Prudential Overturns Denial of Long Term Disability Benefits to College Professor

Prior to filing for disability our client was a Professor of Psychology at a large University. Unbeknownst to many around her she was battling a long history of Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Anxiety, which began to affect her ability to properly perform the duties required of her as a collegiate level professor. The daily battle she faced with depression and anxiety left her overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. When she felt she could no longer properly fulfill her responsibilities to her undergraduate students or serve as a mentor to her graduate level students she made the very difficult decision of filing for disability.

Long Term Disability Benefits Are Awarded

Like many full time college professors, her university provided short and long term disability insurance benefits as part of her benefits package. Our client initially applied for short term disability benefits through Prudential and was approved. She did not experience any problems throughout the short term disability period and when it came for her claim to transition from short to long term disability benefits it appeared as if there would not be any problems from Prudential. She received noticed that her claim has been approved; however, the initial award of benefits came with the caveat that she was only to receive 15 days’ worth of benefits.

Although Prudential had only issued benefits for 15 days, it took approximately one month from the date she received notice her claim was approved before Prudential advised her in writing that additional benefits were not going to be paid due to what Prudential indicated was a failure to provide Proof of Loss under the policy. In response to this assertion our client provided Prudential with additional requested information in hopes of receiving continued disability benefits. Unfortunately, such was not the case. Approximately two months after initially approving her claim for long term disability benefits, Prudential formally advised our client that it had determined that there was no documented evidence in her treatment records sufficient to support her inability to perform the duties of her occupation. It should be noted that Prudential made this determination without having our client submit to an examination, consulting with her treatment providers, or as would be discovered reviewing all of her medical records.

The Appeal

Shortly after her claim was denied our client consulted with Attorney Stephen Jessup to discuss Prudential’s adverse determination and determine the best course of action in appealing same. Attorney Jessup secured a copy of our clients claim file and began gathering her medical records. It became readily apparent that Prudential was selectively reviewing our client’s records that were supportive of its decision to deny benefits, but ignoring those records that proved our client could not work in her profession. Furthermore, the records collected by Attorney Jessup far outweighed the amount collected by Prudential as contained in the claim file. Attorney Jessup consulted with our client’s treatment providers in order to obtain additional opinions as to our client’s functionality, to address any and all concerns in the medical records to be able to establish restrictions and limitations dating back to the date of denial, and to combat the opinions of Prudential’s peer review doctors. Armed with medical support sufficient to disprove Prudential’s opinion, Attorney Jessup attacked the vocational review conducted by Prudential as insufficient and not taking into consideration the mental demands of our client’s occupation as a College Professor, as well as the social interactions/demands required to properly perform the duties of same.

Attorney Jessup filed the appeal on our client’s behalf. Prudential attempted to stall in rendering a decision, exercising a 45 day extension on the 45th day following the submission of the appeal. Ever vigilant as to the deadline for Prudential’s decision, when Prudential failed to make a determination by the end of the 90th day, Attorney Jessup drafted a Complaint to be filed in Federal Court. Before the Complaint was filed, a letter was received indicating Prudential was overturning its decision to deny benefits and putting our client back on claim.

Has your claim been denied?

Like many people suffering from a Mental Health condition the added stress of fighting with Prudential took a toll on our client’s well-being and ability to focus on her treatment. If your claim is being challenged by your disability insurance carrier; your claim has been denied; or you do not want to deal with the stress of fighting with your insurance carrier monthly, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

We have a page dedicated to Prudential disability claims here and a page dedicated to anxiety and depression disability claims here.

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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.


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.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

Jeff P. (Oklahoma)

After a very long and frustrating ordeal to keep my LTD payments coming I decided to seek assistance from and attorney. After much research and asking those in the legal profession Dell & Schaefer seemed to be the top choice. I reached out and Alex Palamara was the attorney assigned to my case. All I can say is the experience was outstanding. Both Alex and his Paralegal, Danielle Lauria were excellent to work with. They were very kind, concerned, understanding of my frustrations and treated me with the utmost respect. Communication was excellent with regular updates and telling me what I could expect in each stage of the process.

Alex was also very straight forward with what to expect and no pie in the sky promises or expectations were made. In the end we won our case and I believe it was solely due to their experience and knowledge of not only the laws but the insurance companies as a whole. I would highly recommend them and am very grateful for the help they afforded to me.

Chad B. (Illinois)

I originally spoke with 3 other long term disability lawyers about my case before contacting Dell and Schaefer. None of those law firms would take it. They said the chances of me winning was not good. After finding Dell and Schaefer online I spoke with one of the attorneys that has since left. He did take my case but later it was picked up by Rachel Alters. Rachel is amazing and a very intelligent attorney. She not only won my case but also was able to get my back pay for 6 months.

I also cannot say enough about Sonia Nogueira. Sonia was always quick to answer any of my questions. I would usually hear back from her within hours of sending her a email. I do not know where I would be if I hadn’t contacted them. My family and I cannot thank them enough. Don’t let an insurance company tell you they are not responsible for paying you. I paid them for 20 years monthly and they looked for any reason they could not to have to pay me when I needed my benefit. Thank you Rachel and Sonia for all you guys do.

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