One day, our client woke up with a severe headache and was unable to go to work. Her headache was so severe that she went to the emergency room and had a CT scan and a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. She hoped her headache would go away, but after 4 days in the hospital and numerous medications the headache continued. The doctors completed every possible test to determine the cause of the headaches and then told her she should feel better shortly. Unfortunately, five months later she continued to experience a constant daily headache and was still unable to return to work. Her employer provided a UNUM disability insurance policy that would pay her $40,000 a month if she was unable to perform the duties of her occupation. Unum initially approved her disability claim, but after paying for three months Unum denied benefits and sent a letter stating, “The level of care and known activity is inconsistent with headaches that would rise to a level of impairment.” Shortly after receiving the denial, disability attorney Gregory Michael Dell was hired to appeal the Unum disability denial.
Headache Claims are Always Challenged By Disability Insurance Companies Such as Unum
This disability claim was highly scrutinized by Unum due to the large monthly benefit of $40,000. Prior to becoming disabled our client was earning in excess of $1.2 million annually and she billable hourly rate was $1,000. She was a finance transactional lawyer with a mostly sedentary job. Her duties required her to work on multi million dollar financing agreements for some of the world’s largest banks. She supervised 8-10 lawyers and any financing deal required her to be in communication with more than 30 people. Unum claimed that despite her headaches and difficulty focusing, that she should be able to work. Unum claimed she was not taking enough medication and since she could jog for 30 minutes twice a week, that she could work at least 40 hours a week.
Disability Attorney Gregory Dell Submits an Extensive Appeal and Unum Denial is Reversed
Through a coordinated effort with more than 8 different physicians and extensive occupational job description, Unum finally understood why our client could not perform her job. Unum was also educated about the extensive medical literature which encourages exercise for people suffering with chronic daily headaches. Unum also claimed that our client was not taking enough medication, yet UNUM failed to previous consider the extensive medical literature discussing how Medication Overuse can cause more headaches for a person. There are numerous types of headaches and extensive medical literature which discusses the potential treatments for people suffering with headaches. More than 100 million people suffer from chronic headaches. There are virtually no medical test available which can verify or measure the pain a person experiences while having a headache. Insurance companies often take advantage of this and unreasonably deny claims. In the instant case, our client was very pleased that once Unum reviewed the Appeal we submitted, that they accepted their erroneous disability denial and paid past due benefits. The client has received $1,300,000 plus she will receive a monthly check each month for as long as she is unable to work as an attorney.
Our client retained Dell & Schaefer pursuant to a contingency fee agreement, which means that she did not pay any attorney fees until a recovery was made on her case. If no recovery was made, then the client would not have been responsible for any attorney fee or costs. This case was not litigated since we won the ERISA appeal.
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