Principal Approves Long Term Disability Benefits for Surgeon

Our client was a highly successful Podiatric Surgeon who was suffering from severe neck pain due to two crushed cervical facet joints with resultant nerve impingement. Despite his best efforts to continue to work in his capacity as a surgeon the pain and associated numbness and weakness was making it increasingly difficult to effectively examine and treat his patients. The pain became so severe and his concerns for the safety of his patients and his own health left him with no choice but to walk away from his life’s work and a highly successful medical practice. Shortly thereafter he filed his claims for long term disability benefits under his individual policies with Unum and Principal.

What is taking so long?

After filing his claim for benefits our client contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer and spoke with Attorney Stephen Jessup. During an initial consultation he discussed with Attorney Jessup the nature of his medical conditions, his occupational duties and surgical schedule as a Podiatric Surgeon, and advised Attorney Jessup that Unum had quickly approved his claim for benefits. Our client expressed his concerns over the seemingly long amount of time it was taking Principal to render a decision. Attorney Jessup requested copies of all correspondence to and from the insurance carriers and a copy of our client’s disability policies. Upon receipt and analysis of the information Attorney Jessup scheduled a follow up consultation with our client to discuss his rights and options.

Alleviating the stress

As our client had been a very successful surgeon and medical practice owner, he was concerned about the financial ramifications of stepping away from the practice of medicine and even more concerned about whether his insurance companies would honor their obligations under the policies, as his only source of income would be from his disability benefits. Not wanting to risk making any mistakes in dealing with the insurance carriers, he hired Dell & Schaefer to manage the monthly handling of his claim.

Acting quickly, Attorney Jessup sent out letters of representation to both Unum and Principal. As Unum had already awarded benefits, Attorney Jessup focused the majority of his attention to Principal. The elimination period under the Principal policy had already passed and Principal was still evaluating our client’s medical records and his medical production reports to determine his occupational duties. Concerned that Principal might be erroneously categorizing our client’s occupation as that of a Podiatrist, and not a Podiatric Surgeon, Attorney Jessup emphasized the importance of the differences with specific attention to the physical demands of the latter.

Only two weeks after being retained, Attorney Jessup was able to secure our client’s benefit with Principal. Additionally, he has also been able to get Unum to agree to reduce the reporting requirement for additional forms to once every three months as opposed to monthly.

Don’t risk your financial security

For many medical and business professionals the proposition of walking away from their life’s work and the financial security that often comes from same is a daunting and scary thought. Not only are you faced with coming to terms with a new understanding of who you are now that your identity as a doctor/professional has radically changed, but also with the concerns of financial security. For many their long term disability insurance policies will often serve as their main source of income. As such, it is wise to leave little to chance and consult with a qualified attorney who is experienced in dealing with disability insurance companies and who understand insurance company tactics. As much as one would like to think that an insurance company will honor their obligations, it is not at all uncommon to find yourself faced with an onslaught of information requests and scrutiny from your insurance carrier.

If you are thinking about filing a claim for disability benefits; have already filed a claim and are awaiting a decision; or you are already on claim and want to have an attorney maintain the monthly handling of your claim please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you in securing disability benefits under the policies you have been dutifully paying premiums on for years.

Read more about disability claims with chronic pain and cervical disorders.

DISABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION
Videos, Questions, Resolved Cases, Lawsuit Summaries & Company Reviews

disability insurance companies complaints

FAQ

Do you help Principal claimants nationwide?

We represent Principal 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 Principal disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Principal claimants?

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

  • 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Patrick J.

My experience with Dell & Schaefer began after a prolonged and frustrating experience with my disability carrier subsequent to contracting an illness which left me incapacitated. As a few examples of the frustration I am referencing: I had been accused by the ‘doctors’ appointed by my carrier to review my case as being a narcissistic fraud; the carrier sent a man to my home in the country unannounced to interview me (while I was not there but my wife and small children were); the carrier seemed to be fighting my doctor’s diagnosis and statement regarding my disability and illness; the carrier was not communicating well with me and was being cryptic with responses to legitimate questions.

I finally was so stressed from what should have been a simple process, and exhausted from the emotional and mental toll of filing a claim, that I was about to give up in the interest of maintaining what little health I had left and not wasting it fighting my carrier. I reached out to Greg Dell and he immediately set up a time to talk with Stephen Jessup and himself. I told them I just couldn’t keep managing the process – that the fight was taking its toll and I was inclined to either ‘tap out’ or quit altogether. After reviewing my case they were more than happy to drive their tank into the battle which I had been fighting with a handgun (Mr. Dell’s example). I signed with Dell & Schaefer, and suffice it to say this ‘tank’ comment seems to have been true as the very same day my carrier received the letter from Dell & Schaefer saying I had engaged their services is the same day my claim was approved.

I was curious to see how service would be after they had me contractually obligated to them. I have been impressed on this front as well. Every effort to correspond receives a response within 24 hours. Mr. Jessup is my primary contact and I have received more than one personal note from him encouraging me as I battle my illness; I believe that he really does care beyond just the financial interest the firm has in my case. On the business side of my interaction with them, I have been impressed with the thoroughness and timeliness of all responses – no matter how unimportant they might seem to Mr. Jessup. On the occasion when a question is more administrative in nature and Mr. Jessup or Mr. Dell need to defer to one of their staff, the staff is equally as timely and thorough and professional in their responses.

The stress and frustration of dealing with my carrier are gone; this benefit in and of itself is priceless. To add, I feel the benefit I gain from having Dell & Schaefer as my advocates makes their fees seem to be an excellent value.

Read 427 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us