Disability Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Transferring Assets Could Create a Long Waiting Period When It Comes Time to Apply for SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that helps people with disabilities and very low incomes pay for food, clothing and shelter. Unlike some other disability benefits, SSI is a "needs-based" program, which...more

Recent Case Spotlights Problem of Excluding People with Special Needs From Gifting Plans

In an effort to preserve government benefits for a child with special needs, parents giving gifts to children will sometimes provide nothing to the child with special needs while giving substantial amounts to the child’s...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Illinois State Law Ban On Discretionary Clauses Upheld

You already know about the big trend in states to ban discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund ERISA benefits. Chalk up another circuit deciding to enforce the ban....more

State Law Claims for Short-Term Disability Benefits Not Preempted By ERISA

A federal district court in Tennessee ruled that ERISA did not preempt state law claims for short-term disability benefits because the short-term disability plan fell under the “payroll practice” exception of ERISA. LeBlanc...more

Eleventh Circuit Addresses Statutory Penalty Claims under ERISA

The ERISA statute authorizes a court to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on the failure of an Administrator to respond to a participant’s or a beneficiary’s request for plan documents. The term “Administrator” is...more

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Guarantee Job Protections to Organ and Bone Marrow Donors

A bill (A4360), which was introduced on May 8, 2015, seeks to amend the Temporary Disability Benefits Law (TDBL) (N.J.S.A. 43:21-25 et seq.) to require that individuals disabled in connection with donating organs or bone...more

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Guarantee Job Protections to Organ and Bone Marrow Donors

A bill (A4360), which was introduced on May 8, 2015, seeks to amend the Temporary Disability Benefits Law (TDBL) (N.J.S.A. 43:21-25 et seq.) to require that individuals disabled in connection with donating organs or bone...more

What You Need to Know About Applying for Disability Benefits

Applying for disability benefits from the federal government through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs can be a daunting task. Here is a brief overview of how the...more

Lump Sum PPD Awards Not RIght in Nevada

Question: Why is the PPD lump sum so much less than the total installment amount? Answer: An injured worker may take up to a 25% whole person permanent partial disability award in a lump sum reduced to present value...more

Expect Focus - ONLINE HEALTH CARE: NOT SO FAST Telemedicine Hits A Few Speed Bumps, Volume II, Spring 2015

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT • Risky Business: Common Cyber Security Risks, Expensive Consequences - LIFE INSURANCE • Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

ERISA 11th Circuit: Claimant Has “Duty to Investigate” When Asserting Equitable Tolling of a Contractual Limitations Provision

You already know that contractual limitations provisions in ERISA plans are generally enforceable and can bar untimely claims. But when does the court apply “equitable tolling” to extend the time by which a claimant may...more

How Do Impairment-Related Work Expenses Affect My Federal Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two primary federal disability benefits that provide monetary assistance for people with special needs. Both programs allow working...more

Ninth Circuit Extends ERISA Deadline, Revives Untimely Appeal

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in LeGras v. AETNA Life Insurance Company, No. 12-56541 (May 28, 2015), holding that the 180-day period to appeal a denial of a long-term disability claim was...more

Standard of Review is Important – Again

I recently blogged about the importance the standard of review can make when a court decides whether a claims decision made under an employer plan will be upheld. My recent blog post dealt with the standard of review under a...more

ERISA (9th Cir.) A Day Late, But Not A Dollar Short — Counting The 180 Day Appeal Period Gets Easier For Claimants

You know that under ERISA regulations a claimant has at least 180 days to appeal a benefit denial. ERISA plans set out contractual timelines for appeals. But what happens when that 180 day period runs out on a weekend?...more

Merkens v. Federal - Injured Worker Who Failed To Challenge Termination Of Workers’ Comp Benefits In Industrial Commission Cannot...

The court of appeals affirmed. A workers’ compensation carrier can commit the tort of bad faith in two ways: (1) the intentional and unreasonable denial of a claim (“bad faith denial of benefits”); or (2) the intentional and...more

Language barriers may increase approval for SSD benefits

Limited English use can severely limit job opportunities, especially for people who suffer from debilitating conditions. Fortunately, as any Oak Lawn disability lawyer could attest, English use is weighed during Social...more

ERISA Participant’s Supplemental Submission Doesn’t Restart Exhaustion Clock

A federal district court in New Jersey held that supplemental documentation submitted by a participant in connection with the claims review process did not restart the clock for a claims administrator to decide the...more

Should I Attend a PPD When I Need More Treatment?

I will be posting one of my readers’ questions regarding permanent partial disability awards each month for all my readers with my response. Here’s this month’s question: Q: I think I need more treatment, but the...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015

In this Issue: - Is a Volunteer an Employee For Discrimination Law Purposes? - Don’t Use “Just Cause” Except In Union Contracts - Are Courts Getting Tough On Disability Claims? - Legal Briefs and...more

RMF Litigators Obtain Reversal Of Denial Of Long-Term Disability Benefits

When a private insurance company denies a claim for long-term disability benefits, one appeals that decision through that same insurance company’s appeal process. This does not bode particularly well for the appealing...more

Illinois workers’ compensation reforms lead to lower medical payouts

More than 155,600 Illinois residents were injured on the job during 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these people required significant medical care during the weeks and months following the...more

When does Social Security determine a condition to be disabling?

Social Security Disability benefits provide support to people who cannot work because they suffer from disabling conditions. However, as Berwyn Social Security lawyers know, qualifying for benefits can be challenging even for...more

How to get SSD for early onset Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is classified as early onset when it develops before the age of 65. This neurological condition can have various detrimental effects on short-term memory, communication skills, reasoning and behavior....more

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