How Our Lawyers Help Software Developers That Have Been Denied Disability Benefits

When it comes to a software developer long term disability benefit claim, there are several factors to keep in mind. At Dell Disability Lawyers, our long-term disability attorneys have handled hundreds of claims for professionals in the software developing field. Knowing the potential pitfalls when you claim your disability benefit is crucial for success. Disability attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup have created tips and advice on how to best handle a software developer disability benefit claim to make sure you don’t get denied. We have represented disabled software developers from the top tech companies in the world, such as Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Google, Accenture, Adobe, IBM, and Twilio.

In this article:

What Are the Specifics of a Software Developer Disability Benefit Claim?

Software developers are in high demand across multiple industries and fields. The business world, traffic and air traffic systems, tech, the gaming industry – software developing is everywhere. This is a highly sought after and often, highly demanding and complex profession. However, insurance carriers often tend to minimize the occupational duties of a software developer. This is because they assume it’s a sedentary desk job. As such, insurance companies always look to strip it all down to the lowest common denominator. If you work in an office, they will look into whether you can keep working.

software developer disability benefits claim

If it’s a mental health issue, insurance companies will look into your case differently. However, if you suffer from a physical condition such as back or neck pain, for example, the claim will be harder to get approved. Can you still do your desk job if you have chronic pain? This is what the insurance company is most likely to ask.

What Are the Risks of Not Claiming Your Disability Benefit as Soon as You Feel Unwell?

Software developers tend to have jobs that are extremely cognitively demanding. The general public – including the insurance carriers – may assume you simply sit behind a desk all day typing on your computer. That is a very superficial view. As a software developer, you have to understand complex systems. In addition, you have to be integrated with the team requiring the software. You need to know the needs of the industry and business you are working for. Moreover, you are most likely involved with several teams. You may be managing tens or even hundreds of other software developers. And typically, software developing is a well-structured effort. This means that if you are unwell or take sick leave, your team must wait for the particular piece of code only you can do. This holds up the entire project and can result in significant loss of time and resources.

software developer medical issues

What’s more, unlike in other fields, you may not be able to simply work on your own and at your own pace. Finally, software development is a field that tends to change constantly. You need the cognitive capacity and focus to keep up with the latest upgrades, new concepts, and new tech. The industry is competitive and cutthroat.

Resolved Case: Hitachi Software Engineer With Cognitive Issues Wins Two Standard Disability Benefit Appeals

How does The Standard expect a software engineer with chronic pain and cognitive issues to be able to perform the duties of his occupation? Our client was initially approved for two months of short term disability benefits and then his benefits were wrongfully denied by The Standard. Alex did two appeals in this case as he first appealed the STD disability denial and then 24 months later, the Standard denied his long term disability benefits when his definition of disability changed from own-occupation to any occupation. In this video, disability insurance attorney Alex Palamara discusses the reason that the Standard denied both his short and long term disability benefits and the strategies that he took in order to get the Standard disability denials reversed.

When Should You Seek Medical Assistance?

Because of these reasons, we always advise software developers to seek medical assistance early. If you are unable to keep up with the demands of your work because of your medical condition, it can have serious consequences. The company may let you go if you’re not performing at your best. If you are having issues because of a medical problem but continue to work, this usually poses a risk. You may be terminated from your employment for under-performance. Additionally, it will be that much harder to establish a disability claim.

As a software developer looking to file a disability benefit claim, you need to be extra cautious. If there is something that is impacting your ability to work medically, you need to take action. This will protect you in the long run.

How Much Medical Support Do You Need Before Claiming Disability?

If you have already been seeing your doctor and have a well-documented medical history, that’s an excellent start. Having MRI’s of the neck and back for comparison, for example, is very helpful. However, plenty of software developers first try to just ignore the pain or other issue they may be having. You may not have the time to go to the doctor. Or, if you’ve seen your primary care physician and they referred you to a specialist, you may not see them because you’re too busy. You may have a chronic condition and try to work through it. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common pitfalls.

MRI's of neck and back for software developer conditions

If you file a disability benefit claim cold turkey, your chances of success decrease. The insurance company will want to see your doctor visits, your treatment, your whole medical history. They will investigate whether you have been reporting your issues to the doctor. Are there notes in there about problems, perhaps side effects of medication? The insurance carrier will ask plenty of questions like that.

Resolved Case: Software Engineer Denied Disability Benefits by Principal

In this video we discuss how we were able to assist a software engineer that was denied long term disability benefits by Principal. We also provide some tips on what could have been done differently to prevent a Principal disability denial. This lawsuit against Principal was resolved with a confidential settlement.

How to Determine Your Date of Disability?

