News & Analysis as of

Disability Benefits

ERISA Plan Choice-of-Law Provisions: Dog Whisperer’s Disability Claim Reviewed Under Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

An issue dogging claims administrators is: What effect do choice-of-law provisions have on the standard of review of ERISA benefit decisions?...more

Department of Labor Finalizes Claims and Appeals Regulations for Disability Benefits

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued final regulations that change the claims and appeals procedures for disability benefits provided by ERISA plans. The final rules are...more

Time Bars for Medical Compensation and Evidence Bars for Indemnity Benefits

Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America - In Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America, No. COA 16-910, the Plaintiff appealed an Industrial Commission decision denying his claim for...more

Supreme Court Determines the Burden of Causation is on Employers and Carriers in Compensable Claims

In Wilkes v. City of Greenville, __ S.E.2d __, (2017) the North Carolina Supreme agreed with the Court of Appeal’s determination that when compensability is admitted an injured worker is entitled to a presumption that future...more

ERISA: 4 Quick Responses to Claimant’s Typical Challenges to Disability Benefit Denials

How do you respond to typical arguments by those seeking ERISA-governed disability benefits that the claim administrator: -“cherry-picked the record”; -ignored the social security disability determination; -improperly...more

Legal Issues Surrounding Traumatic Brain Injuries and Social Security

by Varnum LLP on

Those with traumatic brain injuries often find it difficult to return to work and support themselves or their families. We often support our clients by clarifying the complex legal issues surrounding Social Security...more

Federal Bill Seeks to Create Portable Benefits for Gig Economy Workers

by Littler on

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), a lawmaker known for closely monitoring the changing nature of work, has introduced in the Senate legislation to promote innovative ways to offer portable benefits to workers in the on-demand...more

What the First-Ever Bill Promoting Portable Benefits for Independent Contractors Does – And Does Not Do

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Independent contractors and other contingent workers are not currently eligible for workers’ compensation, disability benefits, health insurance coverage, and pension benefits under federal and most state laws. This may well...more

Paid Parental Leave One Step Closer To Reality- President’s Proposed Budget Seeks 6 Weeks Of Paid Leave For All Families

by Fisher Phillips on

The White House released the details of President Trump’s proposed budget today, and if the president has his way, employees will be eligible to receive up to six weeks of paid parental leave by the year 2020. However,...more

Back to Basics – Costly Consequences of Ignoring Process in Benefits Administration

The stories of an employer and a long-term disability insurer and claims fiduciary for an ERISA plan, defendants in two recent cases, ring so true. In the first case, the insurer was designated as claims fiduciary for an...more

ERISA Benefits and a Claimant’s Bankruptcy: When Judicial Estoppel Requires Dismissal of Lawsuits Seeking Long Term Disability...

Don’t forget that... judicial estoppel can require dismissal of a claimant’s suit for ERISA-governed long term disability (LTD) benefits if the claimant failed to list the “potential cause of action” in bankruptcy filings....more

Eighth Circuit Jimmies The Lid On Pandora’s Box

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: In an opinion that may result in increasingly complex ERISA benefits litigation, the Eighth Circuit has allowed a breach of fiduciary duty claim premised on alleged faulty claims handling practices to...more

Veterans’ Claims Move to the Head of the Class

by Carlton Fields on

In an issue of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit addressed whether the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) has the authority to certify class actions. ...more

SC court awards Lowe's employee workers' comp disability benefits

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

Employee disabilities are becoming a common issue that employers must address. Short- and long-term disability plans employers often make available to employees, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the varying...more

Supreme Court Upends Back Ratings

by Collins & Lacy, P.C. on

The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled claimant’s ability to hold gainful employment does not, alone, preclude a finding of total and permanent disability based on more than 50% to the back. Further, the Supreme Court...more

Is Never Returning to Work a Reasonable Accommodation? Fifth Circuit Says No

On March 15, 2017, in Moss v. Harris County Constable Precinct One, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that an employer is not required to accommodate an employee who is requesting indefinite leave as a reasonable...more

Mandatory Disclosure of Prescription Drug Use May Violate ADA

When an employee tests positive for illegal drug use or self-discloses such use, many employers condition return to work on the employee’s participation in a substance abuse treatment program. These programs can include drug...more

ERISA Attorney Fee Awards: What Are “Reasonable Hours” for a Plaintiff’s Attorney to Spend on a Summary Judgment Motion?

You already know that courts typically award attorney fees in ERISA cases when the Plaintiff/claimant achieves “some success on the merits.” But does a mere remand constitute “some success on the merits”? Probably yes....more

Top 10 Proposed Changes to Iowa's Workers' Compensation Law

by Davis Brown Law Firm on

The Iowa Legislature is currently reviewing proposed legislation pertaining to Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation laws. The proposed legislation has been introduced as House File 518, with companion Senate File 435. ...more

Labor Department Boosts Disability Claimant Protections

by Fisher Phillips on

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently issued a final rule addressing disability benefit claims and appeals (see 81 FR 92316). The rule adds new procedural protections and safeguards meant to ensure disability...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Public Retirement Boards' Fiduciary Role When Adjudicating Disability Retirement Applications

by Nossaman LLP on

In a victory for the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SBCERA”) and the nineteen other county retirement systems administered under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (Gov. Code, § 31450 et...more

ERISA (10th Circuit): Does the ERISA Plan Breach Fiduciary Duties by Informing the Employer of an Employee/Disability Claimant’s...

Can an ERISA plan administrator tell an employer about an employee’s substance abuse? Doesn’t that breach fiduciary duties to the employee/claimant? Probably not. Check the employer’s employment policies because an...more

Appeal Court Revives Class Action against the WSIB

by Dentons on

The Ontario Court of Appeal has revived a proposed class action brought by the appellant, Pietro Castrillo, on behalf of a class of injured workers whom he alleges have been wrongfully denied the full extent of benefits to...more

ERISA Disability Claim Regulations Get a Facelift

by Lathrop Gage on

Employers providing disability benefits to their employees should note that the U.S. Department of Labor recently changed how disability benefit claims are administered. The new disability claim rule will apply to...more

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”...more

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