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A 63 year old corporate quality control officer could no longer work because of painful diabetic neuropathy and extreme chronic nerve pain. CIGNA paid disability benefits at first, and then terminated her claim. CIGNA’s doctor conducted a paper review of her file that relied solely on a report from a nurse case manager. The doctor did not consider the large number of medications the woman takes and their side effects. A vocational analyst prepared a transferable skills analysis, but was never provided with medical records and had no knowledge of her limitations. Frankel & Newfield worked closely with her treating physicians to show CIGNA that she was disabled and could not work. Our appeal was successful, and our client received her benefits.
After many years of working in immense pain because of numerous orthopedic conditions, including spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, spondylosis/spondylolisthesis and anterolisthesis, a 49-year-old intelligence specialist for a company that contracts with big corporations and the U.S. government could no longer work. He had been diagnosed several years before he reached this point, but could no longer perform the high-level cognitive functions required of his job. Aetna paid his disability benefits for three years, then terminated his claim – despite no his doctors, building a strong case based on his medical condition and vocational reports. Through our vigorous advocacy and strong strategy, we overturned the termination and his claim was reinstated.
Frankel & Newfield represented a claimant when a doctor’s report contradicted all other medical evidence and the insurance company was determined not to pay based on its own physician’s report. that exists when the disability insurance company is paying for a physician to provide a medical report on their insured and where they utilize the same medical vendors who they pay millions of dollars per year. The Court allowed us to present documents that made clear the relationship between the insurance company and their doctors-for-hire, who may be independent consultants on their tax returns, but are not impartial concerning the reports they prepare.
Frankel & Newfield negotiated a lump sum settlement with UNUM for a claimant who had tried to do it on his own for four years. The company was able to keep him on hold through a series of requests for more medical evaluations, financial records and simply not responding to his calls. The firm had been recommended to this person through a disability consultant who knows the firm and had confidence in our ability to get this settlement resolved. Every case is different, but in this case, we not only got a settlement but it was larger than our client had expected. Our client was freed from further harassment and scrutiny, and could focus on his health instead.
A middle-aged owner of a printing company had suffered severe spinal injuries in two auto accidents. His work involved not just cognitive skills but physical skills to oversee production and printing that he could no longer do. After paying claims for two years, Unum began requesting additional examinations, conducting surveillance and having multiple medical reviews of his case by an internal medical director and other staff. His claim was terminated, with UNUM saying that he could perform other occupations based on his training and experience. We hit back with a detailed attack of the flawed transferable skills analysis, undercut the inaccurate information provided by the surveillance investigator and highlighted the use of biased medical reports. Shortly after the appeal was submitted, through our relentless attack on every basis for the claim decision, the claim was reinstated.
FILING A DISABILITY INSURANCE CLAIMSecrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to know! Download Now
If your claim has been denied or the insurance company is asking for more and more information, you need to protect yourself. Don't put your long term disability benefits at risk. Our disability lawyers can help.Learn More
If your Long Term Disability insurance is part of your employee benefits, there are special rules and strict time limits on your claim. Our disability lawyers handle many ERISA matters for clients so they don't lose their right to fight back.Learn More
Your claim success can start –and end—with your short term disability claim. If you anticipate needing to move to long term disability, the short term claim is the start of the process. Take this seriously, because your future income depends on success with the short term claim.Learn More
For Private or Individual disability policies or when ERISA appeals are exhausted, you want an experienced trial disability lawyer who has a successful track record in court against the insurance companies.Learn More
Disability Lawyers Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield have achieved great success on behalf of clients, even those with difficult disability insurance claims. They are known by their adversaries and their clients for their dedication, aggressive litigation and knowledge of disability insurance law. Read some of their success stories and testimonials.
