California Disability Insurance Claim Law Firm
Read about how others have benefited from our firm's legal assistance with their disability claims:
Sleep Apnea - Software Engineer
I am a 54 year old software engineer who was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea in 2007. Unfortunately, the conventional methods for treating apnea were not effective for me and I was forced to go out on disability in 2013. Although my doctors felt I was disabled and unable to work, my disability insurance company denied my claim for long term disability benefits.
I found Mr. Roboostoff out of sheer luck through the Nolo Press referral website. I immediately called Roboostoff & Kalkin wondering how long it would take to speak to an attorney. Constantin Roboostoff answered, IN PERSON!! He spoke with me long enough to get the important points, told me what to do, and scheduled to call me back within an hour.
If you have any experience with attorneys in general, you already think I must be making that last bit up. But he did call back right on time less than an hour later. This prompt response was not some one time thing to get a new client. In the more than two years that followed, it was rare to wait even 24 hours for responses to my sometimes panicky and admittedly rather pointless questions.
My situation was complex. There were literally thousands of pages of records to review. My insurer failed to provide a lot of information requested even though it was legally obligated to do so. Following some well- intentioned by ultimately misguided advice from my surgeon, I attempted to return to work which proved to be unsuccessful and detrimental to my health. This added another layer of friction with my insurance company which was routinely weeks late communicating and always needed some new additional information.
Ultimately, Mr. Roboostoff was compelled to file a formal eleven page administrative appeal of the insurance company's denial of my claim. The next stop was a courtroom. Thankfully, the appeal was granted and the insurance company paid me the back benefits owed and has continued to pay benefits on a monthly basis. My insurance policy requires that I also apply to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits. A third party company was retained to assist me with my Social Security claim. On my first call to one of their representatives, I brought up Mr. Roboostoff's appeal letter because it contained a concise recounting of documents and facts. The representative interrupted me, "Oh, I've read your appeal letter. Your attorney did an incredible job. Knocked it right out of the park. 10 out of 10 all the way across. I'm sending a copy of it together with your application to the Social Security Administration."
Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome - UNUM
Scott Kalkin came to my rescue at a very low point in my life and dramatically changed it forever for the better. My employer's long-term disability insurer thought it could delay, lie, harass me, invade my privacy, and engage in egregious and unfair claims practices so that I would be too physically ill and emotionally depleted to handle the prospect of a prolonged and complex ERISA litigation. Without Scott, that would have happened.
I was rear-ended while I was waiting for the light to turn green. My injuries from that accident put my life on a completely different and unexpected path. I had to abandon my career at a major law firm where I was scheduled to make partner within the year when it became clear after more than 2 years of regular physical therapy that I would not recover from my physical injuries sufficient to keep up a normal work schedule. The accident generated a number of interrelated litigations, including an ERISA long-term disability benefits case.
Fortunately, I was referred to Roboostoff & Kalkin by the mediator in a related case. He said that Scott was the best in the business and contacted Scott on my behalf while we were in the middle of negotiating the terms of the settlement agreement. Scott immediately went into action by revising that settlement agreement so that it would not cripple my ERISA claim.
Despite IME and QME reports from independent examining physicians as well as numerous reports from my own doctors that confirmed that the physical pain I was experiencing was for real, the insurance company denied my claim.
Scott then filed the ERISA lawsuit. During the pre-trial mediation, Scott was simply awesome in both substance and demeanor. He was prepared, arguing not only my side of the case but countering the insurance company's arguments and benefits calculations. And he was genial but unflinching in the face of the arm-twisting typical at these pre-trial skirmishes.
The briefs supporting my motion for summary judgment against the insurance company involved artfully marshaled factual and expert evidence, presented sophisticated legal arguments, and disarmed the insurance company's misrepresentations and its accusations of a personal nature against me. The crucial, initial hurdle was whether a discretionary standard of review applied rather than the objective standard of de novo review. True to form, the carrier deluged the court with multiple plans and certificates of insurance to create a confused record. Scott successfully argued for de novo review.
When I read the decision in my favor I cried. After having endured the long onslaught of trouble that, it seems to me, the insurance company had orchestrated to escape its fiduciary obligations, I felt understood and vindicated. I don't worry about the insurance company misbehaving in the future because Scott is there to handle it. He is a "counselor" of the truest kind.
