Disability Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Concurrent Benefit Awards Not Authorized by Law

Yesterday, in a 5-2 opinion, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Ohio Industrial Commission had abused its discretion when it awarded concurrent benefits to an injured worker (State ex rel. Ohio Presbyterian Retirement...more

The Supreme Court - December, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in seven cases on Friday afternoon: Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., No. 15-1189: 1) Whether a "conditional sale" that transfers title to...more

Supreme Court Update: Bravo-Fernandez V. United States (15-537) And Order List

12.2.2016 Greetings Court Fans! The Court issued its first signed opinion of the term this week, a unanimous decision in Bravo-Fernandez v. United States (15-537) holding that the Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar the...more

ERISA (D.C. Cir.): Do You Know the Difference Between a “Payroll Practice,” and Short Term Disability Benefits Governed by ERISA?

What happens when an employer provides a disabled employee continued regular wages, paid out of general employer assets? This is known as a “payroll practice”… and ERISA may not apply. A new case that highlights the...more

Special needs trusts: estate planning for individuals with disabilities

Families with special needs children require an estate plan that takes into consideration benefits and services from public sources. The family’s attorney should have experience drafting trusts for disabled individuals and...more

Evidence From LinkedIn, IMDB Used to Support Denial of Benefits

Be careful what you ask for. The Plaintiff in a recent case from the Central District of California learned that lesson when the Plan’s re-evaluation of her claim for benefits revealed that she was apparently working as a...more

Military Disability Benefits May be Wrongfully Taxed by the IRS

To help reduce the tax burden of those who bravely serve our country, the Internal Revenue Code provides that a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the armed...more

Ninth Circuit Creates Bright-Line Rule, Finds Those Who Cannot Sit for More Than Four Hours Cannot Perform Sedentary Jobs

When applying de novo review to a claim for disability benefits under a group disability policy governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), district courts must consider all the evidence and...more

View From McDermott: Protecting Defined Contribution Plan Retirement Savings During Disability

As employers have moved away from traditional defined benefit plans toward defined contribution plans as the primary retirement savings vehicle for their employees, much has been written about the risks of shifting the...more

ERISA: Failure to Present “Objective Findings of Impairment” Supports Denial of Mental Disability Claim

You know that courts can expect a claimant to establish “objective evidence of impairment” from a physical condition. But does this apply to claims arising out of a mental condition?...more

California’s Employment Law Class of 2017 (Part II): The Laws, Their Effects and Some Recommendations for Compliance

In part I of this two part series reviewing the employment law class of 2017 we focused on developments in discrimination, anti-retaliation and discharge, hiring and background checks, and workplace health and safety. In part...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we look at the implications of the two federal district court cases from California that applied the ban on discretionary clauses typically found in ERISA plans to self-insured plans. The...more

A Question of Timing – Social Security Disability Determinations and the Administrative Record

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court excludes evidence of Social Security disability award issued after the final decision issued on plaintiff’s claim for plan disability benefits. The decision accentuates the importance of fighting to...more

ERISA: Are Social Security Administration Disability Decisions, Made After the Final Claim Decision, Part of the Administrative...

Are Social Security Administration disability determinations, issued after the final appeal decision, part of the ERISA administrative record? NO. Plaintiffs often seek reversal of a denial of ERISA-governed disability...more

Wearable Device Data: The Next Big Thing for Employment Litigation Cases

Wearable device data may be the next big thing in the world of evidence for employment cases since social media. Given that it has already been used in personal injury and criminal cases, it is only a matter of time before...more

ERISA: How Do You Spell (Equitable) Relief?

In an ERISA case, what does it take to assert a claim for equitable relief? If the complaint does not assert an alleged breach of fiduciary duty, the claim for equitable relief should be dismissed… Here’s the case of...more

Long Term Disability Payments: Standard for Abuse of Discretion

Insurance for long term disability – payments to an insured who is prevented from earning his or her income due to long term disability – is a fruitful field for litigation for many reasons. Though the insurance may be...more

Key Arguments in Defending a Disability Claim Based on Subjective Complaints

Courts often do not clearly articulate what are key arguments in defending an action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) involving a claim for benefits based on subjective complaints. However,...more

CA Increases Paid Family Leave Benefits

In April, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 908 (AB 908) into law, increasing wage replacement benefits for employees who take leave under California’s existing paid family leave law. Fifteen years after...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Under De Novo Review, the Court “Should NOT Resolve[] Doubts or Gaps in the Evidence in [the Claimant’s]...

You know that claimants have the burden to establish eligibility for ERISA-governed disability benefits. Sometimes gaps in coverage can occur when, for example, a claimant alleges disability while using accrued vacation....more

Pokémon GO Home

Since its launch earlier this month, the Pokémon GO app has become the #1 downloaded app and the most searched term on Google. With as many as 25 million users in the U.S. alone, it has become a bigger distraction than...more

The Proposed Code Section 457 Regulations Have Arrived

On June 22, 2016, the IRS finally issued the long-awaited proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Section 457. Code Section 457 applies to deferred compensation plans or arrangements of tax-exempt entities...more

Employee Benefits Advisory: New Proposed 457 Regulations May Impact Deferred Compensation Arrangements Maintained by Tax-Exempt...

On June 21, 2016, concurrent with its issuance of proposed regulations under Code section 409A, the IRS also issued proposed regulations under Code section 457, which address deferred compensation arrangements covering...more

Claims Management versus Settlement: Cost Containment Strategies for the End of the Claim (Part 10 of 10) | CSH Law NC Workers'...

This final segment in this “Cost Containment Strategies” Blog series addresses strategies for the end of the worker’s compensation claim. The considerations at this point in the claim are typically whether to keep the claim...more

In the Line at Social Security, I Wonder, Have We Made It Too Easy to Quit?

One of the smartest, most perceptive persons I have ever had the good fortune to know, a gentleman from Worcester who has had a long and highly successful career in accounting and insurance, once said to me, “I’m willing to...more

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