What to Expect in a Northwestern Mutual Disability Benefit Denial Lawsuit

You probably feel as if the Appeal review conducted by Northwestern Mutual was a sham and you never had a chance to have your Northwestern Mutual disability benefit denial reversed. Your feeling of being called a liar by Northwestern Mutual and questioning if it is even worth filing a Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuit is exactly Northwestern Mutual’s plan. The sad truth is that the law governing long term disability insurance claims favors disability insurance companies and therefore a high percentage of Northwestern Mutual disability appeal denials are upheld. Northwestern Mutual hopes that you will just go away and that they can strong-arm you to return to work out of financial necessity. The good news is that with a strong legal strategy your Northwestern Mutual disability benefit lawsuit can result in a recovery of your disability benefits.

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What Should You Expect In A Northwestern Mutual Disability Lawsuit?

Through our experience of having helped thousands of Northwestern Mutual disability insurance claimants nationwide, we would like the opportunity to help you win your Northwestern Mutual disability benefit lawsuit. In order to help you understand what to expect in a Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuit, Attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia have prepared the Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuit video below. We encourage you to contact any of our disability insurance lawyers for a free immediate review of your Northwestern Mutual disability claim denial.

When Can A Northwestern Mutual Disability Lawsuit Be Filed?

The answer to this question depends on whether you have a claim that is governed by The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as (ERISA). If you have a Northwestern Mutual disability claim that was provided to you as an employee benefit, then your claim is almost always governed by ERISA. An ERISA disability lawsuit cannot be filed against Northwestern Mutual until you have received a denial of the appeal you submitted to Northwestern Mutual. 

An ERISA lawsuit usually must be filed within either 3 years of your date of disability or the date of the final disability denial decision. If Northwestern Mutual fails to make a timely decision on your appeal, you can file suit without having to wait for Northwestern Mutual’s appeal decision. The law governing time periods to file lawsuits is known as the Statute of Limitations and it is an area of law that is regularly changing and not consistent from state to state. In a Non-ERISA disability benefit claim denial an appeal is usually not required by Northwestern Mutual and most lawsuits can be filed 90 days after proof of loss is due but no later than 3 years after the date of denial. The period of time in which a lawsuit must be filed can be a complicated analysis determined by a combination of the policy language and the law of the state in which the person was denied. The best thing to do in many cases to avoid a statutory problem is to file a lawsuit as soon as reasonably possible.


Our Clients Have Recovered Lincoln Disability Benefits in 99% of our Northwestern Mutual Disability Lawsuits


As much as we love to beat up Northwestern Mutual for their wrongful disability claim denials, we know how to set our egos aside. Our goal for every client is to try to resolve their Northwestern Mutual claim in the most expedient and efficient manner possible. Upon review of your disability denial letter from Northwestern Mutual we can immediately let you know if you have a claim that we think we can help you with. We look forward to speaking with you to discuss your options against Northwestern Mutual.

What Are the Most Challenging Issues in a Northwestern Mutual Disability Lawsuit?

The most challenging aspect of any disability lawsuit is the fact that your Northwestern Mutual disability benefit denial is likely governed by ERISA, a pro-insurance company federal law that governs almost all employer-provided disability policies. ERISA was designed so that insurance companies could offer affordable benefits to employees and in return have limited lawsuit expenses if a disability claim is denied. If your disability policy was not provided by your employer, then you will not have to worry about the ERISA lawsuit limitations. In our video below, disability attorneys Stephen Jessup and Gregory Dell discuss the reasons why ERISA makes disability lawsuits against a company like Northwestern Mutual challenging.

Five Reasons ERISA Disability Laws Favor Northwestern Mutual 

  1. No jury trials are permitted;
  2. No punitive damages;
  3. Very limited discovery;
  4. The Judge usually must apply a standard of review that defers to the insurance company’s conclusion that you are not disabled;
  5. The Judge can remand the case back to Northwestern Mutual for any additional chance to review the claim and deny it again;

How Much Does Our Firm Charge to Handle a Northwestern Mutual Disability Lawsuit?

The proper preparation of a lawsuit against Northwestern Mutual takes a lot of legal time and our law firm is selective in the type and quantity of cases we accept. Providing the highest level of legal work and personal attention to your claim is a fundamental mode of operation for every lawyer in our firm. We are not high volume social security lawyers that are trying to handle disability insurance claims against Northwestern Mutual.