( Link to the case here)
Fibromyalgia - MetLife
I am 55 years old and have been self-employed as an insurance agent since 1987. In the early part of 2008, I became disabled by a medical condition known as "fibromyalgia." Prior to becoming disabled, I was in excellent health, worked hard to maintain a successful business and was an avid skier. In order to make sure that I had a financial safety net, I always maintained and paid for disability insurance coverage in case I became disabled and could not work. Needless to say, when my insurance carrier, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MetLife"), informed me that I would only receive 24 months of disability benefits because I was disabled by fibromyalgia, I went into shock. The first time I spoke with Constantin Roboostoff, I felt better. He is extremely knowledgeable, cares about his clients, and is great to work with because he promptly returns calls and answers questions. Thanks to Constantin, we were able to resolve my dispute with MetLife without having to go to trial. I heartily recommend Constantin to anyone who needs assistance in resolving their disability claims.
Back Surgery - Hartford
I am disabled from an on the job injury and have had to battle my long term disability insurance company for benefits for several years now and I have to tell you that it is one of the loneliest and hardest things I have ever had to do. During this time I have worked with Constantin Roboostoff and without him I would have been lost. Constantin has been my rock and from the very first time I talked to him I knew I was dealing with an honest gentleman who really had my best interests at the forefront of his mind. He was always honest with me, and told me the truth about the difficulties of my case. I will never forget asking him how he is paid and if he took a third of the benefit if we won. Constantin told me definitely not, he only took his hourly charge, because he said the people he worked with were in desperate need of all the monies of their claim. Right then and there I knew I was talking to a man with heart. From that moment he has never let me down and he has always won my cases. What else can I say, if you have to go through a difficult time like this there is no one else that you should ever call but Constantin. He is a wonderful lawyer and even more, he is a true friend. Good luck to you all in your cases. Please call Constantin because you deserve the best and Constantin is the best!
Connective Tissue Disorder - Creative Services Manager
I had climbed the corporate ladder for nearly 10 years with the same company. But soon after I suffered a serious illness, my employer decided to terminate my position. I faced an uncertain future involving massive healthcare bills and probable financial ruin. Mr. Roboostoff advised me through the intricate process of filing for short term-‐ and long term-‐disability benefits, as well as negotiating a larger severance package from my employer, and representing me in my application for SSDI. For anyone facing employment termination and disability claims, it's a daunting prospect. There are all sorts of arbitrary rules, procedures and deadlines. One unchecked box on a form or missed deadline and you're disqualified, and need to start over in six months. In a system designed to favor big corporations over the little guy, there's no way that I could have navigated through these difficult bureaucratic shoals without the legal guidance of Roboostoff & Kalkin.
Work Place Harassment - Financial Services Manager
I initially consulted Mr. Roboostoff because I was at my wits end and ready to quit my job due to racial and gender bullying and harassment at work. After calming me down, he advised me to negotiate for a mutual and confidential separation agreement rather than quit or sue my employer. Mr. Roboostoff helped me design a strategy of how to deal with the situation in a way which enabled me to eventually leave my employment on my terms. I followed the strategy over a period of months where Mr. Roboostoff guided me step by step through the internal investigation by the company which culminated in a separation agreement that included a severance payment and the ability for me to apply for and receive unemployment benefits.
I was extremely satisfied with the outcome and gratified that I did not have to go through an expensive and grueling lawsuit. I highly recommend Mr. Roboostoff to anyone who is being mistreated at their place of employment.
Dercum's Disease - Pharmacy Technician - CIGNA
Two years ago my daughter was denied long term disability benefits from her employer's insurance company. Since this was an ERISA claim, I found that there were too many complicated issues to deal with alone. I was extremely frustrated and almost gave up. Instead of giving up I contacted many law firms and received a run around and/or demands for huge retainers. That is when I found the law firm of Roboostoff & Kalkin. The second I spoke with Constantin Roboostoff I realized I could not have made a better decision. Not only was the fee reasonable but Mr. Roboostoff explained the process, answered all our questions and was able to navigate the difficult ERISA system and obtain the benefits my daughter was owed without having to go before a Judge. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Roboostoff for his professionalism, knowledge, caring, understanding, patience and dedication.
