your medical condition is disabling is the most challenging aspect of any long term disability insurance claim.
Explore How Disability Companies Evaluate Your Occupation
Disability insurance companies are notorious for minimizing your occupational duties. This technique is used as a tool to prove that you can perform duties which differ from the job you actually performed while working.
Established in 1979, we are a nationwide law firm that helps individuals collect disability insurance benefits. Through our experience of helping thousands of claimants throughout the USA to collect over $500 million in disability benefits, we know exactly what it takes to get your benefits paid. We welcome you to contact us for a free phone consultation with one of our lawyers.
How to Prove A Knee Disorder Disability Benefit Claim
Knee disorder claims are often challenged by long-term disability insurance companies, but objective testing and proper documentation can help get your disability benefits approved. In our knee disorder disability video, disability insurance attorneys Rachel Alters and Gregory Dell provide tips on how your doctor should document your knee limitations and how the use of outside evaluations will support your case. Contact any of our disability insurance attorneys for a free initial phone consultation to answer any of your long-term disability insurance questions.
Most disability insurance companies wrongfully think that if you have a sedentary job, like a desk job or anything that requires you to sit for at least six out of eight hours a day, then you should be able to deal with your knee pain and work. They believe that you shouldn’t have knee problems if you can sit all day. As disability insurance attorneys that have handled hundreds of knee disability insurance claims we want to share some information to give you the best chance to have your disability insurance claim approved.
How do you prove that a person with a disabling knee condition can’t do a sedentary job?
It’s really important to work with the treating physicians on the way they document the knee restrictions and limitations so that when the carrier obtains the medical records they’ll see that the doctor is not saying that as long as the claimant isn’t standing for long periods or walking or lifting heavy objects, it’s OK for them to work. When somebody has a disabling knee condition, whether it’s caused by injury, arthritis or another chronic condition, they often cannot stand for long periods. It’s important that the treating physician states in the medical records that the claimant also can’t sit for long periods and needs to change positions often. I find that my clients who have severe knee issues need to elevate their legs throughout the day but in different positions. They need to lie down. They can’t just sit all day and be OK – they’re really uncomfortable.
If somebody is in severe pain, whether or not they’re sitting at a desk all day, they are unable to focus and concentrate on their job. So, I tell my clients to ask their treating physicians to make sure they’re documenting that they’re only able to sit in small increments of time – not for extended periods. They must elevate the leg during the day, change positions, and walk around. Most jobs aren’t going to allow somebody to lie down when they’re supposed to be sitting at a desk using a computer all day. It’s very difficult to use a computer while your leg is elevated in the air, so it makes it impossible with somebody for a knee condition to be able to work in a sedentary capacity on a full-time basis.
How important is the documentation of medical records by the treating doctor?
It’s very important for the doctor to document as much as they possibly can in your medical records. There should be documentation that shows the pain that the claimant is in, any range of motion issues, and if there is swelling or other issues with the knees. It has to all be consistently documented in the records. Often my clients will say, “I went to the doctor four months ago. I had knee surgery. And he says there’s nothing else he can do for me, so I’m not going to go back.” That’s the number one mistake that clients make when their doctors tell them there’s nothing more to do for the knee and that it’s now a chronic condition. They tell their patients that they are going to have to deal with this pain. So, they no longer go see the doctor. The insurance carrier takes the fact that you stopped seeing the doctor as their cue that you’re cured and can go back to work. So, I tell my clients to make sure they see their doctor at least every three months. Make sure you’re telling your doctor every issue that you’re having with your knee. If it’s pain while you’re sitting in one position and it only feels better when it’s elevated, you need to tell the doctor.
I have clients who, after sitting 15 minutes in a chair, their knee starts to throb. If they had to do some sort of job where they needed to focus and concentrate, they wouldn’t be able to. They need to tell their doctors that they can’t concentrate for long periods due to their pain. If they take pain medication to alleviate the pain, and can’t focus because it causes side effects such as fatigue and drowsiness, they need to lay down and take a nap. It all needs to be in the medical records. The doctors need to document that they cannot sit for long periods and therefore cannot work in a full-time capacity due to the knee issue.
Could a disability company challenge my claim even if I have multiple doctors who have been treating me for years and support it?
