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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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.

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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, 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.


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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