Diabetes - Cardiac Symptoms - CIGNA
After my disability insurance was denied I began a desperate search for a local experienced disability attorney to help me make an appeal. After getting the run around and little response from all the attorneys I had contacted, who also wanted outrageous fees before even hearing any of the details of my case, I made a on-line inquire to Scott's law firm and gave a brief explanation of my situation. I received a phone call that same day and a meeting was arranged to discuss my possible appeal case in more detail. I quickly realized Scott really knew his stuff and had a lot of real time, hands on, experience in successfully challenging disability claims that had been denied and getting results. He took the time to explain all the insurance company's tactics to me and what would be my chances of reversing their denial of my disability benefits.
I was impressed with his honesty and straight talk that I could understand, and retained him to help me make my appeal. He quickly responded by directly contacting my insurance company and requested all the information in my file which included doctor's comments, medical history, resent surveillance videos, and other detailed information I had no idea they had on file and had denied me access to. They forwarded all this information directly to Scott's firm.
Scott worked closely with my doctors to insure their comments on my medical history and condition were explained in enough detail to make my appeal successful. He also defused any anxieties they had in getting involved in the appeal process (a big concern for many doctors). He also included Information on other areas of my health and background that I had no Idea would be relevant, but it was.
Shortly after sending the appeal letter and related support documentation to the insurance company (CIGNA) they reinstated my insurance benefit payments in full, including 6 months of back payments.
There is no doubt in my mind that without Scott's assistance, guidance and expertise in representing me that I would never have won my appeal. I would have just given up. He is someone you can completely trust. I felt like we were on a mission together, and we both won in the end.
Constantin Roboostoff helped me successfully mediate a settlement with a major provider of private long term disability insurance over the course of 18 months between 2008-2010. He kept me well informed and realistic at all times during the process. Even more importantly, he maintained objectivity throughout the case and never gave me false expectations.
Because of Constantin's experience and extensive knowledge of disability law, we were able to position the claim in a manner that made settlement compelling for the company. I have great respect for Constantin as an attorney, including the ethical manner in which he conducts his legal practice. I highly recommend him for legal services related to private disability insurance.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Hartford
After receiving long-term disability benefits for ten years, in December of 2003 I was informed that my benefits were terminated. I was devastated, as was my family. Besides being in a state of shock and too ill to even think about going back to work, I was frightened about my family's financial security and what the future held for all of us. Fortunately I was referred to Scott Kalkin. Scott handled the initial appeal to the insurance company and the lawsuit that followed. We prevailed and won an overwhelming victory against one of the most powerful insurance companies in this country. I attribute that to Scott's efforts on my behalf. It was a huge relief to have Scott handling my case and allowed me to focus on keeping as healthy as possible in the middle of extreme stress. Scott was so empathetic and I always felt he understood the pain and worry associated with losing my benefits. When you go up against a huge insurance company with teams of lawyers available to fight you, you have to have a highly competent and reliable attorney to manage and present your case. I had that in Scott. He addressed every aspect of the insurance company's case against me and in the end, the judge agreed with every single argument made by Scott. It was very impressive. Scott was always available when I had questions and his staff was consistently kind and courteous. I have recommended Scott to a friend with a similar insurance issue and I will continue to recommend Scott in the future. I continue to have him manage all correspondence with the insurance company as it greatly reduces my stress and I believe gives me a better chance at not having the insurance company ill treat me in the future.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - MetLife
I first consulted with Roboostoff & Kalkin in July 2004 when I was ready to throw in the towel in a battle with MetLife and Wells Fargo regarding a long term disability claim. I had received denial after denial for three years. Then Constantin Roboostoff agreed to take my case. He was so professional and understanding, without placing undo pressure or painting an unrealistic picture. Communication was consistent and easy and his fees were reasonable. My greatest joy was the e-mail I received from Constantin on December 21, 2007, saying, "Christine, we won! Call me." I know we won because of the way Constantin approached the case and worded his briefs and pleadings. Constantin has acted with sincerity, professionalism, and integrity. I have known many attorneys and been close to how law firms function having worked in the legal profession for many years in the 60's to 80's, and I must say I'd rate Roboostoff & Kalkin at the top! I have the greatest confidence in Constantin and thank God for leading me to this firm.
