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Employee Benefits/ERISA/Pensions and Long Term Disability

At the Fairfield County Connecticut law firm of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, we help people with disabilities to win the benefits they have earned, either group disability policies governed by ERISA, or private policies they have bought.  We help them with all issues related to employment benefit claims, including Connecticut LTD claims, long-term disability claims, ERISA claims in Connecticut and Westchester County, and health insurance denials. We know that often these plans can cause much confusion and anxiety. We are here to provide clear counsel give you peace of mind that you have a personal guide through this confusing and technical process.

Our Fairfield County Connecticut ERISA – LTD attorney, David Rintoul has extensive experience helping employees navigate this area. He represents claimants on a wide variety of employment benefit claim issues. When clients leave his office, David’s goal is that they have a real understanding of what will happen with their case, what factors will go into proving their claim, and the likelihood of success, so they have a detailed understanding of the opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses of their situation.  He is admitted in state and Federal Courts in Connecticut and New York State.  He also authors the Claimant’s ERISA Blog

Lori DaSilva-Fiano, registered nurse, is an important part of the Zeldes team handling ERISA benefits issues.  She provides the medical knowledge necessary to develop effective strategies to establish and articulate the restrictions and limitations resulting from the medical conditions, and to rebut the reasons the insurance company relied upon for the denial.  With health insurance denial appeals, she assists in establishing the medical necessity for the treatment involved in the appeal.

Skillfully Handling LTD and other Employee Benefit Disputes

We handle cases involving all types of employment benefit claims, including:

  • Health Insurance health benefit denials
  • Severance pay claims
  • Pension claims
  • Long-term Disability, short-term disability claims, appeals and litigation, and Disability benefits
  • Private disability policies
  • All other employee benefit claims, under both the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the common law
  • State of Connecticut Disability Pensions – Medical Examining Board Appeals

We know that insurance companies often try to undermine the claimant in any number of ways from conducting surveillance on employees without their knowledge, to cherry-picking medical records, and have the file reviewed by doctors paid by the insurance company that distort your doctors’ opinions.

We take the time to work closely with claimants and their doctors to rebut the medical claims the insurance company makes in denying claims.  This includes accurately capturing the effect of the disability on their ability to work or engage in daily living. Doctors usually only focus on the diagnostic aspect, but we will make sure that they also capture vocational ability, which can be vital for the appeal of a benefit denial.

Attorney Rintoul knows the standards and tests used to grant or deny a claim. After he and Attorney DaSilva-Fiano analyze the medical issues involved in a case, they will talk to doctors to gather the appropriate information to prove to the insurance company that an injured worker is disabled. They work closely with doctors to show that even when objective proof is not available, a claimant does suffer from a condition that renders him or her disabled.

Sometimes, the medical records and doctor statements are not enough to prove that a claimant can’t do the job.  To address these cases, Attorney Rintoul works with other professionals to establish disability and strongly rebut the insurance company’s reasons for the denial: neuropsychological exams can objectively prove cognitive impairment; functional capacity exams can prove in ability to perform the duties of the position at issue; and vocational experts can show that the claimant can’t do the jobs the insurer may claim they can.

Experience Litigating Appeals And Benefit Claims

We also handle claims and appeals involving private disability policies. This type of insurance is often bought by doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals. It is not governed by ERISA, but is controlled by the contract laws of Connecticut. Attorney Rintoul has extensive experience in civil litigation, unlike many other disability lawyers who only know the limited arena that SSDI claims are handled in. David Rintoul has litigated in the Connecticut Supreme Court as well as the Second Circuit.

Attorney Rintoul believes that the key to success is communication with clients. He returns phone calls and emails the same day, whenever he can. He is always available to answer questions and provide updates. Our firm is known for this level of service as well. We know you want answers, and we are committed to working with you to achieve your goals and much-needed peace of mind.

Choosing a lawyer for a Connecticut long-term disability or ERISA case can be confusing.  To choose the right lawyer, you should ask two questions:

  • Does the lawyer have substantial experience in ERISA claims?  The area of law is complicated and technical.  Much of the knowledge necessary to successfully represent an LTD claimant can’t be gained from law books, such as what tests show what types of disabilities.  The only way to learn this is to handle many appeals for many types of conditions.
  • Who is the lawyer who will actually handle your claim?  Some law firms advertise nationally that they handle ERISA claims in Connecticut.  The person you speak with when you first call may not be the lawyer who will handle your matter throughout the case.  When you hire Zeldes, Needle & Cooper to handle your Connecticut or Westchester County ERISA claim, you know that David Rintoul will be the one attorney who will handle your case from advice regarding the initial benefits application through litigation in federal court, along with the assistance of Attorney DaSilva-Fiano.

Zeldes, Needle & Cooper has offices in Bridgeport and Stamford Connecticut, so David Rintoul can easily handle long-term disability claims in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, Stamford, and throughout Fairfield County and Westchester County.  He represents ERISA claimants throughout the State of Connecticut, including Hartford County and New Haven County, and is happy to travel throughout the state and Westchester to meet with clients.

Client Reviews of David Rintoul and ZNC

“Not only is David an expert in disability law, he is a professional with great integrity; displaying patience, guidance and excellent communication throughout the process.”

“David Rintoul’s appeal against this MEGA Insurance Company was also successful. We know this success is all due to Rintoul’s tenacity, expertise, . . . and high quality of his meticulous labor. Although he is a busy person, he always managed to respond to all our questions in a timely manner with patience, understanding, and compassion.”

“David was instrumental in our winning our disability appeal. His expertise was crucial in guiding us through this process as we went up against a major insurance company. He was available to us at all times to answer questions, offer support and instruct. We would have been lost without his assistance.”

“Attorney Rintoul was honest from the very beginning that he could not guarantee a win, but he believed in my case. His fees were reasonable. Most importantly, he was always reachable, whether it be through his office, by cell phone, or by email.”

To read the full reviews, go to Avvo.com or Google.


What Do We Submit for an LTD Appeal?
What the Insurer Won’t Tell you About LTD Appeal
Making Your Medical Records Work for You in Appealing Disability Benefit Denials
Tricks Long-Term Disability Insurers Use To Deny Benefits 

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