Teacher suffering from Sjorgen’s syndrome, fibromyalgia and other conditions receives lump-sum buyout following denial of long-term disability benefits

Prior to becoming disabled, Mrs. C was an eighth grade English literature teacher in southern California. In 1996, Mrs. C began experiencing pain in her muscles and joints as well as fatigue and disturbed sleep.

Her physicians soon diagnosed her with various connective tissue disorders, including: Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, atypical lupus, Raynaud’s phenomenon, fibromyalgia and muti-nodular goiter. She was experiencing pain in a number of small joints in her upper extremities, as well as her knees, ankles and hands. The stress and emotional toll was even causing her to experience hair loss.

In 2002, Mrs. C was forced to stop working and file a claim for disability benefits under her long-term disability policy provided through her teacher’s association. After reviewing her claim and giving careful consideration to the medical evidence, the disability insurer approved Mrs. C’s claim and began paying total disability benefits.

In April 2008, the insurer terminated Mrs. C’s benefits and informed her that they had consulted a vocational rehabilitation consultant who opined that Mrs. C’s occupation as a teacher did not require her to lift more than 20 pounds and did not require her to stand or walk for more then 4 hours a day. The insurer also mistakenly informed Mrs. C that if she disagreed with the decision that she could bring civil suit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Devastated and confused, Mrs. C contacted Attorneys Dell & Schaefer.

Attorneys Cesar Gavidia and Gregory Dell immediately began by requesting the administrative record and claim file from the disability insurer. After reviewing the records provider by the insurer, Attorneys Gavidia and Dell submitted a detailed appeal letter to the insurer demanding they pay all back benefits due and immediately place Mrs. C back on claim. Following several weeks of negotiations the parties reached a confidential settlement which required the insurer to pay a confidential lump sum amount for Mrs. C’s back and future long-term disability benefits.

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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   *****

Shawn C. DDS

After developing a debilitating disorder which left me unable to perform my duties as a dentist I had to begin the process of filing a disability claim. I managed to secure two of the policies on my own but the group policy I had with Sunlife kept giving me the run around refusing to pay out. I soon realized I needed to find a disability attorney and that the insurance companies did not have my best interests.

After talking with a few different firms I decided to go with Dell & Schaefer. From the start the secretaries, record keeping, and Attorney Greg worked diligently on my case and within a few weeks we got a letter that the claim would be paid. I soon realized that this was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

Since hiring Attorney Dell almost 4 years ago things have run very smooth. He is thorough and very good at getting things accomplished in a professional and timely manner. He is a pleasure to speak to and always makes time for his clients. The staff has been very helpful and always willing to answer any questions.

When companies want to meet with me, Attorney Dell takes care of setting it up and makes sure that I always have some form of representation whether via phone or in person. I do not have a bad thing to say about this firm. They allowed my family and I to not have to worry about financial stress while going through this difficult time in our lives.

Thank you Greg, Anneli, Carolyn, and the rest of the team for being there for us. They are the best at what they do!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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