They can do this in many ways. The most inexpensive way for the disability company to challenge your doctor’s opinions about your restrictions and limitations is to hire their own peer review doctors to review your medical records and determine that they disagree. They look at the test results and the medical records. Even though the claimant’s doctors say they believe the restrictions and limitations prevent them from being able to work in their occupation due to issues with their knee, they have an orthopedic doctor who reviewed the records and disagrees. This claimant can sit for six to eight continuous hours a day with no problems whatsoever. They can bend, stoop, all that’s required in a sedentary job with absolutely no problem.
My clients will ask how they can do that when they haven’t met and examined me? They’ve never even talked to my doctors. Can they just look at my medical records and render their own medical opinion which will trump my treating doctor’s opinion? The answer to that question, unfortunately, is yes. The insurance companies routinely send peer review reports to us with a denial letter stating that our doctors disagree with the treating doctors, and cut off the benefit.
What is an independent medical evaluation or an IME?
Disability insurance companies can also send claimants for an independent medical evaluation. It’s a little more costly for the insurance company, so if somebody has a little higher benefit, they will go and send them for an evaluation by one of their doctors. They are biased – they’re being hired by the insurance companies. The companies are paying the doctor to render an opinion. More often than not, when you go to an IME, the opinion is likely going to be that you could go back to work full time in a sedentary capacity. If these doctors were rendering opinions that state that claimants are disabled, they would no longer get hired by the insurance companies. So, they’re biased. I make sure that I very carefully prepare my clients for an independent medical examination to make sure that they know what to say and what not to say. Most importantly, they’re usually followed with video surveillance on the way and walking into the independent medical exam. It allows the insurance company an opportunity to know where the client’s going to be at a particular time to get them on video. I tell my clients to be very mindful that they’re being watched. After the evaluation, make sure you go home because there are many ways in which the insurance carrier can rebuke what your physicians are telling them.
Do I have to undergo knee surgery to get my disability benefits approved?
A disability company can never make a claimant undergo surgery. That’s not something that’s in the disability policy. However, they can try and hold it against you if you don’t follow the doctor’s recommendations. I’ve had clients who are afraid to have surgery. The insurance carrier is not going to require the surgery, but often they will point out that the surgery was recommended and suggest that the claimant is not receiving appropriate care. They can’t force you to undergo surgery because no surgery is 100% going to work and guarantee that you’re going to be back to yourself. Whether it’s a knee or an elbow or a back or a neck, there are always risks involved when it comes to operating. It’s a risk-benefit analysis. If the physician can’t guarantee, which they never can, that after the surgery the patient will be good to go, there’s no real requirement that they undergo the surgery under the terms of the policy.
What is a functional capacity exam and how can it be helpful to prove a knee disability?
The FCE is a test performed by a physical therapist that we often use to give objective proof of somebody’s inability to function and perform a sedentary job 40 hours a week. It’s typically a 3 to 4-hour evaluation that’s going to test your ability to sit for long periods, how long you can stand, how much weight you can carry, and if you can bend, stoop, or climb a ladder. It’s an evaluation of all the physical functions that can be required in any typical workday. The physical therapist will interpret the data generated from the testing to determine whether, in their opinion, they believe that you could sit for long periods, stand for long enough, lift enough to be able to perform a sedentary job. These are very useful tools in proving to the insurance company that the claimant could not do a sedentary job 40 hours a week with their knee condition.
Correlating Your Occupational Duties and Medical Restrictions with a Vocational Expert
Another thing we take into consideration is the claimant’s occupational duties. You take all of the restrictions and limitations from the medical records and correlate that with either the duties of the claimant’s occupation at the time they became disabled or of any gainful occupation, if that is the definition of disability. Often, we’ll even take it a step further and retain a vocational expert, who will then coordinate everything dealing with the occupational component and the physical component as well. We work closely with the claimant, with their doctors, to obtain those objective testing results. It’s a complete package, and you have to know how to present it to the disability insurance company, especially if your claim has been denied so that you can get your benefits approved.
What do you recommend for someone who has questions about their disability insurance claim?
We encourage you to contact us for a free initial telephone consultation, where Rachel, myself, or any of our lawyers will review your disability insurance policy. Or if you’ve been denied, we’ll review a copy of your denial letter. We’ll let you know immediately how we can assist you. Our clients are located all over the country. So, no matter where you live, we’re available to assist you. We encourage you to search through our website and to look up valuable information based on your disability insurance company, your medical condition, or your occupation. You’ll find articles about cases we’ve handled or other lawsuits that have been filed.
