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What does attorneys Dell & Schaefer charge for the representation of disability insurance claimants?

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 following is a general summary of the attorney fee options we offer.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement, hourly fee or fixed flat rate. The majority of our clients retain us on a contingency fee basis and it is our preferred method of working with clients. We want our clients to know that we have vested interest in them getting paid benefits every month. The contingency fee provides our clients with certainty and eliminates any concerns regarding unpredictable hourly attorney bills. The contingency fee means that we do not charge any attorney fees or costs unless we recover disability benefits. During a contingency fee agreement our clients are never required to come out of pocket with any money in order to hire us. If successful our attorney fee is calculated as a percentage of the monthly disability benefit that is collected by the client each month. The amount of the contingency fee percentage varies based upon the amount of the monthly benefit and the specific facts of each client’s claim.

Our hourly attorney fee ranges from $400 to $650 depending on the attorney working on the claim. We request an initial retainer and we bill our hourly clients every 30-45 days. Our hourly rate is billed in six minute increments and we provide an itemized statement every month which explains the work that has been performed. In most claims we are able to give our clients an accurate estimate as to the number of hours that will be involved. In cases that require the filing of a lawsuit we only offer a contingency fee agreement as the number of hours involved in litigation is unpredictable and usually cost prohibitive for our clients.

In certain circumstances such as an application, monthly claim handling or appeal of a claim denial we can offer a fixed flat rate. The fixed flat rates are different on every claim due to the different facts and circumstances of each claim. The fixed fee agreement requires a client to pay the full agreed upon attorney fee in advance.

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.

There are 20 opinions so far. Add your comment below.

Cindy L.:

I need a lawyer that can handle Aetna’s LTD that they are taking back from me and they are again reevaluating me for continued. LTD, also they sent me my W2 which I know they have misrepresented themselves for on my 401K, my insurance always considered part of my pay they show them as being deducted not added on trying to make my pay less, then there is social security whom are also doing deductions out of my benefits for Workman’s Comp for 2007 when I have never claimed it while working for Aetna and though LTD claims Manager for Aetna can’t totally explain why Aetna is taking monies back from me, but after being on a 3-way call to Social security also recommended I get an attorney to fight them for misrepresentation of not knowing why they are taking these monies from me!

I am so stressed out! I have metal, nuts and bolts in my back, Fibromyalgia, have had to have a total colectomy, no bag because I need to wear a back brace, I also have lost 20% of usage in my upper extremities due to deterioration of my complete cervical area. I have to wear adult diapers daily, am in pain 24/7 and also recently had to have my gallbladder removed. It was larger than normal, and was half completely calcified. I can no longer work because the pain and tremors in my hands and legs and I have a very hard time concentrating. If I don’t take my meds I can not concentrate and if I do I have a hard time concentrating!

Please help me!

Sincerely,

Cindy L.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Cindy,

Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

Dianne T.:

Hello

My name is Dianne. I have been on long term disability since 2008. However I went out on FMLA March 2007 and starting receiving short term disability shortly thereafter. I was receiving 2600.00 a month from long term disability and 2200.00 from Social security. However my place of employment (Maryland General Hospital) was bought out by University of Maryland in August 2007. Reed group was the company handling the long term disability for University of Maryland and just recently around August of this year University of Maryland switched to Liberty Mutual to handle their disability claims. I received a letter from Liberty informing me that I was being overpaid by Reed group and my long term disability amount was decreased to around 1400.00 per month. I sent them the amount that I was receiving from Reed Group and asked them to research this as I think I am entitled to the 80 percent of my disability pay verses the 60 percent they are now presenting to me. I also said that my long term benefits were based on the contract that I had with Maryland General and not with University of Maryland since I was out on sick leave before the hospital was taken over by the University. I asked to see the policy of Maryland General but they only sent me the policy that was changed by University of Maryland effective August 2007. So I am not sure what the Maryland General policy is but I know that Reed group told me based on my illness and years worked at Maryland general I would receive 80 percent of my income until retirement or until I get better if ever. I received this in a letter from Reed Group but was so sick that I don’t remember where I put it. Liberty then told me that they would research this and later called me back to say that they were wrong and I should continue receiving the 80 percent that I was getting from Reed Group. About a week later Liberty sent me a letter in the mail stating that they were going to allow the 80 percent to continue until November 2007 but will then reduce my pay to 60 because University made this decision. I spoke with University of Maryland and requested that I be grandfathered into the 80 percent that I was awarded initially. They then said the decision to change to 60 percent was made by Liberty. However I am not expected to pay anything back to them. There are so many back and forth conversations that I am not sure what’s happening or what my rights are.

Secondly, I received a option to take a lump sum from University of Maryland Pension Pay of about $39,000.00. I spoke with Social Security and they said this lump sum will not affect my payments from them. However when I spoke to my Rep at Liberty he initially said my payments would not be affected if I decide to take the lump sum. After I requesting that to be put in writing he went back to someone in the company who said if I take the lump sum my long term disability amount will be offset. This means in my opinion I will lose the 39,000.00 and not sure if they will later say that I am no longer eligible for their benefits because I have no more affiliations as a former employee of Maryland General. I expect to live longer than 2 1/2 to 3 years so it seems as though I would be losing a lot. I am only 52 years old.

Can you please advise me about the 80 to 60 percent change and the lump sum option.

Thanks
Dianne

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Dianne,

Typically, disability insurance benefits are paid out at the % in place at the time of your disability and are not affected by subsequent changes to policy provisions while you are on disability. We would be interested to see what was put in writing to you. With respect to the pension question, we would need to see the policy provisions to determine if it is a source of “Other Income” subject to reduction.