Migraines - Vertigo - UNUM
While a senior executive, I developed a severely disabling medical condition which was so well medically documented by world-renowned medical specialists that I naively believed that the disability carrier would pay when the claim was filed. After repeated denials by the carrier, I contacted an attorney who informed me that I could never "beat the carrier because they have unlimited resources to fight you." Indeed, my wife did some Internet research on the carrier and saw that they routinely denied "same-profession" claims from physicians, senior executives and even an attorney who had represented the carrier (perhaps a case of poetic justice although the attorney finally did prevail). Finally, I was referred by a colleague to Scott Kalkin. Without promising a positive outcome, Scott empathetically and in layman's language told me what I was up against. Even the carrier's medical examiner determined that I was disabled. But the carrier continued to deny the claim. Over an extended period, Scott patiently but doggedly pursued the claim rebutting the carrier's denials on every point. We finally won. But that was just the beginning. Over a period of years, the carrier used any and all pretexts to pay less than the contractual amount due, and to threaten or actually suspend payments. Looking for the needle in the haystack that might, in some improbable way, give them a pretext to deny benefits, the carrier sent "black hats" to intimidate a colleague who knew me, armed with extensive files on the colleague. Scott nailed the carrier for this highly unethical action. From then on the carrier trod with a very light foot. All benefits were finally paid in full. While winning the case was financially important, without Scott's moral support throughout many years I never would have survived the psychological warfare waged by the carrier. Thank you, Scott!
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Aetna
Having become disabled at 42, at the prime of my career and of my personal life, with two fun-loving, active young children, was bad enough. To have an insurance company tell me that they didn't believe my claim was valid added insult to injury - literally. In search of help, I was led to Constantin Roboostoff at Roboostoff & Kalkin. Mr. Roboostoff patiently walked me through the complicated process of appealing their denial and eventually ended up filing suit on my behalf. His expertise and professionalism helped me win my case without having the arduous task of "going to court." Mr. Roboostoff made what would have been an unpleasant experience into a pleasant one. Thank you very much!
CFO - Reliance Standard
In the spring of 1997, I left my position as an executive with a large wireless carrier ($450M in annual revenues) with a disabling condition. Under the terms of our company's policy for long-term disability ("LTD"), employees leaving the company with a "warranted" disabled condition were entitled to two thirds ("2/3") of their pay rate at the time of departure. My claim with the company's insurer was denied, and I thought, wrongfully, and so in December of 1997, I engaged Scott Kalkin of the firm Roboostoff & Kalkin to represent me as a plaintiff for a claim to be made to the company's insurance carrier. My case was heard in US District Court in San Francisco by a US magistrate in March of 2001, and was satisfactorily settled in my favor. From beginning to end, my case spanned a period of over three (3) years, over which time, I came to know Mr. Kalkin in a personal capacity, as well as professionally. He is a consummate legal professional for whom I have the highest trust and confidence in not only his sound professional judgment, but his personal integrity and character, as well.
Auto-immune Disorder - IP Lawyer - Continental Casualty
Don't let Scott Kalkin's laid-back demeanor fool you: when it comes to asserting your rights, he is all business. I turned to Roboostoff & Kalkin for assistance against my former employer in an ERISA case. As an attorney with a big firm background, I knew the ins and outs of the legal process. Still, I was very ill and at a loss about how to navigate this unique area of the law.
The firm worked to win me a full settlement of my claim, a highly unusual outcome in ERISA cases. Because my case involved a big insurance company with seemingly endless resources at its disposal, it was crucial that we proceed strategically and intelligently. Scott guided me through the entire process, keeping in touch without overwhelming me with details. He proceeded with "an ounce of prevention" methodology, ultimately saving me time and money by staying one step ahead of our adversaries. His knowledge of the law, contacts with people who could guide him on my particular claim, and attention to my thoughts about my case made all of the difference.
Degenerative Disk Disease - Liberty Mutual
After 20 years as an insurance claims professional I found myself in the position of needing to file a long-term disability claim through my employer provided LTD carrier. With my years of experience in claims I assumed that I understood what the claims process would entail. As I got deeper into the claims process and became aware of the ERISA rules it became quite clear to me that this claims process was not going to be a fair fight because the rules favored the insurance carrier. It was at this time that I contacted Roboostoff and Kalkin to assist me in the handling of my LTD claim. They were able to reach a negotiated settlement with Liberty Mutual and Allstate Insurance. Without their expertise I would have wound up with nothing.
