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Reliance Standard Disability Insurance Denial Upheld by California Court

Sometimes, a disability claim is doomed from the start because of specific policy language. As California disability insurance lawyers we would like to think that every disability denial is wrongful, but sometime the insurance company is correct in their decision.

Our California disability attorneys are not going to accept your case if we don’t think we can win your case. Disability insurance policies contain very specific language documenting all of the criteria that must be satisfied in order to be eligible for benefits. Let’s take a look at a recent case in which the claimant failed to prove he was disabled at the time he was terminated from his job.

Did Reliance Standard Act Unreasonably or was this Claimant Wrong?

In Fenberg v. Cowden Automotive Long Term Disability Plan, a federal court agreed with Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company’s (“Reliance”) decision to deny long-term disability benefits. The plaintiff was the general manager of an automotive company from 1995 until February 2002. As an employee, he was covered under the company’s long-term disability plan. In February 2002, the company fired the plaintiff for not “following company policies.” After being fired, he applied for long-term disability benefits based on clinical depression. Reliance Standard denied his claim because he became disabled after his firing when he was no longer eligible for benefits.

The plaintiff sued, claiming that he was still entitled to the disability benefits. He offered medical evidence to show that he suffered from depression at the time he lost his job, including:

The plaintiff argued that this evidence showed he deserved benefits under the company’s plan because he was, in fact, suffering from depression. But none of his medical evidence pre-dated the time in which he was fired. As a result, the court found that Reliance Standard could deny the plaintiff’s claim because, under the policy, the insurance company was allowed to decide that the plaintiff’s eligibility for benefits ended before he became disabled. Most group disability policies require a disability claimant to be an eligible and working employee at the time they become disabled.

Fenberg v. Cowden Auto. Long Term Disability Plan, No. C03-3898 SI, 2008 WL 4559732 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 11, 2008).

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Questions About Hiring Us

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, 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.

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   *****

Salvatore L. D.C.

From the first contact this office was organized, professional and responsive to all my needs and questions. Following my sudden career threatening injury it was most comforting and assuring as a potential client to feel as if I was dealing with the most experienced and most competent professionals in the industry and in my opinion Dell & Schaefer has provided just that. I find Gregory Dell’s legal representation to date to be excellent in every way.

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