Reliance Standard Admits They Were Wrong in Denying Long Term Disability Benefits

Syncope is the medical term used to describe fainting or passing out. A syncopal event often comes on with no warning, is short in duration and recovery is often spontaneous. For our client, a Construction Project Manager responsible for driving to work sites and then navigating the site, an event could spell disastrous. Even more frustrating than suffering from recurrent syncope events is not having a clear understanding as to the cause of same or knowing when an attack would occur. This was the reality our client faced, a reality that eventually left him with no choice but to file for long term disability benefits under his employer’s disability policy with Reliance Standard.

Long Term Disability

Our client’s initial claim for benefits was approved by Reliance Standard after a nurse case manager determined our client only had a physical ability to perform sedentary level work and that he was to avoid driving due to his medical condition. Unfortunately for our client the approval of benefits did not last long. Within a couple weeks of approving long term disability benefits Reliance Standard issued a denial of benefits based upon a vocational review conducted after long term disability benefits had initially been approved.

The Appeal

Following the denial of his disability benefit our client contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer and spoke with Attorney Stephen Jessup. Attorney Jessup obtained a copy of our client’s claim file from Reliance Standard and what he found was nothing short of a purposeful attempt to deny our client’s long term disability benefit. In reviewing the claim file what was most disturbing was the fact that Reliance Standard’s nurse case manager still supported disability in light of the restrictions of a sedentary physical demand level and no driving. From a medical standpoint nothing had changed in our client’s medical condition, but now the records that were used to approve our client’s claim for disability benefits were now being used to deny it. But how?

Attorney Jessup discovered that the vocational review conducted by Reliance Standard incorrectly categorized our client’s occupational duties as simply a “Project Manager,” which was classified as solely a sedentary demand occupation – a physical demand level that Reliance Standard’s nurse case manager had opined our client could perform at. As noted above the situation was made even more suspicious by the fact that the vocational review of client’s occupation did not occur until AFTER benefits had been approved. Attorney Jessup felt that Reliance Standard purposefully performed the vocational review after the medical review in a calculated effort to deny our client’s benefit.

In submitting the appeal Attorney Jessup systematically attacked the vocational review and provided extensive documentation as to the nature of our client’s occupation as a Construction Project Manager, which required the ability to drive to job sites and once there safely navigate and inspect the site. Additionally, Attorney Jessup obtained updated medical records and statements in support of disability from our client’s doctors, which clearly indicated the danger our client faced and risks associated with a return to his former occupation.

Following the submission of the appeal, Reliance Standard ultimately overturned its denial of benefits, reinstated the claim and forwarded all back benefits owed. Attorney Jessup continues to monitor our client’s claim to prevent any further future wrongdoing by Reliance Standard.

Fight for your rights to disability insurance benefits

If your claim for short or long term disability insurance benefits have been denied please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in securing the benefits that rightfully belong to you.

Read more about Stephen Jessup here and about Syncope disability claims here. You can also read more about Reliance Standard disability claims on this page.

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Do you help Reliance Standard claimants nationwide?

We represent Reliance Standard 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 Reliance Standard disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Reliance Standard claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Reliance Standard 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 Reliance Standard:

  • 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Charles A. M.D.

I am very humbled to have the privilege to write this testimonial on behalf of Dell & Schaefer and more specifically, Mr. Cesar Gavidia. Unfortunately, after suffering from Essential Benign tremors for numerous years I lost a career for which I dearly loved. I was a dental implant surgeon whose accomplishments are quite humbling. I devoted my entire career to my patients, employees, colleagues and students. Upon discovery of my disability, I contacted Mr. Cesar Gavidia for professional guidance. Upon meeting Mr. Gavidia, I inquired of his knowledge, years of experience, colleagues and most importantly his “Passion” to represent each and every client.

What I discovered was a very sincere Gentleman with a tremendous depth of knowledge regarding my disability policies and many others aspects of business law. During the last five (5) years of my career I could have increased the benefits of my disability policy. However, I failed to do so. I thought I had all of the answers. I was wrong! I would encourage each and every reader to consult with an expert such as Mr. Cesar Gavidia prior to entering into a “Disability Insurance Contract”. Or at least shortly thereafter. You will be enlightened to learn the details and how they will affect you if you incur a career ending disability. You owe it to yourself and your family to understand your DISABILITY POLICY. Mr. Gavidia’s ability to explain the most important details was masterful. My initial conversation with Mr. Gavidia reminds me of our patients and how we sometimes would fail to explain things in laymen’s terms. And we wondered why our patients were confused? Now I know.

I would further suggest that you conduct an annual review of your policy with Dell & Schaefer to ensure your understanding and expectations to protect yourself and your loved ones. I am fortunate. I thought I had performed my “Due Diligence”. I had to a minimal level. Had I taken the initiative to contact this excellent group of experts, early on I could have protected my wife and children like a responsible spouse and father should. However, we are fortunate and blessed in that my disability insurance covers our very nominal financial requirements.

We have no additional funds for our children’s college nor do we live a lavish lifestyle. I simply receive the “minimum” to get by each month. I am very fortunate to have a “true expert” to take care of me and an insurance company, who to date has honored their contract. I thought I had performed my due diligence. In retrospect I was simply naive. While considered an “expert” in my profession with the highest accolades in the world I finally realized that it is impossible to know everything. My encouragement would be to focus on your passion and expertise and let those who are experts in their field help you.

I am very, very fortunate to have sincere and professional colleagues, Mr. Cesar Gavidia and his paralegal, Ms. Danielle Lauria help me through some very difficult times. I have returned to school and recently earned my MBA so I can “get back on my feet” and continue to help those who have blessed me so much. Dell & Schaefer helped me with this too. They encouraged me to do so when I thought the world had ended. In medicine we take an oath, “Do No Harm”. That should also apply to ourselves. Make sure you take care of yourself and your loved ones. You deserve it!

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