Sue Your Disability Insurance Company

The federal court is a battleground and we love representing the “little guy” against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in federal court nationwide. We have helped our clients to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in long term disability benefits. We have seen every disability company argument and we know exactly how to respond in order to give our clients the best chance to win benefits. We never charge our clients any attorney fees or costs unless we are able to make a recovery.

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Our Lawyers Respond Today

The legal battle to win long term disability benefits is fierce. ERISA is a pro-insurance company federal law and a claimant filing an ERISA lawsuit is surprised to learn they may not get the fair trial they have always expected when taking a case to court.

We have prepared some videos which will educate you about what to expect and our experience with ERISA disability lawsuits.

The Unfair Discretionary Clause

The experience and skill of an ERISA disability lawyer is extremely important because claimants do not start on a level playing field when filing an ERISA disability lawsuit. A review of ERISA legal decisions issued by federal judges in the past ten years reveals that more than 70% of ERISA long term disability lawsuits are won by insurance companies as result of the unfair “discretionary clauses” found in most group disability insurance policies. The quality of the claim review performed by the disability company and the strength of the disability evidence presented by a claimant are the key factors in determining if a claimant can prevail in an ERISA disability lawsuit.

If a claimant submitted a weak ERISA appeal, then the chance of success after filing a lawsuit will be low. Our disability attorneys review thousands of long term disability denials each year and we only accept a case if we think we can make a recovery for the client. Despite the challenge of these cases, our disability attorneys have been able to reach a resolution satisfactory to our clients in more than 98% of the ERISA lawsuits we have filed nationwide. Favorable resolutions range from payment of all past due disability benefits with reinstatement of future benefits to a one–time lump sum settlement payment.

Why Are ERISA Disability Lawsuits Challenging?

ERISA DISABILITY CHALLENGES:

  1. No Right To Jury Trial
  2. No Live Testimony
  3. No New Evidence Permitted
  4. Court Must Defer to Company
  5. No Punitive Damages
  6. Can Only Recover Benefits Owed
  7. Standard of Review is Pro-Insurance
  8. No Guaranteed Attorney Fees

The high level of court verdicts in favor of disability insurance companies is because the “discretionary clause” in a disability policy creates a standard of review that only allows a judge to reverse a claim denial if the judge finds that the insurance company acted unreasonably in reaching their claim decision. It is an unreasonably low threshold that a disability insurance company must satisfy in order to have their claim decision upheld. Through our experience of handling thousands of ERISA lawsuits we know every possible angle to argue for our clients and we have earned a strong reputation for being skillful and strong advocates for our clients. We constantly monitor the case law in every federal court nationwide and our clients benefit from our experience in litigating ERISA lawsuits against every major disability insurance company on a daily basis.

Standard Of Review

One of the most challenging aspects in an ERISA disability lawsuit is the standard of review that a federal court will apply when reviewing a long term disability denial. The most favorable standard of review for a claimant is a de-novo review. In every long term disability lawsuit we always look for the best argument for a court to apply a de-novo review. A de-novo review essentially means that the judge will conduct an independent review of the entire administrative record and make a determination as to whether the claimant is entitled to disability benefits. The least favorable standard is the abuse of discretion standard which means that the judge can only reverse the insurance company’s denial of benefits if the judge believes that the denial of benefits was wrong and the insurance company acted arbitrary and capricious. Essentially, the judge must find that the insurance company acted unreasonably in order to reverse a disability denial. The judge will determine which standard of review to apply depending on whether or not the subject long term disability policy contains a “discretionary clause” that grants discretion to the insurance company to interpret the terms of the disability policy and determine eligibility for benefits. In every case we look for an argument to prove that the discretionary clause is invalid and a de-novo review must be applied. There are approximately 13 states that have made discretionary clauses illegal.

No New Evidence Or Testimony

The inability to present any new evidence or testimony after filing an ERISA lawsuit is a huge disadvantage. The judge deciding the case never has the opportunity to make a face to face determination of the validity of the claimant’s disabling complaints. It’s like hiring a person for a job without interviewing them in person. Further, a judge reviews a case usually 18 months after a claim has been denied, and the judge has no idea about the current medical condition of the claimants. The claimant’s lawyer is not allowed to take a deposition or cross exam in court the individual at the insurance company that made the decision to deny the claim. A judge is required to review all of the motions filed by the lawyers and can only review the same information that was available for the insurance company up until a final claim decision was made.

Our clients have a significant advantage when we prepare the ERISA appeal as we submit every single piece of information that we would want a judge to review in the event of claim denial. We accept cases where we have not prepared the appeal, but we are married to the evidence that is already contained in the administrative record. We can still achieve a good outcome for the client as we can usually prove that the disability company denial was unreasonable for many reasons.

No Right To Jury Trial

Our lawyers like jury trials and think that in the majority of claims a jury trial would greatly benefit a claimant. Unfortunately, an ERISA disability claimant has no legal right to a jury trial since ERISA lawsuits are equity actions rather than common law actions. We would bore you with the details behind this as it’s a topic that law students discuss for at least a week in law school. A few advantages to a non-jury trial are a trial date can be achieved sooner, the Judge’s past rulings in other ERISA lawsuits are a good predictor of the outcome in a pending suit, it costs a lot less money to bring the case to trial, neither side has the ability to enter new evidence and you receive a written opinion from the court that could be appealed.

