Accountant Punished by SunLife for Working Part-Time During Tax Season

Most long-term disability policies require a claimant not only be unable to perform the material and substantial duties of his or her occupation due to sickness or injury, but they must also be earning less than 80% of their pre-disability income if they are working on a full-time or part-time basis while disabled. If a claimant has applied for disability benefits due to the inability to work in a full-time capacity, it is extremely important to make sure that the income he or she is earning does not rise above the requisite 80% of his or her pre-disability income or they will not qualify for disability benefits even if determined medically disabled under the policy.

It is important that you communicate with your employer to ensure that your earnings are being reported accurately during the period where you are working while disabled and that you are not working more hours than recommended by your physician. For example, if you are being paid vacation pay or being compensated in ways that are excluded as income under the policy, make sure your W-2 or 1099 reflects this. If not, your claim for LTD benefits may be lost for good. If you work more hours than you are supposed to, your pay will reflect that and you will also not qualify as disabled under the policy.

In this particular claim with Sun Life, the claimant was clearly disabled due to RSD and per her physician’s orders could only work 20 hours a week. The claimant worked too many hours during tax season (which in turn exacerbated her illness) and was paid vacation pay bringing her salary over the 80% threshold. Sun Life agreed that she was disabled and would have qualified for Residual Disability benefits, but for the fact that she worked too many hours over a three month period and her employer incorrectly reported her income.

Sun Life approved her claim for benefits for only one month, then turned around and denied her again for failing to meet the definition of disability. Dell & Schaefer is in the process of filing another appeal on her behalf and the claimant will possibly have to wait another three months for Sun Life to determine if she now qualifies under the terms of the policy.

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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   *****

Mark M., DDS

If you have a disability insurance situation, you need a pro like Steven Dell from the start to guide, support, and battle the insurance company for you. Don’t try to take on the powerful insurance companies on your own as they have all the tactics in place to try to delay and deny your claim, no matter how legitimate. If you try to do the claim on your own, you will be at a disadvantage. Our experience with Steven Dell was exceptional. I was diagnosed with severe cardiac disease. As a result, my cardiologist and other doctors told me that I needed to cease working immediately or risk a severe heart attack or death. Unfortunately the disability insurance company did not see it that way and tried to delay and dismiss the seriousness of my illness and attempted to set up a denial.

The insurance company is on your side as long as you are paying your premiums and do not file a claim. I found out that the insurance company will try to do all that they can to deny paying a claim. Fortunately Steven Dell was on our side from the start and helped us get through this stressful and lengthly process of filing a disability claim. Steven Dell advised and guided us through each step of the way and on many instances had to go head-on with the insurance carrier. The amount of paperwork in filing a claim can be substantial. Mr. Dell’s professional staff (especially Merlin) was efficient in handling everything to ensure that all the necessary paperwork was in order and submitted to the insurance company. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Dell, he was a Godsend, and we were able to win the case. If you have a disability situation you need a pro like Mr. Dell from the start if you want a successful outcome. Our lives are better now because of Steven Dell ~ Thank you Steven!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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