There are reviews of insurance companies where other people share their experiences, which may be similar to yours. You’re also going to find thousands of questions and answers from all our lawyers. We want you to have all this information because it’s going to educate you about the disability insurance process. It’s a complicated process with a bit of gamesmanship involved. You have to know how the disability insurance company thinks to put yourself in the best position to get approved. After reviewing this information and having the opportunity to speak with us, I hope that you feel you’re in a better position to either get your disability benefits approved or continue your benefits. Should you need us in the future, we look forward to the opportunity to speak with you.
I have nothing but deep, sincere thanks for the way in which you have taken care and protected me and my LTD income since April 2014. I am forever grateful to you both and your staff. You took a frightened man who was being hoodwinked by the Hartford who was fearful of losing his income, to one who was confident. I had a Lion protecting me and indirectly my dear wife Deborah. I will always be humbled by how you all treated me with reverence and professionalism. Your company is the standard to what all others should emulate.
Attorney Alex Palamara and paralegal Danielle are both consummate professionals. Since the inception of my experience with them both they were very attentive thru the entire process and settled my case in a timely fashion.
Why would you recommend Dell Disability Lawyers? I would unequivocally recommend attorneys Dell Disability Lawyers.
What could we do to improve? They don’t need improvement.
I have a rare genetic condition that my insurance company didn’t want to acknowledge. Stephen and his aide Sonia worked tirelessly for over a year and successfully forced The Standard into covering my policy. They are both empathetic and effective, the best combination.
Dell Disability Lawyers is an excellent law firm for dealing with disability companies. I tried for 18 months to get disability for a medical condition. I found Dell Disability Lawyers and spoke with Mr. Jay Symonds about my case. He was very understanding and explained how he could help me in a simple and easy to understand manner. Within 6 months of him taking on my case he was able to resolve the case to my satisfaction.
I could concentrate on my health instead of worrying about money to pay my bills. Mr. Symonds staff were all very kind and helpful. I never had a problem with contacting them for help and they were quick to respond to issues. I would highly recommend Mr. Symonds and his firm to anyone who needs assistance with disability claims with insurance companies.
After exhausting all efforts to find a local disability law firm to assist me with submitting claims for LTD non-ERISA and ERISA disability insurance policies, I resorted to a Google search for disability law firms. I decided to contact Dell Disability Lawyers after reading their clients reviews and watching videos on their website. Within 24 hours of contacting Dell Disability Lawyers, I received I call back and an appointment was made with Steven J. Dell, who after hearing my story decided to personally work with me.
He told me that he would put 100% effort to get me on claim. Mr. Dell and his assistant, Merlin Bryan were always available via phone or email to answer any questions that I had regarding my application for long term disability. He was meticulous in guiding me through the process leaving no stone unturned. My claims were approved on the initial application! I know that it was due to the diligence of my attorney, Steven J. Dell. Without Mr. Dell, my application for long term disability would have been rejected. I am very grateful to have had the representation of attorney, Steven J. Dell.
Why would you recommend Dell Disability Lawyers? Experts in non-ERISA and ERISA disability law. Dell & Schaefer Law Firm have a well-deserved reputation of taking on big disability insurance companies and winning for their clients. If you find yourself in need of a disability attorney, I highly recommend this firm. You will not be disappointed!
What could we do to improve? Not a thing. I am a satisfied client.
This firm does exceptional work. I worked with them for my application for long term disability. My claim was approved on the initial application with one of the most notoriously difficult insurance carriers in the business. I’m 100% sure that this was due to my attorney Steven Dell. He was meticulous in shepparding me through the process making sure everything was done with precision and done correctly.
My anxiety thought this process was through the roof and Mr. Dell was always there to reassure me and peal me of the ceiling if needed. Mr. Dell and his assistant Merlin were always diligent and immediately responsive when I needed reassurance, help or something needed to be done. If you have a disability claim hire Mr. Dell and this firm. It will be the best money you ever spend.
Efficient, energetic, experienced, and prompt. Quickly and cleanly dealt with. Each call was on time, outcomes reviewed, and confirmed. Highly professional and polite. I strongly recommend his services!
Why would you recommend Dell Disability Lawyers? A professional dealing with professionals. Every time I thought … ”I wonder what our status is?” I received an update, he provided great communication with awesome engagement.
What could we do to improve? Advertise more so more people knew about your firm.
Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.
Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.
If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.
Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.
98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.
Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.
Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.
Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.
We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.
In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.
We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.
Who do you help?
Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.
Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.
A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.
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 phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting 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 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers 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.