Unum approves long-term disability benefits for a general surgeon diagnosed with cervical degenerative disc disease

Our client, a general surgeon for 25 years, was forced to stop performing surgery due to chronic degenerative cervical disc disease. Fortunately, our client had purchased a long-term disability policy from Paul Revere Insurance Company (acquired by Unum), during the early years of his career. The Unum long-term disability policy provides a monthly disability benefit in excess of $12,000 in the event our client is unable to perform the substantial and material duties of his occupation.

Disability insurance attorneys Dell & Schaefer were retained in order to advise our client of his contractual rights to long-term disability benefits and to assist with the submission of his application for benefits. Through a coordinated effort led by Attorney Gregory Dell, our client’s physicians, employer, and accountant provided all of the information necessary to submit the application for long-term disability benefits. Once the application was submitted, Unum requested to speak with our client, and that conference was attended by Attorney Gregory Dell and his client.

Within 30 days of submitting the application for long-term disability benefits our client’s claim for long-term disability benefits was approved. Dell & Schaefer was able to assist our client in obtaining a quick approval for long- term disability benefits, as Dell & Schaefer has submitted disability applications on behalf of hundreds of disability claimants. Attorneys Dell & Schaefer continues to handle our client’s long-term disability claim on a monthly basis and Unum is required to direct all communications directly to our office.

Attorney Gregory Dell stated, “It is important to anticipate and be prepared to submit every relevant document the disability carrier may request, otherwise a claimant’s application process can take six months to a year to obtain a claim decision. After deposing the claim representatives and reviewing the internal claims handling manuals of every major long-term disability insurance company, my team of lawyers has a great understanding of exactly what the disability insurance companies need to see in order to approve a claim.”

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Comments (4)

  • Terri,

    What is the status of your LTD claim? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss the transition from STD to LTD.

    Stephen Jessup May 6, 2015  #4

  • I am currently out on disability because of a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. As a special education teacher, I am unable to perform the physical requirements of the job without extreme pain. I have successfully received short term disability from unum but am being told the transition to long term is questionable and I probably don’t qualify. I am stuck with no income. Can’t go back to work without doctor consent & doctor says I can’t go back right now. I am extremely stressed & am having some serious bouts of depression.

    Terri Miller May 5, 2015  #3

  • Russell,

    If you are unable to work due to the pain and have a short and/or long term disability insurance policy you may want to explore filing benefits under same. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can help you apply for benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Apr 14, 2015  #2

  • I’ve had three surgeries and the last surgery was to correct a previous surgery which left me with a 26 millimeter hematoma at the surgery site My back hurts all the time and my left side is developing symptoms. I was told I have degenerative disc disease. I’m working in pain.

    Russell Harris Apr 13, 2015  #1

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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   *****


I was approved for LTD benefits through my group insurance carrier, but to later have my LTD benefits terminated by them as well. I felt totally defeated and devastated. My case at times, with the going back-and-forth with the insurance company was challenging to say the least, intimidating, extremely exhausting to the point there were many times I wanted to give up. My family and I determined that I needed an attorney who understood the complexity of my case, my medical condition and the various LTD and ERISA rights/laws. My family and I reached out to Dell & Schaefer to help assist me with my case, I spoke with Attorneys Dell & Schaefer about my case for an hour, they were very compassionate towards my family and I. My Attorney handled my case with the insurance company with a relentless and dogged determination. He thoroughly walked me through and explained the legal process and my options at each stage.

My attorney worked very hard on my case throughout the entire process, he took time to research and clearly understand my condition and reassure me and believed we had a chance to win my case from the start. If there were any potential roadblocks he notified me immediately. He kept my family and I up-to-date about my case, he called often to reassure me and/or check on how I was doing and to answer any questions I may have had. He was very prompt in returning calls and emails and sharing all correspondence with me from the insurance company from start-to-resolution.

My attorney’s professionalism, research and attention to detail was greatly appreciated. His perseverance and diligence was impressive. In addition, Vanessa Arriaga, was very thorough, reliable and driven to help me in every way possible. Ms. Arriaga provided outstanding dedication to my case, she provided me with prompt information in a timely manner, explained new information to me if my attorney wasn’t available, as well as if I called with additional information or questions she was patient, knowledgeable and provided personal attention and compassion.

My attorney demonstrates all the right traits a client looks for in an attorney, respect, honesty, hard work and integrity! Thank you for your helping me win my case and assisting me in the next chapter as a client.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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