Liberty Mutual Overturns Denial of Disability Benefits Following Submission of an ERISA Appeal

Liberty Mutual Initially Approves Disability Claim After Finding Total Disability From Own Occupation

Our client, John, was working as a Chemical Supervisor for Arkema, Inc., a French specialty chemicals and advanced materials company, when in 2015 he was forced to stop working due to chronic pain in his cervical and lumbar spine relating to degenerative disk disease and post laminectomy syndrome.

John filed his own claim for long-term disability with Arkema’s long-term disability insurer, Liberty Mutual claiming that on account of his severe and crippling upper and lower back pain he was unable to perform with reasonable continuity the material and substantial duties of his own occupation. After having the medical records reviewed by its in-house medical consultant, Liberty Mutual agreed that he was disabled from his Own Occupation as a Chemical Supervisor and approved his long-term disability claim.

Liberty Mutual Refers Long-term Disability Claim to its Vendor, Allsup, to Assist in Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits

During the course of the disability claim, Liberty Mutual strongly urged John to apply for social security disability benefits. It informed him that it was not only a requirement of the disability plan that he apply and pursue social security disability through every appellate level if denied, but it suggested that a favorable determination by social security disability could help in his disability claim. As urged by Liberty Mutual, John applied for social security disability.

Liberty Mutual Terminates the Disability Claim After Paying Benefits for 24 Months

As the Own Occupation time period neared its end, Liberty Mutual began conducting its review to determine whether John was disabled from Any Occupation. Through its third-party vendor, MES Peer Review Services, Liberty hired Dr. Mark Reecer a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician to conduct a review of John’s file. After only reviewing John’s medical records, Dr. Reecer determined that John was capable of working eight hour shifts, 40 hours per week in a sustained capacity. After receiving Dr. Reecer’s opinion, Liberty Mutual promptly terminated John’s disability claim.

Although hired with less than three months to compile all of the necessary medical documentation and legal evidence, Attorney Gavidia was able to create an ERISA Administrative Appeal, which resembled more a legal brief filed to a US Appellate Court rather than a document submitted to the Appeals department of a disability insurance company.

In the Appeal Attorney Gavidia attacked the credibility of Dr. Reecer and the accuracy of his report and also challenged the vocational review, which he argued misrepresented the physical functional demand requirements of the occupations which Liberty Mutual alleged John was capable of performing.

After receiving Attorney Gavidia’s Appeal, Liberty Mutual overturned its decision to terminate John’s disability benefits and reapproved his claim.

Attorney Gavidia and his legal team continue to manage John’s disability claim, so as to ensure that John continues to meet the proof of loss requirements of the policy so long as he remains disabled, and to monitor Liberty Mutual’s activities so that John never again experiences an unnecessary interruption to his disability claim and monthly disability benefit payments.



Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Liberty Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Liberty Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual:

  • 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   *****

Jeff S. (Kansas)

Due to my vision and health issues testimonials are not typical of me. Dell & Schaefer however did such a sensational, and professional job we felt it absolutely necessary to share the experience.

I had been thinking of pursuing a lump settlement on long term disability with the insurance company for some time. Decided on Dell & Schaefer after much research on several firms across the country. Residing in the Midwest did cause some reservations about choosing a firm around 1500 miles away. However shortly after choosing Dell & Schaefer my concerns where quickly put to rest by how proficient the team is, and how they are always there with you. Never waited for a response and always felt like we knew exactly what was going on every step of the way.

I got the pleasure of working with Mr. Stephen Jessup Esquire, along with Sonia R. Nogueira, and team on my case. After contemplating my situation Steve was contacted to let him know it would be about three months before moving forward. I mention this because no pressure was ever felt to pursue or take a settlement and the firm awaited me to contact them again. No annoying emails, calls, letters, or any type of pressure to hire them. When questions arose the team was right there for me through the entire process and only a phone call or email away. Never had to wait for a response before or after retention. Mr. Jessup at one point during my case was out of country and still offered guidance when needed, almost immediately after emailing. Sonia also went above and beyond and took my call around six P.M. on a Friday to help me with some document questions. Simply an incredible level of service that seems rare anymore. I always felt truly comfortable!

Mr Jessup and everyone with the firm seemed to have a very good rapport with the insurance company. I mention this because within about two weeks of retention we had the first offer. Within less than four weeks we had reached a settlement agreement, and funds where in my account about two hassle free weeks later. This all transpired even with delays of the insurance rep taking vacation twice. Overall my settlement expectations where far exceeded. During the original consultation Mr. Jessup mentioned a monetary figure that was lower than the actual final settlement. There where no false promises or over inflated estimates as sometimes found elsewhere. Just an upfront honest answer of what could be to come. During the process I still received my monthly benefit and never had to deal with the insurance company directly. This in itself took so much stress out of my life. After three years I no longer had to continually jump through hoops when the insurance company requested something or worry that I might undeservedly lose benefits.

The above is just a small part of my experience on how I felt the professional and courteous team was always willing to go the extra mile. If you or someone you might be concerned about are in need of guidance my opinion is a better choice could not be made than contacting the team at Dell & Schaefer about options.

Because of the work done by those at Dell & Schaefer I now have the funds to live while attempting medical procedures that insurance will not cover. Hopefully because of this someday I can return to a career as I’m still almost twenty years from retirement age.

Thank you all at the firm again for returning some normalcy to my life and treating me like a person not a case!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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