We have been handling claims against Northwestern Mutual for over 30 years. We only handle Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means that we charge you a percentage of the disability benefits that we recover on your behalf. If we are not successful at recovering any disability benefits for you, then you do not owe us any attorney fees or cost for the work that we have done on your behalf. 

More than 90% of the disability lawsuits that we have handled against Northwestern Mutual have resolved in a one-time lump sum settlement. We encourage you to review some of our Northwestern Mutual resolved case summaries to learn more about our experience. Most of our Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuit settlements have confidentiality provisions which limit our ability to discuss specific details about the cases.

Collecting Northwestern Mutual Disability Benefits Is A Reality

Through our 30+ years of experience suing Northwestern Mutual and our daily work on behalf of Northwestern Mutual disability claimants nationwide, we have seen and we are constantly aware of every claims handling technique used by Northwestern Mutual. We are one of the few law firms in the entire country that has the experience of going through a jury trial and receiving a favorable verdict against Northwestern Mutual. As a result of our years of battling Northwestern Mutual we have established a strong reputation and a unique litigation technique that allows us to cut through the traditional 18 to 24 month delay in resolving a Northwestern Mutual disability lawsuit.

We encourage you to contact any of our disability insurance lawyers to discuss some strategies for a possible resolution of your Northwestern Mutual disability denial. It is incredible and sad how many people we see give up the fight following a claim denial as they don’t want to deal with Northwestern Mutual. Our lawyers make the lawsuit process as simple as possible for claimants by requiring almost no time or effort by the claimant to pursue a Northwestern Mutual lawsuit. Any of our disability lawyers are available for an immediate free phone consultation to discuss your Northwestern Mutual claim denial.

What are the Top 10 Reasons for Northwestern Mutual Disability Denials?

  1. Northwestern Mutual denied the claim based on objective medical evidence
  2. Northwestern Mutual’s in-house doctor denied the disability claim
  3. With no exam a third party medical company denied a Northwestern Mutual claim
  4. With functional limitations Northwestern Mutual denied a disability claim because claimant has the ability to perform sedentary occupation
  5. After a compulsory medical exam a doctor hired by Northwestern Mutual denied the disability claim
  6. Northwestern Mutual denied the claim based on a vocational consultant evaluation of employability in another occupation
  7. Northwestern Mutual ignored claimant’s treating doctor’s opinion of limited work restrictions and denied claim
  8. Based on video surveillance Northwestern Mutual denied disability claim
  9. My definition of disability changed from own occupation to any occupation and Northwestern Mutual denied my disability claim
  10. Northwestern Mutual based your denial on a mental disability and not a physical disability and therefore limited your benefits to 24 months

Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits

Disability Benefit Denial Options
Submit a Strong Northwestern Mutual Appeal Package

We work with you, your doctors, and other experts to submit a very strong Northwestern Mutual appeal.

Learn more

Sue Northwestern Mutual

We have filed thousands of disability denial lawsuits in federal Courts nationwide against Northwestern Mutual.

Learn more

Protect Your Benefits
Get Your Northwestern Mutual Disability Application Approved
We help claimants throughout the entire application process.

Learn more

Prevent a Northwestern Mutual Disability Benefit Denial
We manage every aspect of your disability claim following claim approval.

Learn more

Negotiate a Northwestern Mutual Lump-Sum Settlement

Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.

Learn more

Northwestern Mutual Reviews
(7)

Policy Holder Rating

1.7 out of 5
Read 7 reviews
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71%
1
28%
Timely Payments
2.3out of 5
Handling Claim
2.6out of 5
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2.0out of 5
Dependable
1.6out of 5
Value
1.9out of 5
Showing 7 of 7 Reviews
Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern thinks I can walk even though my left leg is paralyzed

Reviewed by Dave B on July 7th 2019   Verified Policyholder
My Northwestern Disability policy has a presumptive total clause which pays lifetime benefits for loss of use of one hand and one foot. They Have claimed I do not fulfill ... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern is the Quiet Company that silently screws its policy holders but is too big to fail

Reviewed by Magda S. on August 8th 2018   Verified Policyholder
I am a board certified cardiologist with severe diabetic comorbidities. I have had occupation specific DI policies with NML since 1980. I am now legally blind, have no fee... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

My claim was handled so unprofessionally – almost no written communication from NW Mutual

Reviewed by B.J. Robinson on April 19th 2015   Verified Policyholder
While waiting for NW Mutual’s decision on my claim for LTD benefits, I was terminated. The following week, NW Mutual sent me a letter denying my claim. Denial was seemin... read more >
Reply
Sent on April 19th 2015 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

BJ, you will have rights to appeal this denial. If you have not already done so please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can assist you.

