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.

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FAQ

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.

Reviews   *****

Steve S. (Utah)

I was in a difficult situation dealing with a disability claim. Once I spoke with Stephen Jessup, that ball started rolling and progress was made. He and his assistant Sonia made a point to stay in contact and made it very simple for me to keep them aware of my status as time passed.

I have a lot of legal experience and Stephen and Sonia treated me with respect, and talked honest and openly with me throughout the conclusion of my claim.

I would strongly recommend using Stephen Jessup to anyone who needs help. It would have been very difficult to have fought for my rights alone.

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