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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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   *****

Mike A.

Dell & Schaefer are an excellent Law Firm. They got my Disability Claim reinstated after being dropped by The Standard Insurance company. Insurance companies are always looking for a way to target and drop disability insurance claims of people who truly are disabled and deserve the insurance they have paid for. Dell & Schaefer know of these “tricks” the insurance companies play and waste no time getting your claim reinstated.

Since I have engaged Dell & Schaefer as my attorney, the insurance company no longer hassels me with annoying letters, or calls and they have put my mind at ease that I will not be dropped. In my opinion, Dell & Schaefer are known to the insurance companies as excellent attorneys and therefore do not play games with the their clients. I would recommend Dell & Schaefer to anyone, as they are not only excellent at what they do, but are a pleasure to have on your side.

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