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MetLife Disability Denial of MetLife Employee Upheld by California Court

MetLife not only denies disability long term disability benefits to one of their own employees, but the court allows them to supplement the record after MetLife fails to respond within the 90 day ERISA appeal time period. The California ERISA disability lawyer that handled this case filed a disability lawsuit after MetLife failed to respond to his client’s ERISA appeal within 90 days. After the lawsuit was filed, MetLife introduced two external file reviews which were completed by doctors hired by MetLife. MetLife gave the claimant the opportunity to respond to the reports, but the claimant and his disability attorney refused to respond as they believed that the court would not consider the reports. Unfortunately, since the case was subject to a de novo review, the court determined that they would allow the external reports to be considered. The claimant claimed that he was being sandbagged, but the court disagreed. Based upon all of the evidence presented during the appeal and after, the court ruled that MetLife’s decision to deny benefits was correct. The case is being appealed. Read the California Court’s 20 page complete opinion.

Legal Analysis By Cesar Gavidia, A Disability Insurance Lawyer

Had this case been subject to an arbitrary and capricious standard of review, it is likely that the court would not have considered the external reports that were completed after a lawsuit was filed. The disability attorney handling this claim may have been better off responding to the letters and stating that he reserves the right to argue that the letters are not admissible. I hope the Plaintiff wins this case on appeal as the court should not have allowed the additional reports after the 90 day Appeal deadline. If you need assistance with a long term disability claim, contact us for a free phone consultation.

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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.

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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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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.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

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