Prudential denies long-term disability benefits to a breast cancer survivor and Attorneys Dell & Schaefer file appeal challenging denial

Our client, a breast cancer survivor, was a senior property manager for a large property management company for nearly fifteen years. As a senior property manager, our client was responsible for planning, controlling and directing the day to day operation of multiple properties. Year after year she received numerous recognitions for the quality of her work.

Like many breast cancer survivors, our client experienced cognitive difficulties, commonly referred to as “chemo-brain,” following treatment with chemotherapy and the medication, Tamoxifen. She experienced problems remembering things, focusing, multi-tasking, as well as problems with being able to analyze information in a logical manner. These deficits in her thinking made it impossible for her to continue to perform her job, and in turn she filed for long term disability income benefits with Prudential.

Prudential quickly questioned the severity of cognitive problems our client was experiencing. In an attempt to provide medical proof of these cognitive problems, our client underwent neuropsychological testing. Test results from her treating doctor revealed severe deficits in her cognitive functioning. However, Prudential remained adversarial and ordered our client to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) with a neuropsychologist they hired to perform another neuropsychological examination. The test results remained consistent with the first, but Prudential’s doctor raised allegations that our client was exaggerating and not putting forth maximal effort in taking the exam. Prudential then had our client’s complete file reviewed by another hired neuropsychologist. This doctor’s opinion more or less accused our client of faking. Based upon the reports of their hired doctors, Prudential immediately denied our client’s claim for long term disability income benefits.

On her own, our client filed an appeal with Prudential, which was denied. At that point she contacted Attorneys Dell and Schaefer to represent her with the fling of a second appeal. Dell and Schaefer worked closely with our client and her treating physicians to prepare the final appeal for long term disability benefits with Prudential. Dell and Schaefer heavily researched our client’s condition; only to find out that, although medical science clearly recognizes “chemo-brain,” very little is actually known. Our client underwent another neuropsychological evaluation which again showed severe deficits in cognitive thinking. A three pronged attack to Prudential’s denial of benefits was launched utilizing medical research on “chemo-brain,” objective medical evidence found in the neuropsychological testing results, and the medical records of our client’s treating physician.

Attorney Stephen Jessup of Dell and Schaefer recently filed the appeal with Prudential, and we are currently awaiting Prudential’s final claim decision. In the event of a claim denial a lawsuit will be filed against Prudential in Federal Court. While the final outcome is still unknown, one thing remains very clear: with the seemingly ever increasing rates of cancer reported each year, it is to be expected that many more people will face the same cognitive problems as our client, and quite possibly the same response from their long term disability insurance carrier.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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