Remedies In ERISA Disability Lawsuits

The remedies available when filing an ERISA lawsuit are not exactly what most claimants expect them to be. When an ERISA lawsuit is filed a claimant is required to argue that the insurance company breached their fiduciary duty and as such must pay benefits owed to the claimant. The court can only award past due benefits and cannot make the insurance company award future benefits in most cases. An unfortunate outcome in approximately 50% of ERISA lawsuits is that the court “remands” the case back to the insurance company and gives them another chance to review the claim pursuant to the court’s findings. In many cases this will result in a reversal of a claim denial, but it gives the insurance company an unfair second chance to review the file. The claimant is stuck waiting several more months for the insurance company to review the claim for what it is now a third or fourth review.

Many people suffer economic losses as a result of the disability denial, but ERISA law does not allow any compensation for any other damages other than the benefits owed. This means that an insurance company is not responsible for any debt, foreclosures, credit score reduction, loss of car, or homelessness that can happen as a result of a wrongful disability denial. Furthermore, no matter how horrible or unreasonable the claim denial was a claimant has no right to receive any punitive or bad faith damages. The inability to seek extra contractual or punitive damages is the primary reason that insurance companies do not have big concerns about the financial impact of a claimant winning a disability lawsuit. The award of attorney fees in ERISA lawsuits is at the discretion of the judge. The judge can award attorney fees if he or she determines that the claimant had “some success on merits of the case”. Attorney fees are litigated extensively after the court makes a finding in favor of the claimant. In most cases a claimant will receive interest on the past due benefits that have not been paid. In most claimant victories the insurance company will appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals, yet the attorney fees and interest owed will continue to accrue.

Time to File Lawsuit Is Critical

Most claimants we speak to want to immediately sue their disability company upon receiving a denial, but the horrific ERISA law does not allow an ERISA disability lawsuit to be filed until the required number of ERISA appeals have been reviewed by your disability insurance company. Failure to file an ERISA lawsuit at the appropriate time can result in the entire claim being dismissed.

We File ERISA Disability Lawsuits Nationwide

ERISA disability lawsuits can only be filed in Federal Court and often we have a few options in selecting the state in which we want to file the lawsuit. While many lawyers do not like to practice in federal court due to the strict deadlines and intensive written motion requirements, we prefer federal court and believe that claimants receive a high level judicial review from a federal judge versus a judge in state court.

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Disability Company Reviews
(641)
Showing 8 of 641 Reviews
New York Life

Keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting

Reviewed by M.T. on February 15th 2024   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
I have been appealing a claim for LTD for 8 months! New York Life keeps claiming they will not approve claim for pre existing conditions but my illness is not preexisting ... read more >
Reliance Standard

Staff Lie

Reviewed by Tanya on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | August 2021 date of disability
I had my disability cut off the day I was scheduled to find out whether I should have surgery. The claims examiner was aware that I had an appointment on that date and sai... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

I am sorry to hear about your experience. It’s crazy that Reliance Standard would deny your disability benefits when you are suffering so badly that you need surgery.... read more >

Hartford

Former Hartford employee has had life insurance and accidental death policy's revoked for one late premium payment

Reviewed by Becky H. THOMAS on February 12th 2024   Verified Policyholder | February 2024 date of disability
Dislike how they are constantly interrupting the lives of their disabled EE's whom are entitled to benefit which they paid into out of there pay check every pay period onl... read more >
Reply
Sent on February 12th 2024 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Thank you for your review of Hartford and we appreciate you sharing.  It’s sad they don’t take care of their own employees.

Lincoln Financial

Never received benefits my entire leave - or help with them

Reviewed by Anna on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | November 2023 date of disability
I used my short term disability insurance for maternity leave and started the process beforehand knowing when I would be out (scheduled induction.) It took a little over a... read more >
Sun Life

Unscrupulous Tactics

Reviewed by Misseekayy on December 19th 2023   Verified Policyholder | May 2023 date of disability
Sunlife uses unscrupulous tactics in order to prevent payment of claims. They wait until it is close to the 30 day mark and then they ask for another form of information o... read more >
Sedgwick

Lame

Reviewed by Dennis T. on December 11th 2023   Verified Policyholder | March 2022 date of disability
My experience with Sedgwick and personell is as follows: Unhelpful, unprofessional and an overall unpleasant experience.
Unum

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 >
Answered Questions by Our Lawyers
(22)
Showing 8 of 22 Answered Questions

Q: Can I sue Metlife for non payment of approved claim?

Answered on December 28th 2023 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Unfortunately, the answer is "not liklely." I would assume your MetLife policy is an employer provided policy ... Read More >

Q: Can I sue the Hartford for something other than claim denial or outside of ERISA?

Answered on November 8th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: If you have an employer provided policy then your only remedy is to seek denied benefits in a lawsuit, attorne... Read More >

Q: I was denied by Unum twice. What can I do?