Mike M:

Hi,
Is it possible when filing a lawsuit against a company like Aetna for reinstatement of long term disability benefits that you can also be awarded attorney fees?
Also if I win my case can I receive a lump sum instead of monthly benefits to avoid complications that would lead to another lawsuit in the future?
Thanks

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mike,

Under ERISA a prevailing party can Motion the court for attorney’s fees. However, this is completely discretionary and a Judge does not have to award attorney’s fee and if he/she does they determine the amount. If you prevail at trial Aetna could only be ordered to pay past due benefits- there is no guarantee to future benefits. So although a judge cannot award a full lump sum settlement of the policy, if you prevail at trial you may be able to enter negotiations with Aetna for a buyout of the policy.

Phillip:

Hi,
I have a court hearing day after tomorrow to determine if I will be awarded SS disability. I have been disabled since mid 2014 and began getting $2,100 from MetLife in late 2014. To date they have paid me about $60,000. I am represented by Allsup and their fee is set at $4,500. I anticipate I will win my SS disability case, and anticipate my award will be about $1,000 per month. The caveat. I am a P and T disabled veteran, and receive $3,069 per month, which is my only income other than my MetLife disability. If my award is $1,000 per month and MetLife says I am eligible for LTD until I am 65, what do you think MetLife’s response would be if I am awarded according to my estimations. If I am awarded $1,000 per month, MetLife would be on the hook for $1,100 per month for another 30 months their total payments to me will total about $90,000. Lets say my backpay is $25,000. I am aware that under the law passed in May, 2011, that my VA disability cannot be touched as well as future SSDI payments. Can you guess what their offer might be. Thank you for your input.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Phillip, until such time that the actual amounts are known there is no really way to determine the amount they would potentially offer, or if they will even consider a buyout on your claim. MetLife has only recently begun offering lump sum settlements and the protocol by which they do so is not well known at this point. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss further.

joao vitor:

hi Stephen,
reliance told me the policy covers only for 48 months and its closes at the end of this month, well since Edd cover the first twelve months, I believe reliance paid 10 % for the last 6 months, that means it should be until end of march of 2013, or they’re trying to pull one on me . so far they stop paying me last december due to a surveillance, I send an appeal, they have me seeing there dr a couple months ago now Im waiting for the decision. if they decide not to pay, and since Im waiting for ssdi decision , in case that I get awarded from ssdi and reliance asks for a payback, can i use the last 18 months that they didnt pay me to subtract from ssdi award.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Joao Vitor, Reliance would not be entitled to any repayment for a period of time that they did not pay you a monthly benefit. So if they do uphold the denial they would only have a viable right based on the overlapping period of time between their payment and SSDI.

R.J.:

Does your lawyers handle the LTD and SSDI process ? I heard that they should be filed jointly ,is that true? Also, you state that the contingency fee percentage is based off of what a client receives per month.Would you get paid monthly or one lump sum?

Melanie:

Hello,
What is your typical fee structure for assistance with, and/or negotiation of, a lump-sum payout from LTD (Unum)? Given that legal advice would be instrumental to the acceptance of an offered lump sum, I assume a contingency structure would not be ideal. What is the average cost for this specific service? (For general background, I have 330 months left on my policy, currently disabled x 2.5 yrs, excellent life expectancy, genetic condition with worsening function expected). Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

R.J., we do not handle SSDI claims but can assist you in finding a SSDI attorney. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we can assist you in applying for LTD benefits.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Melanie, there are many factors that go into a lump sum settlement. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss in greater detail.

Robert:

Hi. I’m with MetLife ltd. I have been on claim for 3 years with no problem at all. My doctors report clearly states no work at all. I have pass d through the any occupation period with no problems. They offered a buy out of 50%the value of claim. They valued it at 63,000 and the offer of 33,000was made and I rejected it. After I did rejected it 2 weeks later they filled my mailbox with everything like I was not on claim. To include a recertification from my doctor all the same questions that one slip up would trigger me to loose benefits.

They also gave me 2 weeks to get it back to them or I loose benefits. Well I made there stupid deadline paid my doctor 125.00 for his time. I called to make sure they got it; after going through that I called them and asked for a better offer to buy out. T

They asked why have your disability changed and you can work some now? I said no I can’t work and I just sent in my paper work from doctor a month ago. What’s the chance to get better than 50% value on my own without them trying to pull a fast one?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Robert, MetLife has only recently begun to offer lump sum settlements on disability policies. From our experience, they do not negotiate the amount of the settlement.

Paul M.:

I trusted an LTD attorney who insisted on collecting a portion of my future benefits until September 2026, at $1,400 per month. We proved to the courts that my disability was medical not psychiatric. My brain was damaged after a neck surgery from bone fragments from a dead body implanted into my neck; they rotted away over two years damaging my brain and central nervous system. My case is iron clad. Because of my cognitive disability I signed the contract without knowledge of its content and I was on Opiods for six years until last year when my Pain Management Doctor detoxed me from that almost killed me. I need help to get out of this Contingency Agreement with this attorney. MetLife has been more sympathetic than my attorney. Can you help me?

Victor Pena:

Paul,

Unfortunately, that is not the type of service we provide.

Mary B.:

I have a simple Y/N question. Does your firm collect portion of claimant/clients FUTURE benefits?

Victor Peña:

Mary, your question depends on the claim but most of our services do typically include a monthly claims handling service under a contingency fee arrangement where our fee continues into the future along with the continued management of your claim.

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