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Unum disability appeal results in settlement of Unum long term disability claim

Mr. Z had recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology from a prestigious New Jersey university, and had landed an amazing job working as a software engineer for an international bank in bustling downtown Manhattan. Mr. Z was excited and saw great potential for his career and life. That is until one day in October when Mr. Z was travelling as a passenger in the front passenger seat of his friend’s car, when another vehicle collided directly into the right side of the vehicle. Mr. Z did not lose consciousness, but was dazed and felt sharp pain in his neck. He was immediately transported to the hospital for x-rays and MRI’s. Mr. Z was released from the hospital but unfortunately his pain persisted. The accident left Mr. Z with pain not only in his neck, but pain in his mid and lower back as well. Mr. Z decided to take two weeks off from work to rest, and hope that his pain would go away, but unfortunately it only worsened. MRI’s revealed that his pain was being caused by herniated discs in his spine, as well as bulging discs resulting from degenerative disc disease.

Software engineer unable to continue working following auto accident

Mr. Z attempted to return to work, but soon found that sitting at a desk and working on a computer only made the pain worse. In fact, maintaining any static position for too long caused pain. He requested that his employer provide him the accommodation of working from home, which his employer granted. However, Mr. Z soon discovered that whether he worked from home or worked from the office, the pain persisted. Mr. Z, with the support of his treating physicians, decided that it was time to submit a disability claim under his employer provided group disability insurance policy with Unum.

Disability claim filed with Unum and STD benefits are approved

Unum received medical records from Mr. Z’s treating physicians which supported that his complaints of pain were very credible. Mr. Z had begun developing paresthesias (numbness) in his left hand, and was undergoing intense physical therapy and painful epidural steroid injections to control his pain. Initially, Unum approved Mr. Z’s short-term disability claim, and after twenty-six weeks of short-term disability payments began issuing long-term disability benefits to Mr. Z.

Unum denies LTD benefits and conducts IME and video surveillance

The trouble for Mr. Z started soon after he received his first long-term disability benefit payment. Unum requested that Mr. Z undergo an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) with a physiatrist selected by them. The IME concluded that Mr. Z was not limited in any way due to the herniated disks in his neck and spine, but that Mr. Z’s left hand pain resulted from carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral entrapment neuropathy, and that he would indeed have difficulty with repetitive motion activities, such as typing, but that objectively he would be capable of working full time within the physical demands of his occupation as a software engineer. Unum also conducted video surveillance of Mr. Z, which only showed him being transported to his physician’s office for a consult. Nonetheless, Unum terminated Mr. Z’s disability benefits and informed him he that could submit an appeal with Unum within 180 days.

Following the Unum disability claim denial, Mr. Z contacted Attorney Dell & Schaefer. It was clear that Mr. Z’s only option was to file an ERISA appeal that would be reviewed by UNUM. Medical records were gathered, further evidence supporting Mr. Z’s claim for disability was obtained, and finally, Mr. Z’s appeal was timely submitted. Following the submission of the ERISA appeal Attorney Cesar Gavidia was able to reach a confidential settlement with Unum.

Let’s discuss if we can win your Unum disability Appeal.

Questions About Hiring Us

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   *****

Terri E. (Maryland)

The process has been exactly how I had hoped it would be. Disability is a scary, unfriendly process, even for those of us who have worked in the claims administration area. It seems to be designed to deny benefits with complicated rules, burdensome documentation requirements, and constant requests for information to the beneficiary and my doctors. As a patient/beneficiary, you can feel like you are all alone and that you spend too much time jumping through hoops for the disability provider.

After a few months of doing it myself, I realized I wanted an advocate who could advocate for me with the provider and answer all of my questions on the Erisa process and rules. I interviewed one attorney in Maryland who was actually adversarial with me (his future client) so it was an awesome breath of fresh air when I interviewed Stephen Jessup. He was polite, extremely knowledgeable, upbeat, and calm! He helped me to understand the process and where I stood in it.

He and Vanessa communicate and keep me apprised of events within my case and make recommendations on actions I should take to proactively help my case win approval (e.g., Functional Capacity Evaluation). They are truly my safety net and well worth every penny because they help manage the disability provider and my doctors as well as ensuring I am on track in the process. I don’t think I would have survived this without them.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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