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 gastrointestinal medical conditions, our client was a courtroom attorney in civil practice. Due to the multiple complications associated with her conditions she began to experience ever increasing difficulty being able to maintain the demands of being in Court and began decreasing her case load and outsourcing work to other attorneys. At that time she filed a claim for disability benefits with Northwestern Mutual, which was initially approved on account of her gastrointestinal conditions, a decidedly physical medical condition. For some time there was little concern with Northwestern Mutual, but as time passed she began to experience increased scrutiny, which concerned her and prompted her to contact Attorneys Dell and Schaefer where she began working with Attorney Stephen Jessup. It was shortly thereafter that Northwestern Mutual began a full blown review of her claim.

Physical to Mental…

Despite a lengthy history of claims approval based on the limitations from her physical medical conditions, Northwestern Mutual took a position that from a physical medical standpoint there was no documentation contained in the medical records that would result in restrictions and limitations on her ability to return to full time work as a courtroom attorney. Instead, Northwestern began focusing on the available information relating to the anxiety she was experiencing on account of her gastrointestinal conditions. To perpetuate this agenda Northwestern Mutual required our client undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) with a gastroenterologist, who opined that she would not be prevented from performing the duties of her occupation based on her gastrointestinal conditions.

Based upon the opinion of the IME doctor, Northwestern Mutual determined that our client was only disabled due to anxiety. This is in spite of the fact that it was abundantly clear that any anxiety our client experienced was secondary to her concerns over the nature of her physical medical conditions. In rendering this decision Northwestern Mutual effectively limited our clients continued disability benefits to two years under the limitations for mental health conditions under the policy.

… and back to Physical.

Although it would initially seem that the change in Northwestern Mutual’s position was a detrimental blow to our client’s right to collect continued benefits, Attorney Jessup was able to ensure our client would continue to receive continued monthly benefits under the two year mental health limitation while he appealed the decision. Attorney Jessup coordinated with our client to obtain additional treatment to support continued disability on account of her physical medical conditions, and reached out to her doctors in an effort to systematically attack the basis of Northwestern Mutual’s decision. After a short period of time, with the increased treatment and information gathered, processed and presented, Northwestern Mutual overturned its decision to deny our client’s claim for benefits based on her physical condition, reinstated her benefit due to her physical conditions and lifted the two year mental health limitation from her claim.

Is your insurance carrier approving benefits based upon an incorrect medical condition?

It is not uncommon for an insurance company to approve benefits for a medical condition which has a limited time period for payment under the terms of the policy. Quite often depression and anxiety are “secondary” to a physical medical condition. It is imperative that this fact and the information supporting it are properly presented to the insurance company in order to avoid having your claim for benefits subject to a limitation under the policy.

If you have concerns over your insurance company’s determination as to your disabling condition, or your insurance company has already advised you that it is only approving benefits under a limitation in your policy please feel free to contact Attorneys Dell and Schaefer for a free consultation.

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FAQ

Do you help Northwestern Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Northwestern 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 Northwestern Mutual disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Northwestern Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Northwestern 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 Northwestern 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.

Reviews   *****

EH, M.D.

I am a physician with a long medical history including cancer, arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly RSD). I expected to retire early. However, my health and work deteriorated rather rapidly. Suddenly I was no longer working and needed help negotiating my benefits. The first two attorneys I met were personally recommended. I soon learned that they had either limited or no experience with private LTD policies. I searched the internet for more information about Long Term Disability claims. The Dell & Schaefer website kept popping up with the answers to my questions. I liked both the text explanations and the videos. With nothing to lose, I requested a free consultation.

From the beginning, Attorney Steven Dell and legal assistant Merlin Bryan have been consistently honest, professional and patient. During my initial phone conversation with Steven Dell, it was clear that he understood both my medical conditions and my work situation. He had already read my LTD policies and was familiar with both the Unum and the Hartford insurance companies. Steven Dell is an excellent, thorough attorney. What does that mean? First, he knows what information is needed to submit a claim. Early on, he gave me a checklist of items he needed. At times, it felt like a part-time job, finding all of the financial, employment, and medical records he needed. Yet Steven Dell and Merlin Bryan were very patient whenever I had a health setback. They actually understood that folks with health problems have problems filling out paperwork. Second, he picked up the phone and contacted lawyers, human resources, personnel and insurance agents to keep the paperwork moving. Third, he is relentlessly thorough. I submitted hundreds of pages of paperwork. He actually seems to have read them! He double checked that dates, numbers and statements were accurate. He would not submit any paperwork until any discrepancies were discussed and resolved. At this time, two LTD claims have been approved and I have received my first benefits. I have nothing but respect and gratitude for this law firm. Thank you!

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