Even with well-documented and detailed medical history, the insurance carrier will have doubts about the date of your disability. Remember, diagnosis does not equal disability. When you claim disability after working with your condition for a while, the insurance carrier will be skeptical. They will pose a question: if you have been working with this condition so far, why can’t you keep working? What has changed? Why are you now disabled, if you’ve been working with your issues for a while?

This is why it’s crucial to communicate with your doctor. Make sure your physician understands they need to carefully document all the issues you have been having, treatments you have had, and problems you are experiencing. The insurance carrier may reach out to your doctor with questions. Can this person do these specific job duties? Can they do sedentary work? Or do you think this person could be restricted from working? Your doctor needs to know they may face a conversation like this and be prepared.

The medical evidence and support is crucial when you are preparing your long term disability benefit claim. Every medical condition and the impact is going to be different. However, you need to understand how insurance companies think and be prepared accordingly.

What Can You Expect from Your Disability Policy?

As a software developer, you most likely work for a large company. If that is the case, your company provides you with your disability insurance coverage as an employee benefit. This means that your disability claim is usually governed by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act). ERISA-governed policies differ from private ones in several aspects. First, if your claim is denied and it goes to court, there is no jury trial and no live testimony. In other words, you will not get to defend your case. Second, a federal judge will only be able to review your claim file, the administrative record. 

Can You Appeal a Long-Term Disability Benefit Denial?

When submitting your disability benefit claim, you want to make sure all your information is there. If your claim gets denied, you can appeal. However, for the appeal to be successful, you need to have a detailed medical history record. If you aren’t documenting your issues and your medical history well, the appeal may not hold up. You can’t simply write an appeal letter – you will need to provide additional information. When it comes to ERISA-governed claim denial cases, they will have what’s known as an arbitrary and capricious standard of review. This means that you go into court having to prove two things:

  • Your disability
  • Insurance company acting arbitrary and capricious
For the appeal to be successful, you need to have a detailed medical history record.

In layman’s terms, insurance company acting “arbitrary and capricious” means that they did not have a reasonable basis to deny your claim. The federal judge will have to make this decision. Once again, this is why it’s so crucial to have as much medical evidence and support as possible. Your claim is purely driven by documentation. The paper trail has to be long, thick, and as thorough as possible. This will give you a chance to win your case in the event of a denial and give you the best possibility of a positive outcome in trial.

Should You Seek Legal Assistance?

Let’s face it: as a software developer, you may be brilliant at your job. However, you aren’t a disability insurance expert. You don’t know how insurance carriers deal with claims. This is why our long-term disability lawyers are an excellent source of information and advice. We are happy to provide guidance and insights to make sure you can maximize your benefits. 

The best thing for you as a software developer who has a situation with a disability insurance claim is to contact us. We will provide you with an immediate free phone consultation. We will likely ask you for a copy of your policy or your denial letter if you’ve been denied. 

How Do You Stay Informed?

We want you to have as much knowledge as possible about your insurance company and the whole disability insurance claim process. The best way to do that is to search on our website for your particular disability company. When you find your company, you’ll see we have a lot of information such as reviews about your company, answered questions, resolved cases and lawsuit stories about disability benefit denials.

Browsing our archives, you will find:

  • Questions that people ask us as long-term disability lawyers
  • Our detailed answers to those questions
  • Case studies. We review hundreds of lawsuits against your particular company. By reading the reviews, you will start to understand how your company acts and how they evaluate things.

We also recommend utilizing the informational videos available on our YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe to get up-to-date information.

When you are well-informed, your chances of a successful software developer disability benefit claim increase significantly. With the knowledge available, you will be in a better position to handle your claim or get your benefits reinstated if you’ve been denied. 

If you need further assistance, we are available to represent you anywhere in the country. 

We’re here for you in the future should you need us, and we appreciate you considering our law firm.

Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits

Disability Benefit Denial Options
Submit a Strong Appeal Package

We work with you, your doctors, and other experts to submit a very strong appeal.

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Sue Your Disability Insurance Company

We have filed thousands of disability denial lawsuits in federal Courts nationwide.

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Protect Your Benefits
Get Your Disability Application Approved
We help claimants throughout the entire application process.

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Prevent a Disability Benefit Denial
We manage every aspect of your disability claim following claim approval.

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Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.