Northwestern Mutual

NWM refused to have a hematologist review my claim since my "numbers are currently normal." They ignored my primary concern of relapsing

Reviewed by JP on March 27th 2015   Verified Policyholder
Hi there. I have a chronic autoimmune disease that has temporarily placed me on LTD 5 times over the last 18 years. I currently am in remission although I remain on severa... read more >
Reply
Sent on March 27th 2015 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

JP, I think your claim could be in a grey area if the issue is not a current flare up causing disability as defined under the policy, but merely the risk of relapse. Ne... read more >

Northwestern Mutual

NW said my relatives' claim was "not justified" and double the premium for no reason

Reviewed by Lyn N. on May 28th 2013   Verified Policyholder
Northwestern claims examiner automatically ruled against my relatives’ claim “not justified.” We had one doctor who told us all he could do for my relatives pain was... read more >
Northwestern Mutual

BAD FAITH

Reviewed by Pamela Cherry on September 25th 2011   Verified Policyholder
I have two words for each of you: “BAD FAITH”. Sue Northwestern Mutual, ask for a jury trial and let justice prevail. There is no reason why your legitimate claims hav... read more >
Reply
Sent on September 25th 2011 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Pam, Thanks for your comment. Bad Faith can be a very powerful tool, however ERISA governed disability insurance policy holders have no right to a jury trial and no rig... read more >

Northwestern Mutual

NML says I have no limitarion and is refusing my benefits

Reviewed by Cynthia on May 15th 2011   Verified Policyholder
I am a litigation attorney with a paralyzed right vocal cord. My treating physician has placed me on vocal rest and said after the 7 years since my condition I can no long... read more >
Reply
Sent on May 15th 2011 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Cynthia, I am sorry to hear about your situation. In order to determine if we can assist you, we need to review your denial letter and a copy of your policy. Please con... read more >

Answered Questions by Our Lawyers
(11)
Showing 8 of 11 Answered Questions

Q: Do you help with negotiating lump sum settlements of policies?

Answered on August 11th 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Marcella, yes, we do assist in negotiating lump sum settlements of policies. Northwestern Mutual is very selec... Read More >

Q: Are there successful arguments to appeal Northwestern Mutual’s offset of claimant’s LTB by the amount of SSD benefits awarded?

Answered on April 23rd 2020 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Carol, in almost all cases, no. If the policy explicitly allows for the offset, the offset is enforceable. Read More >

Q: Why does Northwestern ask the questions they do in the "Request for Continuation of Disability Benefits" form?

Answered on August 5th 2019 by Attorney Cesar Gavidia
A: Daniel, disability insurers ask these questions in order to obtain information relating to your level of activ... Read More >

Q: What exactly does Northwestern mean by “not gainfully employed in any occupation”? 

Answered on April 5th 2018 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: Carol, Gainful work would imply you are performing steady work for payment and getting paid $20 for baby sitti... Read More >

Q: Why is NWM reviewing my claim when my condition hasn't changed? Is it strange that they requested an in-person review?

Answered on October 25th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Jim, first and foremost, NWM is one of the most reputable insurance carriers in the industry. Although your co... Read More >

Q: Can I refuse to sign NWM's authoritization form?

Answered on March 31st 2016 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: David, you do have the ability to limit the authority granted, or to refuse it- but you will be responsible fo... Read More >

Q: Can NWM rescind my policy because I forgot to disclose an illness I had 20 years ago (that I no longer have)? Do I have to sign their release to access everything about me?

Answered on January 6th 2015 by Attorney Alex Palamara
A: Christine, If you failed to disclose a medical condition on an application to purchase a disability insurance ... Read More >

Q: Can you explain why NWM is still paying me while my claim is being reviewed? They said if they don't approve it, their accomodation payment is not owed back to them.