Justin C. Frankel is committed to fighting for the rights of clients when their long term disability insurance claims have been denied, delayed or terminated. His clients praise him for understanding just how important their disability claims are for them and their families, and how his experience and knowledge allows them to put their lives back together. Mr. Frankel represents clients in ERISA appeals and administrative proceedings and in court at all levels of litigation: county, state and federal. He also represents owners of privately owned or individual long term disability insurance policy owners whose benefits have been terminated, delayed, denied, or who are being investigated by the insurance companies.
Jason A. Newfield devotes his entire practice to aggressively representing claimants in disability insurance claims and litigation, including ERISA and private policies of short and long term disability, life and health plans. He litigates cases throughout the country on behalf of aggrieved claimants. Mr. Newfield’s clients appreciate how he aggressively represents them, and that his sole focus is to get their benefits. He is frequently invited to speak before legal and medical groups on the disability claims process and served as a member of the federal government’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee. He most recently lectured for the National Academy of Continuing Legal Education, providing other lawyers with a strong background in the world of disability insurance and ERISA claims, appeals and litigation.
Successfully filing and managing a long-term disability insurance claim on your own is extremely risky. You're betting your income for the foreseeable future on your ability to do battle with a multi-billion dollar corporation that has a vested interest in your not succeeding.
That's why our disability lawyers, Justin Frankel and Jason Newfield, work with people across the United States who have had their disability insurance claims denied. We know the law, but that's just the beginning. After decades of fighting for our clients, we also know the strategies used by the disability insurance companies, their inside and outside lawyers, third party administrators, the doctors and nurses they work with, and the things they do to delay – and ultimately deny – disability claims.
There is a lot that we do within each of these broad categories to support our clients during these difficult times. Throughout our website are examples, success stories, and testimonials which reflect the various ways in which our disability lawyers help our clients. Here are more ways that we help clients:
In many instances, we meet with clients who are sick and determining what their rights are and what their potential obligations may be under either a Group Long-Term Disability Claim (often governed by the federal law ERISA), or through a private, individually paid disability insurance policy.
In some cases, we plan the timing issues, which with some medical professionals might include discussions of the sale of the practice which they have built up over many years of hard work.
For many people, the years of wear and tear have finally eroded their abilities to work, and the time to cease working is upon them. Our disability lawyers often help them navigate the initiation of their claims with their employer and the disability insurance company.
Our disability lawyers often help guide clients in the claim process, and this occurs usually quite early after filing the claim on their own (if they did not utilize us to navigate the initial submission). Here, we will interface with the insurance company to help facilitate the claim process, while guiding the client as to how to develop the support to prove the impairment.
Whether it is working with the treating doctor(s), medical or vocational experts, or the employer as appropriate, we help to develop the support needed for a claim approval. Once approved, we often monitor our clients' claims, as the "face of the claim" – to insulate our clients from direct and often stressful contact with the insurance company. Our work in these situations offers clients significant protection and stress by removal from the interactions with the disability insurance company and its representatives.
At times, the insurance company may pursue an examination of the claimant. Our disability lawyers will become involved to advocate for fairness to the process, and guide the client through this potential minefield. Other times, the insurance company may seek an in-person interview with the claimant and our presence with a client can offer great value, as we guide them through this adversarial process.
This is often the most critical time for a claimant, and many claimants fail to understand appreciate the significance of this process – when ERISA governs a denied or terminated claim.
See our ERISA page for a fuller discussion.
We do administrative appeals on behalf of our clients, providing powerful medical, vocational, factual and legal support for our client's proof of loss, while providing a strong rebuttal to the determination made by the insurance company.
When client appeals are not successful in returning them to claim status, we are then forced to sue the insurance company to pursue relief from the Federal Courts. We litigate these matters in courts throughout the country on behalf of our clients, often travelling to advocate in the most favorable forum available to our clients.
On non-ERISA claims, we seek to pursue an array of claims for relief and damages, seeking bad faith and punitive damages where appropriate.
Litigation is often the time when clients are presented with settlement opportunities, many times through mediation, or a Magistrate Settlement conference. Our advocacy skills in this arena often yields a strong result for our clients.
