Our Lawyers Get Your Long-Term Disability Benefits Paid
98% percent of our clients collect disability benefits. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the USA to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits. Thank you for considering our law firm to help you.
Discover How Your Disabling Condition Should be Presented to Your Disability Company
Disability insurance companies always argue that Diagnosis does not equal disability. Proving that your medical condition is disabling is the most challenging aspect of any long term disability insurance claim.
Explore How Disability Companies Evaluate Your Occupation
Disability insurance companies are notorious for minimizing your occupational duties. This technique is used as a tool to prove that you can perform duties which differ from the job you actually performed while working.
Established in 1979, we are a nationwide law firm that helps individuals collect disability insurance benefits. Through our experience of helping thousands of claimants throughout the USA to collect over $500 million in disability benefits, we know exactly what it takes to get your benefits paid. We welcome you to contact us for a free phone consultation with one of our lawyers.
Can I Win an ERISA Disability Lawsuit Against Reliance Standard?
Prevailing in an ERISA federal lawsuit against Reliance Standard is a very difficult challenge due to the inherently unfair nature of ERISA litigation, but our disability attorneys have decades of combined experience in representing insureds against Reliance Standard in court.
When taking Reliance Standard to court to secure your benefits you need to know:
You are not entitled to a Jury trial. Your case will be decided solely by a Federal Judge.
After a final denial of benefits you are not allowed to add any new information to your case for a Judge to consider.
There is no live testimony in court. Neither you nor your doctors will be allowed to advocate for your disability benefits.
The standard of review the federal judge has to use in deciding who wins your case favors Reliance Standard.
Even if you win in court Reliance Standard only has to pay you your back benefits and put you back on claim with no guarantee from the court that they won’t deny your claim again. Reliance Standard will not be held financially responsible for any hardship you endured while not receiving your monthly benefit.
In the video below we discuss why winning a lawsuit under ERISA is an uphill battle:
What happens after the final denial of my disability benefits?
Like most disability carriers, Reliance Standard only provides one level of administrative appeal following a denial of benefits. This means you only have one opportunity before filing a lawsuit to prove to Reliance Standard that their denial of your claim was wrong and that your benefits should be reinstated. However, in the event Reliance Standard denies your appeal your only option is to then file a civil lawsuit in federal court under ERISA. As the above video discusses – being in court fighting for your disability benefits is not a place you want to find yourself.
How long do I have to file my lawsuit?
ERISA disability policies are subject to a statute of limitations, or simply put the timeframe with which you have to file a lawsuit, that is typically three years from the date “proof of loss” is required. Despite the fact that ERISA is a federal law that is intended to be uniformly applied across the country, courts will often have varying interpretations as to when your timeframe to file a lawsuit has lapsed. The most important thing to remember is that when your appeal is denied you must act fast in bringing your lawsuit or you could be forever barred from suing Reliance Standard. Federal courts enforce statute of limitations issues in a very cold and methodical manner and no matter how strong your case or how badly Reliance Standard acted through the processing of your claim – if you do not file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations ends your rights to go after Reliance Standard for your benefits is lost.
Will a jury decide my case?
No. Under ERISA, you are not entitled to a jury trial. Instead, a federal judge will be the ultimate decider of who “wins” the case. This is a very large departure from most areas of the law as well as what most people think of when they think of “going to court.” If ERISA allowed a jury of your peers to determine if you are disabled your odds of success in court increase, and very likely the incidences of Reliance Standard denials would decrease.
Will I or my doctors be allowed to testify in Court?
Unfortunately, this again is a resounding no. ERISA does not allow for live testimony in court, meaning you will not be able to argue to the judge why your claim should be approved nor will the judge hear from any of your doctors, family, friends, co-workers, etc. to determine if Reliance Standard was right in denying your claim. This is yet another way in which the law protects Reliance Standard from being held fully accountable for denying your benefits.
What information will the Court consider?
After the final denial of your claim by Reliance Standard the Court is only allowed to consider what is in your claim file as of the date of Reliance Standard’s final denial of benefits. The claim file, or administrative record as it is referred to in court, is comprised of all the information you or your doctors provided to Reliance Standard during the course of your claim as well as the information created/obtained by Reliance Standard in administering your claim to include internal notes regarding your claim, any medical reviews conducted on your file, video surveillance information, and any vocational/occupational reviews and reports conducted.
Another important distinction with ERISA lawsuits from other areas of the law is the fact that once Reliance Standard has rendered its final denial of your claim no new information is allowed to be submitted into your claim file for a judge to review. As such the judge can only review the information up to the date of the final denial. This means if you are awarded Social Security after a final denial of benefits, or you had new testing performed that verified all the medical problems supporting your claim for benefits, or any other new information is available that would win your case – a judge cannot consider it. This is why properly preparing your appeal against Reliance Standard is so important – you only get one chance to perfect your claim.
Will the Court decide if Reliance Standard made the right decision in denying my claim?
Yes and no. The majority of employer provided Reliance Standard disability insurance policies will contain what is known as a “discretionary clause.” The discretionary clause provides Reliance Standard the authority to be the sole interpreter of the terms and conditions of its policy. It also affects how the judge will review your claim to determine if you are entitled to additional disability benefits.
With the authority provided by the discretionary clause the court will not only defer to Reliance Standard’s interpretation of its policy, but will also force the court to use what is known as the “arbitrary and capricious” standard of review. The arbitrary and capricious standard of review tasks the Court with a two-step process to determine if Reliance Standard’s decision should be overturned.
