Reliance Standard Reinstates Benefits for Former Employee of Parent Company, Delphi Financial, Following Successful Appeal

Our client, Ms. L, formerly worked as a National Account Manager for Delphi Financial Group, the parent company of Reliance Standard Insurance Company. In 2015, a number of medical issues, namely, chronic daily pain, sleep difficulties, fatigue and cognitive and memory impairments forced Ms. L to stop working and submit her claim for long-term disability benefits. In addition to these symptoms her doctors suspected, but later dismissed, lymphoma, on account of abnormal lymph node swelling. After consulting several rheumatologists, Ms. L was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder described to result in widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Ms. L’s symptoms became evident in 2015 when her supervisor recommended she take some time off work to take care of herself. It was noted that she was having difficulty managing her pain and was having problems managing her work flow. She was unable to effectively perform the material duties of her occupation, which included, but was not limited to, recommending compensatory strategies, reviewing and negotiating financials, performing new or customer/production implementations, and presenting as well as successfully delivering renewals to customers.

She feared the thought of having to file a disability a claim and leave her rewarding and successful career, however, she knew it was a realistic possibility. Her supervisors were aware of the situation, and despite their current expressions of compassion and understanding, it was only a matter of time before compassion and understanding turned to questions and disappointment concerning her inability to effectively perform her job duties.

Ms. L filed her disability claim, which Reliance Standard approved and paid. After one month, she reported feeling rested and ready to return to work. Unfortunately, her return to work was short-lived. Soon after returning to work Ms. L began experiencing worsening cognitive symptoms triggered by increased stress and she once again was forced to discontinue.

Ms. L notified Reliance Standard of her failed attempt to return to work and that her symptoms had returned. Reliance Standard agreed and reinstated her long-term disability benefits.

Internal Review by a Nurse Consultant Leads to Reliance Standard Terminating the Long-term Disability Claim

To start 2016 Reliance Standard began with conducting a medical review by an internal nurse-consultant. Despite confirming Ms. L’s diagnoses, Reliance Standard’s nurse consultant noted that Ms. L had recently reported improvement in her cognitive function and general symptoms since beginning hormonal therapy. Based on these vague and insignificant statements, the nurse consultant reasoned that Ms. L had made a “full recovery” and was able to return to work. Soon after the nurse consultant documented her findings and Reliance Standard terminated Ms. L’s benefits and communicated its denial in a lengthy letter.

Shortly after receiving her termination letter, a nervous and fearful Ms. L, called Dell & Schaefer and discussed her case with Attorney Cesar Gavidia. Attorney Gavidia saw the gaping holes in Reliance Standard’s denial letter and in the nurse consultant’s medical review, and agreed to prepare and submit Ms. L’s ERISA appeal with the assistance of his appeal team.

The appeal addressed all of Reliance Standard’s short-comings and reasons for denial, with a special focus on the review conducted by the nurse consultant. One of the focal issues was Reliance Standard’s determination that Ms. L had a less than sedentary level of function just one month prior to the nurse consultant’s review of the case.

Approximately sixty days later, and after reviewing the appeal and hundreds of pages of exhibits and medical records, Reliance Standard overturned its decision to terminate the claim and reinstated Ms. L’s long-term disability benefits.

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, 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   *****

Curt P.

Before my disability, I was an attorney with a successful energy and telecom practice. I know what it means to provide quality legal service: it entails expertise in the area(s) of law in which the lawyer practices; zealous advocacy on behalf the client, subject always to a professional tone and demeanor; objectivity and considered judgment; responsiveness in real-time; and last but not least, a great staff.

Steven Dell and his firm have demonstrated all of these qualities. They’ve been with me since the beginning, and nothing they have done has ever caused me concern. Quite the opposite. On my behalf, they take care of all communications with the disability insurance carrier and provide me such other expert advice as I have needed over what is now a five-year period. When you no longer have good health, I have found it to be a great relief to have them deal with the insurance company and to know I can rely on their wise counsel.

I also appreciate the firm’s technical sophistication. We communicate chiefly by email, which is not only efficient but less intrusive. When I’m having a particularly bad health day, I can always get to their emails after the storm has passed.

Anyone with claim with their disability insurance carrier would do well to hire Steven and his firm.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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