Answered on May 2nd 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: I am sorry to hear about your Unum disability denial. Your remedy at this point is to file a federal lawsuit a... Read More >

Q: Can I sue my disability company for causing me to get fired from job?

Answered on April 18th 2023 by Attorney Gregory Dell
A: You can sue to recover disability benefits but you cannot sue New York Life for damages related to the loss of... Read More >

Q: Can I sue SunLife if I signed a Settlement & Release Agreement?

Answered on June 4th 2018 by Attorney Jay Symonds
A: RB, if you signed a Settlement & Release Agreement you are bound by those terms and would have waived your rig... Read More >

Q: Could I sue MetLife 4 years after my denial?

Answered on January 15th 2018 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Bernard, most employer provided policies require legal action within 3 years of a claim rising, which could be... Read More >

Q: Can I sue SunLife for pain and suffering?

Answered on January 12th 2018 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Jim, under ERISA governed policies there are no actions for pain and suffering, only unpaid benefits. Read More >

Q: I filed an appeal and lost. Is it worth pursuing?

Answered on September 29th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup
A: Kim, in my opinion, yes. If you are still within your timeframe to file a lawsuit you have little to lose in t... Read More >
Helpful Videos
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Showing 12 of 861 Videos
Disability Benefit Tips
(329)
Showing 8 of 329 Benefit Tips

Is Exhaustion of Remedies Required before filing an ERISA Lawsuit?

In Deborah Holmes v. The Prudential Insurance Company and Bekaert Corporation, the Plaintiff was employed by the Bekaert C... Read More >

What Should a Claimant Expect When Suing Cigna or any Other Disability Company for Long Term Disability Benefits?

ERISA disability lawsuits are complicated due to the pro-insurance company laws. Our disabili... Read More >

What Should I Expect When Suing Prudential for a Disability Insurance Benefit Denial?

Disability benefit lawsuits against Prudential is a daily occurrence for our lawyers.In t... Read More >

Do I Have A Time Limit To File An ERISA Disability Lawsuit?

Calculating the time limits when an ERISA disability lawsuit has to be filed is tricky. In a ... Read More >

What is An ERISA Disability Lawsuit and What Should I Expect?

Most people have never heard of the word ERISA until it came time to deal with their short or... Read More >

Who may I sue if my long-term disability benefits are denied, my employer, the insurance company, or both?

The answer is that it depends on the type of Plan; who funds the benefits and who is responsible for making the claim determination. In most c... Read More >

Can I Sue My Disability Insurance Company For Video Taping Me Without My Permission?

A common tactic employed by insurance companies when reviewing a claim for disability benefits is the use of video surveillance (learn more ab... Read More >
Dell Disability Cases
(369)
Showing 8 of 369 Dell Disability Cases

Cigna Sued For Failing To Make A Timely Decision on Appeal

If your disability insurance claim has ever been denied you will have received a formal denial letter from your insurance carrier in which you... Read More >

A Hartford Disability Benefit Lawsuit Victory for Truist Banker with Lupus

Our client found us after she was denied continued disability insurance benefits by the Hartf... Read More >

NY Life Disability Benefits Reinstated on Appeal Despite Independent Medical Examination

Our client, a former high level medical sales representative, suffered from chronic pain stem... Read More >

Prudential Fails to Pay Long Term Disability Benefits of Claimant Suffering from Addison’s Disease

What is Addison’s Disease?Our client is a 43-year-old male who was employed as a Manage... 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 >

67 Year Old Circuits Designer Reaches Settlement With Prudential After Filing Suit to Recover LTD Benefits Under ERISA LTD Insurance Plan

At age 67 Mr. H continued to maintain the desire to work in his occupation as a circuits designer for wireless telecommunication giant, Qualco... Read More >

Prudential Settles Breach of Contract Lawsuit Arising From Allegations That It Terminated the Claim of CPA Disabled Under AICPA Long-term Disability Insurance Policy

Mr. S was working as a certified public accountant (CPA) when he purchased his long-term disability insurance policy through the American Inst... Read More >
Disability Lawsuit Stories
(764)
Showing 8 of 764 Lawsuit Stories

Unum Wrongfully Terminated Disabled Lawyer’s Disability Claim of Depression and Anxiety Despite Improvement in His Condition

This Unum lawsuit and appeal in federal court is a great victory for all Unum disability claimants. This ca... Read More >

Court Finds Irregularities in Procter & Gamble Long Term Disability Benefit Denial

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 >

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 >

Can Standard Insurance Company’s Failure to Raise an Issue be Considered a Waiver?

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 >

Reliance Standard Wrongfully Denies Life Insurance Waiver of Premium and Must Pay $188,000

In Jody Rizzo v. First Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, plaintiff’s late husband, Angelo Rizzo, participated in a group l... Read More >

Court Upholds Aetna’s Denial of LTD Benefits Under the “Any Occupation” Disability Definition

In Tanza Hadd v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, Plaintiff Hadd, was employed by UPS as an Operations Supervisor/M... Read More >

Reviews from Our Clients

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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.