Unum Approves Disability Benefits Beyond 24 Month Mental Health Limitation

When our client initially contacted Attorneys Dell and Schaefer his claim for long term disability benefit had already been approved by Unum. However, in approving his claim for benefits Unum determined that the underlying cause of his personality change, cognitive difficulties and symptoms of paranoia, depression and anxiety, which were preventing him from being able to work, were a result of a mental health condition. In doing so, his benefit would be limited to twenty four (24) months of benefits due to the limited pay period for mental health conditions contained in the Unum policy, a limitation common to most group long term disability policies. Complicating the matter even further was the fact that at the time he contacted our Office his monthly benefit was set to end in a month. Time was quite literally of the essence and not a moment was wasted as Attorneys Stephen Jessup and Gregory Dell set to work to prove to Unum that the underlying causes of our client’s conditions were not related to a mental health condition but rather a brain condition.

Mental Health Disability Claim vs. Organic Brain Conditions

As noted above, the vast majority of ERISA disability policies contain a 24 month limitation for mental health conditions. In turn, symptoms (such as cognitive dysfunction/deficits, depression and anxiety) are often viewed by the disability company as being the result of a mental health condition. Often times many people receive indication from their carrier as to same and do not question the matter further. Had our client done same he would have jeopardized his monthly benefit and financial security.

It is not uncommon that the manifestation of such symptoms as depression, cognitive dysfunction, stress, anxiety, paranoia or suicidal ideations actually stems from a physical abnormality in the brain. When this happens there is a strong argument to be made that a claim should not be limited to 24 months under a mental health limitation.

Attorney Jessup set to work collecting and reviewing all of our client’s medical records. During the process and in speaking with the client, Attorney Jessup learned that he had suffered multiple concussions and instances of being knocked unconscious in the past. “Through our experience of working with former NFL players, we are very familiar with the cognitive difficulties that develop from a history of brain trauma.” Armed with objective medical evidence by way of MRIs that noted atrophy in portions of our client’s brain and neuropsychological testing supporting cognitive dysfunction, Attorney Jessup argued to Unum that our client’s medical history, MRIs, and neuropsychological testing supported that the root cause of his disability was not depression or a mental health condition, but rather cognitive deficits as a result of a brain injury and that any change in personality or depression was a byproduct of the physical changes to our client’s brain.

Faced with the overwhelming medical evidence supporting this conclusion, Unum notified Attorney Jessup that it had determined that our client’s claim was not subject to the 24 month limitation for mental health conditions and that his monthly benefit would continue to be paid.

Is your Insurance Company trying to limit your monthly benefits?

Limited benefit periods for Mental Health conditions are commonplace in disability policies. If your insurance carrier can reasonably lump your claim into this limitation they most certainly will. It is not uncommon for a claim based on a physical medical condition with secondary depression to be approved for depression so as to enforce the limited pay period. If your claim has been approved for a 24 month mental health limitation and you disagree with this assessment please feel free to contact Attorneys Dell and Schaefer for a free consultation.

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Unum claimants nationwide?

We represent Unum clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Unum disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Unum. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Unum.

How do you help Unum claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Unum long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Unum:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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   *****

John S.

Integrity and honesty is an important attribute to me. My Dell & Schaefer (D&S) attorneys meet and share these attributes. D&S have an entire staff dedicated to serving their clients. They’re all very approachable and friendly while keeping the client’s best interests at the forefront. You can contact or call them at the drop of a hat and they’ll assist you. You’re not treated like a number; you’re a respected individual and friend. They care. That’s how they make me feel. They often ask how I’m doing; how I’m feeling (I’m in a lot of pain). Most of all, under their protective umbrella, you don’t have to deal with the insurance company. D&S does all that. They keep things straight. It’s comforting. I would not hesitate to recommend them first and foremost for any disability legal needs.

I’m a retired Army Soldier. I’ve been disabled for about four and a half years. I was working for a company (post-military retirement) when I became disabled after an unsuccessful service connected C-spinal surgery that caused me serious complications. My disability is permanent. I had disability insurance with the company that I worked for as an added benefit. After I went down, and once I met the 6 month period for long term disability, the Hartford insurance company began paying monthly disability payments; however, they were always requesting additional information. It was always repetitive information, non-stop, i.e., asking for the same information I had provided only a few months prior.

They wanted repetitive doctors’ statements. I saw many doctors in my state in an attempt to fix or reverse what was damaged during my surgery in an attempt to return to work. My doctors all said the same thing. My medical condition was permanent. They all said I would not improve or get any better through more surgery or physical therapy. In fact, it might have gotten worse if I tried more surgery. There was nothing the neurosurgeons could do for me other than pain management, and continued PT for pain management to improve my quality of life. My disability insurance company continued to hound me for additional information despite what the doctors had already provided to them. It was ridiculous and it was obvious that the insurance company was trying to find anything to negate the policy.

About 18 months ago the Hartford insurance company requested an “in-home” interview with me. Despite the fact that my medical documentation was excellent and well documented regarding my disability, I had grown tired of dealing with this company on my own. It had become stressful to the point that my health was suffering even more. I had no idea how to handle this powerful company at the pending interview and I felt I needed legal representation to get them off my back protect my rights during the interview. That’s when I decided to enlist the help of Gregory Dell. I found him on the internet, watched several of his You-tube videos, and I was convinced that he was the legal representation I needed to guide me and protect me from this insurance company and my right to disability benefits.

From the moment I contacted Gregory Dell and his attorney associate Alex Palamara, the lead attorney who handles my case, I was treated with respect and dignity. With little notice, both of these attorney’s guided me through a successful interview with the insurance company. They were present (via telecom) during the entire interview, which took about two hours. They had told me to be myself and to be totally honest with the investigator during the interview. That I was, but when I was offering too much information to the investigator, they would tell me when to stop. They’re experts in disability legal matters. I’m not and I listened carefully to their advice and direction. I’m glad I did.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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