MetLife Reinstates Disability Benefits to Attorney on Appeal

Our client is an accomplished attorney working for a large international law firm who despite suffering from Bipolar Disorder was able to complete law school and excel in a highly competitive and stressful occupation. However, increasing hours and the start of a new family made it increasingly difficult for our client to perform all the duties of her occupation due to her condition. Instead of walking away from a career she had devoted many years of her life to our client cut back the number of hours she was working and filed a claim for partial disability benefits under her firm’s disability insurance policy with MetLife.

Claim Handling and Denial of Benefits

The claim for partial disability was initially approved by MetLife with very little problem. Our client continued to work a reduced schedule as suggested by her doctors and MetLife paid benefits under the policy for over three years without there appearing to be any problems with the claim. Throughout this period of time our client consistently treated with her doctors and therapist, all of whom staunchly supported her claim for benefits.

As would later be discovered, over the course of time MetLife’s review of our client’s claim appeared focus solely on the complaints of cognitive decline and problems with concentration. Instead of viewing these problems as a symptom of the whole, MetLife set to separate and disprove these symptoms in an attempt to terminate our client’s claim for benefits. To further its agenda, MetLife had our client undergo neuropsychological testing with a doctor of its choosing. The doctor hired by MetLife interpreted the testing to indicate that memory and learning functions, language processing and executive functions were normal. Based on these test interpretations MetLife terminated our client’s claim for partial disability.

Appeal

Prior to contacting our Office our client attempted to provide additional information to MetLife that refuted the opinions made by MetLife’s neuropsychologist to include providing the independent opinion of a Neuropsychologist who had developed one of the tests MetLife’s doctor was misapplying and using to terminate the claim. Regardless of this extremely supportive information, MetLife advised our client that it was upholding the denial of her benefits and that she would have to formally appeal the denial of benefits.

At that time our client contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer and spoke with Attorney Stephen Jessup. In reviewing our client’s medical information along with MetLife’s voluminous claim file Attorney Jessup recognized that MetLife was trying to change our client’s claim for partial disability from being due to Bipolar Disorder and instead due to an unspecified Cognitive disorder. In doing so MetLife seemingly forgot or ignored that the basis of the initial approval of benefits was based on the all the documented symptoms related to the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, to include, but certainly not limited to issues with concentration/cognition. In preparing the appeal Attorney Jessup sought additional outside expert opinion to further refute the MetLife ordered neuropsychological testing, and also refocused the claim to take into account all the other restrictions and limitations that would preclude our client from performing all of the material and substantial duties of her occupation on a full time basis.

Following the submission of the appeal drafted by Attorney Jessup the MetLife appeals department notified our office prior to the expiration of the initial 45 day deadline to render a decision that it was reinstating our client’s claim for long term disability benefits.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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