Answered on May 21st 2014 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Frustrated, Northwestern Mutual is providing benefits under what is commonly known as a “Reservation of Righ... Read More >
Helpful Videos
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Showing 12 of 889 Videos
Disability Benefit Tips
(331)
Showing 8 of 331 Benefit Tips

Application Tips: Northwestern Mutual Disability Benefits - Top Denial Reasons

Every disability insurance policy is different, and whether your disability insurance claim i... Read More >

Tips to Protect Your Northwestern Mutual Long Term Disability Benefits

Whether you're considering filing a long term disability insurance claim with Northwestern Mutual, have recently received a denial letter, or ... Read More >

What Can I Expect When Seeking Long Term Disability Benefits from Northwestern Mutual?

In this video, disability insurance attorneys Stephen Jessup and Gregory Dell discuss multipl... Read More >

Why Must Your Disability Insurance Lawyer Understand Your Disabling Condition?

When it comes to securing your long term disability benefits, it's vitally important that you... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #5 – Your Medical Evidence is Weak

If you're seeking long term disability benefits from an insurance company, you may be concern... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #4 - Your Doctor Is Misled By the Disability Company

When you're seeking disability benefits under a long term disability policy, your medical rec... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #3 - Video & Social Media Surveillance

One thing many long term disability claimants don't know about (or expect) from the claims re... Read More >

How Do You Fight a Long-Term Disability Denial?

Getting a denial letter from your disability insurance company is one of the ultimate insults... Read More >
Dell Disability Cases
(375)
Showing 8 of 375 Dell Disability Cases

Northwestern Mutual Approves Claim For Disability Benefits

Prior to contacting our office, our client was having little success in securing his disability insurance benefits under his privately purchas... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual Reinstates Disability Benefits to Attorney Suffering From Gastrointestinal Problems

Prior to filing for long term disability benefits under her private individual disability policy with Northwestern Mutual due to severe gastro... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual Approves Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits for Veterinarian

Our client was a long time Emergency Room Veterinarian whose job was far from what most envision when thinking of a Veterinarian. Unlike your ... Read More >

Seven Surgeries and The Standard Still Denies Long Term Disability Benefits

Our client was employed with the State of Oregon as a Technical Support Representative. She s... Read More >

Sun Life Wrongfully Denies Disability After Paying For 23 Months

We represent a 57 year-old claimant who’s occupation was selling commercial vehicles for ma... Read More >
Disability Lawsuit Stories
(765)
Showing 8 of 765 Lawsuit Stories

9th Circuit Clarifies The Definition Of "Sedentary Work"

In Armani v. Northwest Mutual, plaintiff Avery Armani, a Controller for an insurance agency, injured his back while lifting a heavy back-... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual Disability Claim Denial Reversed By Court

A Colorado court recently brought down a very harsh ruling against Northwestern for blatantly abusing its discretion in denying long-term disa... Read More >

California Consultant sues Northwestern Life Insurance Company for unpaid disability benefits

Northwestern Insurance beneficiary Todd W. and his California disability attorney's complaint against the insurer accuses Northwestern of brea... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual sued by shareholder attorney for underpaying and denying long-term disability benefits

A Washington disability attorney filed a federal lawsuit in the District Court serving the Western District Court of Washington at Seattle aga... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual denies partial disability benefits to trial attorney resulting in lawsuit for violations of Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (Northwestern Life) was recently sued by a disability lawyer for the violations of the Washingt... Read More >

Podiatrist sues Northwestern Mutual seeking disability insurance benefits and bad faith damages

This case began in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida on April 8, 2011 when Northwestern Mutual refused to p... Read More >

Northwestern Mutual rescinds disability policy after claimant paid premiums for 15 years

When you apply for a disability policy, it is very important to answer all questions as truthfully as you can. The courts generally will not r... Read More >

Reliance Standard Disability Denial Upheld Due to Claimant's Lack of Strong Medical Record Support

In the case of Amy Wright v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Reliance), Plaintiff was the vice-president of... Read More >

Reviews from Our Clients

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Our Lawyers Respond Same Day

5 Ways We Help Get Your Benefits Paid

Get Your Disability Application Approved

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.

Submit A Strong Appeal Package

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.

Sue Your Disability Company

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.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

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.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

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.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

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.