First the Court will decide if you are disabled, which will be dependent on several factors, to include:
The strength of the medical information contained in your file that supports a medical condition severe enough that it would result in medically necessary restrictions and limitations as they relate to your ability to work, and
The definition of disability Reliance Standard was using to review your eligibility for benefits. Depending on your claim this would mean whether the medical information supports the inability to perform the duties of your own occupation or those of an alternate “any” occupation as defined in the policy.
If the judge finds that the medical information available does not support disability as defined under the policy then you lose. If the Court finds that your medical information supports disability under the policy then the judge goes to step two of its analysis. Yes, that is right, if the judge finds you are disabled that does not mean that you have won your benefits with Reliance Standard.
If the judge finds you are disabled then it must conduct the second step of its review – to determine whether Reliance Standard acted arbitrary and capricious in denying your claim. In layman’s term this means – did Reliance Standard have a reasonable basis to deny your claim. If the judge finds that Reliance Standard had a reasonable basis to deny your claim, despite the fact it believes you satisfy the definition of disability in your Reliance Standard policy, the judge must uphold Reliance Standard’s decision.
What constitutes a reasonable basis to deny my claim?
If Reliance Standard can show that it conducted a reasonable review of your claim (note that this does not mean fair) then it can typically prevail on the second step under the arbitrary and capricious standard of review. In denying your decision Reliance Standard is not required to have you physically examined by a doctor and many courts throughout the country hold that simply having your file reviewed by a doctor and relying on that reviewing doctor’s opinion is sufficient to establish a “reasonable basis” to deny your claim. There is no requirement that the judge defer to your doctor’s opinions over Reliance Standard’s nor is there any rule that prevents Reliance Standard from relying on its doctor’s opinions over the opinions of yours. All Reliance Standard has to show is that it provided a reasonable review, regardless how minimal that review may be, for a court to uphold the denial of your claim for benefits.
Is it even worth pursuing a lawsuit against Reliance Standard for denying my disability claim?
In our experience, the answer is without question yes. Although ERISA is an unfair law to the insured if you do not pursue your rights in court against Reliance Standard then they ultimately win. If you find yourself with a final denial of benefits Reliance Standard has already told you they are not going to pay any more money, so there is very little for you to lose.
Our attorneys have handled countless lawsuits against Reliance Standard and know how to maximize our client’s chances of success as well as the value of your claim. If your appeal has been denied by Reliance Standard contact our office today to speak with one of our disability attorneys.
Very satisfied with the work of this team. Took well care of my case and took all the necessary time to be responsive and attentive when I had questions. Guided me through recovery and returning to normalcy. All thanks to Jason & Tabitha, thank you!
I’m extremely satisfied with the experience I have had with this firm from day one. The lawyer who has handled my case, Alex, is very efficient and attentive to all my questions and concerns. They are always aware of how my case has gone and they care about my health. I feel optimistic with them because they are very attentive during the process of my claim. I would not hesitate to recommend families and friends if in any situation they need their services. Kathleen as well has been very well and assisted me with this case. I highly appreciate everything they have done for me.
It’s unfortunate when disability insurance companies come after older disabled policyholders just to help their bottom line. It can be a living nightmare the damage they can do to a family. Dell Disability Lawyers are polite, understanding and knowledgeable. They call you back and answer any question you have no matter how unimportant it can be. The amount of stress they took off of myself and family was incalculable. I recommend them highly to take care of any disability case whether it be filing for benefits or reversing a claim decision. They are outstanding.
I could not have been happier or more appreciative of the hard work they performed on my behalf. I was well briefed on my case and it was closed in a timely manner with a financially successful resolution.
Mr. Symonds and Sonia as well as everyone else we have worked with throughout this process have been very helpful, professional and caring to our situation. We are very thankful to have this great team on our side.
Without them my LTD company was dropping my plan with me still suffering from my accident, even with doctor’s statements I’m still disabled. The LTD company didn’t want to advance my policy to the next stage of years of pay. Dell Disability Lawyers saved my policy, and helped to enforce the LTD company’s own policy (for its policy holder, me) that I would be covered still under the LTD policy I had paid for at my previous job, when my accident occurred. These lawyers know what they are doing and can help you too. LTD companies will try to drop you when you still need coverage just because they don’t want to pay on your policy anymore. Don’t let them break contract with ya because they are trying to get out of it. Hit em with legal action to ensure the continuation of your policy you paid for. Dell Disability worked very well for me and continue to do so.
I was denied long term disability benefits from The Hartford after being on it for years. I found Dell Disability Lawyers after doing research online. In a matter of days they responded and explained to me everything that would be done. Dell Disability Lawyers were able to settle my suit against The Hartford very quickly and responded to me quickly. I would definitely recommend this team of lawyers for anyone that is fighting for their disability insurance.
I have had nothing but a great experience with Dell Disability Law Firm. Mr. Alex Palamara and his team went above and beyond my expectations. They will respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Thank you once again for taking my case.
This law firm is the best so far. MetLife denied me two times, they appealed two times for me and they won of course. So if you are on disability and want a chance at winning your case use this firm Dell disability lawyers, kind courteous understanding and they get the job done. You won’t be disappointed.
Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.
Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.
If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.
Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.
98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.
Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.
Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.
Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.
We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.
In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.
We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.
Who do you help?
Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.
Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.
A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.
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 phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting 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 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers 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.