I would encourage anyone that has a pending disability claim to seek professional legal representation at the earliest possible stage of their ERISA disability claim.
Multiple Sclerosis – Insurance Company Executive
I have multiple sclerosis. I was no longer able to work due to the progression of the disease. I had been with my previous employer for over 14 years and filed a claim for long-term disability benefits through their long-term disability carrier. My claim was denied and I was astonished. I have an incurable, progressive, disabling disease and I am no longer able to work. I could not understand how the insurance company could deny benefits based on those facts. I knew that I needed to find a law firm that understood and had experience with ERISA claims to help me file an appeal. I was referred to Scott Kalkin of Roboostoff and Kalkin.
My husband and I met with Scott and it was immediately evident that he was experienced, had considerable understanding of the law and that we could trust him. He answered all of our questions and went through the process with us so that we would know what to expect. He got the necessary information from the company that they had used to deny my claim. Scott put together an appeal using his expertise that presented the facts of my claim and disability to the company. I am happy to say that the appeal was successful however, it wasn’t over. We were forced to sue the insurance company as they were not calculating my benefit correctly. We went through the mediation process and settled out of court to my benefit.
This was a very long process which started in January 2010 (initial filing of claim) and completed in October 2013. Scott was with us all the way. We could not have succeeded without Scott. He really cared about doing the right thing for us and getting the benefits that were due.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – Lincoln Financial Group
I’m 41 years old and have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 2. Though I pushed tirelessly as a teacher for 12 years, I eventually did tire, becoming so sick and overwhelmed with increasing pain, lessening function, and multiple deepening health problems that I could not finish a school year. My employer had long-term disability coverage, which did kick in. But, of course, no company wants to pay benefits to a woman of my age for the rest of her life. They did a bottom-line assessment, and they inevitably started denying the payments. I contacted a few law firms. No one approached me with the humanity that Scott Kalkin did. Other organizations were impersonal, and had ridiculous fees or hoops to jump through, or extraordinary leg work that I had to do for the case. Scott sat down with me and my medical records, and treated me with a level of compassion and respect that I didn’t honestly think possible in a lawyer. I gained great trust in his judgment with each passing step in the process, as he handled the insurance company’s challenges succinctly and confidently. He treated my questions and concerns with patience and kindness. And yes, we won the case before having to go to trial. I am very grateful to him for his hard work and expertise.
Post-Surgical Low Back Pain - CIGNA
Scott Kalkin gets the job done in a professional and effective manner! Not only did he win my case, he is always available for consultation. I highly recommend him.
Fibromyalgia - Attorney
I was a 56 year old partner with a law firm in downtown San Francisco when a complex confluence of medical conditions eventually made it impossible for me to work any longer. At that time, I turned to Constantin Roboostoff to handle my disability claim with my insurer.
Constantin did a outstanding job, getting the insurer to pay on the policy without having to file litigation. This was truly an accomplishment by Constantin, as I didn't have any diagnosis from my many doctors at the time I originally filed the claim with the disability insurer.
Notwithstanding this disadvantage, Constantin carefully strategized and pursued the claim, while I worked with my doctors to determine the source of my medical conditions. Eventually, after the insurer had initially denied the claim, my doctors arrived at a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (in addition to a number of previously identified subsidiary conditions). Because Constantin had carefully prepared my case, he was able to have the insurer reverse its own decision once my doctors had reached the fibromyalgia diagnosis.
Constantin didn't even have to file a lawsuit in order to get the insurer to pay on the claim. Because my policy coverage extends for a number more years, and given the likelihood that I will not be able again to work in my current field, I will be continuing to work with Constantin as necessary in the future, both as to the disability carrier and also as to any issues that will need to be resolved with my firm.
I have worked with many attorneys over the years, and Constantin Roboostoff is absolutely one of the finest. He is also a good person, who is sensitive to his clients and their needs when they are disabled. Words cannot completely express how fine an attorney this gentleman is.
Contact Roboostoff & Kalkin to learn more about how we can help you with a disability insurance claim matter. Call us today at 1-877-374-7270 to schedule your free initial consultation.
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