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Disability Company Reviews
Showing 8 of 633 Reviews

Low payments

Reviewed by Dorothy on November 30th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I was injured at work. I did house keeping in a hospital. I tore just about everything imaginable in my knee. I was let go from my job, because I was no longer able to do ... read more >
Lincoln Financial

Well Documented correspondence

Reviewed by Joshua on November 23rd 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I read other situations and it’s all very similar to my case. I have received STD from May 2023 and when my FMLA run out LF would not respond or answer my calls. My last... read more >

They closed my claim and I have been without income since they closed it

Reviewed by Mary C. on November 8th 2023   Verified Policyholder
Went off work on 9/26/22 due to back issues. Applied for Short Term Disability. On Jan 2023 switched over to Long Term Disability and Unum had me to apply for Social Secur... read more >

Bad Faith

Reviewed by Dustin G on October 12th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2020 date of disability
They kept asking my doctor for the same information that they did not need to process my claim. He kept sending in the same information, and they kept asking for it. My do... read more >

Denied by Hartford after 20 years of Payments

Reviewed by Mary on October 11th 2023   Verified Policyholder
Hello,I am a Multiple Sclerosis patient. I also have Lymph-edema, Asthma, Blood-clot problems, Bi-Polar 1 Depression, and Head & Neck Injuries. And now, due to MS, Spast... read more >

Standard insurance just dropped me with no communication with me.

Reviewed by D Larson on October 4th 2023   Verified Policyholder | June 2019 date of disability
I was put on Standard insurance by my employer in 2019. I was told by them when I was first on disability that I would be on this for the rest of my life. After 2 years of... read more >
Sent on October 4th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. Do you currently have a denial letter from them that you can email to me?

Sun Life

What a mess

Reviewed by Unknown on September 12th 2023   Verified Policyholder | July 2020 date of disability
This place has no idea what day it even is. First they attach my claim to my previous claim in which was a new claim. They messed up and denied me then made me wait yet ag... read more >
Sent on September 12th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear what you are experiencing. Make sure you deal with Sunlife writing and follow up every day. If you would like assistance please contact us.


I was disabled 2003 by SS. I got SSDI 7 years too late.

Reviewed by Bunny on August 9th 2023   Verified Policyholder
I believe if Sedgwick would have moved on my Claim. They absolutely did everything not to answer my calls, change dates. I had already been through WV comp. Ins. Sold out,... read more >
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Our client, Mr. C, formerly worked as a Senior Software Engineer for a large computer technology company. In April 2016 a number of medical is... Read More >

Computer Programmer is back on claim receiving LTD Benefits after Attorney proves to Lincoln it acted wrongly

This case is unique and a valuable lesson for all of those receiving LTD Benefits. Prior to Dell Disability Lawyers getting involved with this... Read More >

Dell Disability Lawyers file Lawsuit in Federal Court against Aetna after it denied long-term disability benefits to former software Developer

In 2011, while working as a software developer for a different company, Charles suffered a cerebral vascular attack (CVA). Despite suffering a... Read More >

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Mutual Of Omaha Overturns Denial of Short Term Disability Benefits for Software Developer With Chronic Back Pain

Regardless of how hard a person attempts to continue working with a disability, it is an effort that gets taken advantage of by the disability... Read More >

Mutual Of Omaha Overturns Denial of Short Term Disability Benefits for Software Developer

Prior to filing for disability insurance benefits under her employer provided Short Term Disability Policy administered by Mutual of Omaha, ou... Read More >
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Federal Court Overturns Aetna Denial Of Disability Benefits

In the recent case of Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. a federal judge from the Northern District of Illinois determined that Aetna improperly te... Read More >

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In ERISA cases filed in a district court asking for judicial review of a plan administrator's denial of benefits, the court is generally limit... Read More >

Federal Judge Makes Companion Life Insurance Pay Long Term Disability Benefits

Companion Life tried to play games and deny long term disability benefits, but thankfully a New Mexico Federal Judge made them pay disability ... Read More >

NFL Disability Review Board Ignores Evidence of Disability and Appeal Court Reverses Lower Court Decision

In Darren Mickell v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan (Plan), Mickell spent nine years in the NFL as a defensive e... Read More >

Judge Agrees that MetLife's Denial of Long Term Disability Benefits was Reasonable

In Anne Ehlert v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), Ehlert was a consulting pension actuary for pension plans at Towers... Read More >

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The case of Jose Chavez v. Standard Insurance Company has quite a history with the United States District Court for the Northern Dis... Read More >

Court Ordered Aetna to Pay LTD Benefits to Computer Engineer

In Darren Cohen v. Aetna Life Insurance Company [Aetna], Plaintiff was employed by STEC, Inc. as a Computer Systems Engineer where h... Read More >

California Federal Judge Orders Standard Insurance Company to Pay Disability Benefits to Teacher with Lyme Disease

In Tisha Entz v. Standard Insurance Company, Plaintiff Entz was a classroom teacher in Victorville, California from 1997 until she became... Read More >

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5 Ways We Help Get Your Benefits Paid

Get Your Disability Application Approved

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.

Submit A Strong Appeal Package

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.

Sue Your Disability Company

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.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

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.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

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.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

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.