Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Long Term Disability Claim Reinstated Following Appeal by Disability Attorney Alexander Palamara

As one can imagine, the occupational requirements of a Corrections Deputy Sheriff are physically and mentally difficult. Due to the risks of working in such a field, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office provides a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy for all sworn Law Enforcement Division Deputy Sheriffs, Sergeants, Lieutenants and other qualified employees. Since 2004, this LTD policy has been with the Life Insurance Company of North America, which is commonly known as CIGNA.

After working for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for over ten years, due to various conditions that included cervicalgia, radiculitis, intervertebral disc disorder with myelopathy, cervical disc disorder with myelopathy, tear of medical meniscus of knee, right knee patella tendonitis and right knee chondromalacia, and osteoarthritis, a Corrections Deputy Sheriff was forced to stop work and file a claim for disability benefits under this LTD Policy in September of 2013.

Luckily for her, CIGNA initially approved her claim and benefits were paid through March of 2015. Unfortunately for this Corrections Deputy Sheriff, the approval for benefits was short lived and benefits were terminated as of March 5, 2015. By way of a denial letter of that same date, CIGNA terminated continued benefits after it concluded that “there are no documented findings that would preclude you from performing your own medium occupation.” As such, CIGNA closed her claim and further benefits ended. Dismayed by the denial, yet still disabled from not only being able to perform the duties of not only her own occupation but any occupation, the Corrections Deputy Sheriff knew the decision to deny was wrong. Within hours of receiving the denial letter, the Corrections Deputy Sheriff was on the phone with Dell & Schaefer to get assistance in filing an appeal to challenge CIGNA’s termination.

Alexander Palamara of Dell & Schaefer Files Appeal

During the initial consultation, it was apparent that CIGNA’s decision to deny continued benefits was flat out wrong. Due to the various conditions, it was clear that there was no way that the Corrections Deputy Sheriff could physically handle the requirements of her occupation.

Dell & Schaefer conducted an investigation into the claim. A copy of all CIGNA’s records were ordered and reviewed. Additionally, all of the medical records from our now client’s treating physicians were also gathered and studied. The result of our review was that there was no way our client could perform the “material and substantial duties of her regular occupation.” It was also concluded that it was doubtful that she would even be able to “perform all the material and substantial duties of any occupation for which… she may reasonably become qualified based on education, training or experience…”.

A timely appeal was filed with CIGNA. The appeal included arguments as to why CIGNA’s decision was not only wrong, but arbitrary and capricious as well. The appeal strongly showed that with her list of injuries, there was no way she could perform her duties as a sworn Law Enforcement Deputy. The appeal even noted that her conditions were so bad, she was even issued a Permanent Disabled Persons Parking Permit.

Within 60 days of the appeal being filed, CIGNA notified us that based on the appeal and information submitted in support of the appeal, “a determination has been made that the prior decision should be overturned.” 10 days later, a check for a significant amount of money arrived for the time period of March 6, 2015 to the present. Although our client was without benefits for nearly 7 months, she was happy to be back on claim. Furthermore, she knows that she can trust Dell & Schaefer to keep her on claim until she is able to return to work or until her policy expires at her Normal Social Security Retirement Age.

If you have been denied disability benefits by CIGNA or any other disability insurance company, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Alexander Palamara at Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation.

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Cigna claimants nationwide?

We represent Cigna 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 Cigna disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Cigna claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Cigna 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 Cigna:

  • 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, 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.

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I was recommended to Dell & Schaefer via another attorney. I was not sure of what the process would require of me at the time. I was hesitant to follow through because of my disruption in communicating skills and the frustration of dealing with the insurance company on my own. Ms. Alters and Sonia Nogueira are so very understanding and companionate though working diligently to resolve my issue.

I felt as if they had my best interest at heart. I appreciated the continual communication and explaining of the process and where it could possibly go. I would highly recommend this firm, Ms. Alters and her team to anyone who feels they have done all they could do, because as I found there was a lot more that this talented firm accomplished.

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