Clients often come to us with an offer presented by insurance company, typically on a claim that has been paid for some period of time, and a buyout offer has been presented. We can often help to enhance the offer from the insurance company, and will discuss issues and strategies concerning the offer and its impact.
With disputed claims, there are opportunities to resolve claims before litigation is commenced, often without having the insurance companies' outside lawyers involved. In those situations, we work with internal resolution units.
In some cases, pre-litigation mediations occur, where we hire a private mediator to assist in resolving the disputed claim. Our advocacy for our clients has regularly enhanced the value of the settlements.
Our disability lawyers usually meet clients during one of the worst times in their lives. Their health and well-being have been altered, permanently, and they are facing an entirely new set of life circumstances. It's hard to know what to do first. Add to that the idea of fighting the insurance company and they are understandably overwhelmed.
One thing we like to make sure our clients clearly understand: the disability company's denial or termination of your claim often has nothing to do with the legitimacy of your claim – but often with a numbers crunch in a never-ending quest for corporate profit. We have seen insurance companies deny claims from people who were so clearly so unable to function that it was outrageous that their claim was denied – but the insurance company does not always take that into account.
This is what we at Frankel & Newfield do for our clients. We take away the mental burden and stress so that you don't have to engage with the insurance company and their many representatives. Instead, you can focus on your health and potential recovery. We handle the phone calls, the arguments, the paperwork, online or on paper, medical records, financial records, etc.
It is as if the claimant gives us a giant box of paper that they have been carrying from room to room with no place to land, and we take that box from them.
We believe very strongly that any disability claim will have a better chance at being successful if our disability lawyers are involved with your claim from the very beginning. We are able to draw on our years of experience with disability claims, treating physicians and disability insurance companies to help prepare the claim to avoid the commonly-encountered reasons for denials.
Our experience has also shown us that by engaging a nationally-known disability law firm from the start, the claim is less likely to receive the run-around so commonly experienced by claimants. It is human nature for people who work for the insurance companies to respond differently when there is a disability lawyer on the phone than if the person calling is a claimant. This is not fair, but this is how the disability insurance world works.
Also, by engaging Frankel & Newfield early on in the claims process, we are able to ensure that your file itself is properly created. When a disability claim battle is over a policy that is part of an employee's benefits, there are many strict rules about what materials the administrative judge may review.
The experienced disability lawyers at Frankel & Newfield know the law, the procedures, and the details that improve a person's chance of succeeding on their disability insurance claim. We believe that anyone who has filed a disability insurance policy claim for long-term or short-term claim will do better with an experienced disability lawyer, and we also believe that our firm will do the best job representing you.
We look forward to speaking with you about how we can help.
Please note: We do not handle social security disability claims.
We believe in helping our clients throughout their case as well as after so that they continue to be protected during this process. We have developed helpful resources as part of this ongoing effort.
Download our free eBook "Filing a Disability Insurance Claim — Secrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know!"
In our guidelines section, we offer some basics to know about insurance companies, record keeping and your health care providers.
The terms used in long-term disability claims can be confusing. We have provided a glossary to assist you.
Jason Newfield and Justin Frankel have dedicated their legal careers to representing individuals who, through illness or injury, have become vulnerable to insurance corporations and third-party administrators. We envision the symbol of a see-saw, weighed on one side with heavy metal spheres. We think this best illustrates how it feels to be on the receiving end of a termination or denial of disability benefits.
It just doesn't seem fair that at the same time you are struggling with a debilitating illness or injury which prevents you from working, you must also contend with the challenge of fighting a hugely powerful disability insurance company in a highly restrictive administrative appeals process, typically governed by ERISA.
This is one battle you don't want to fight alone — and with Frankel & Newfield, P.C., you don't have to.
No matter where you are nationwide, we are here to help.
We have the resources and support to take on the largest insurance companies.
Contact us today for our nationwide service.