News & Analysis as of

Disability Benefits

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 LLP 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

New Disability Claims Procedures Rules Applicable to ERISA Plans

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new regulations affecting how disability claims are handled under ERISA plans that provide disability benefits or base receipt of benefits on the existence of a disability. While most...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Occupational Disease Pension Does Not Trigger Health Insurance Benefits

by Sedgwick LLP on

In 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that anyone who qualified for a line-of-duty pension under section 4-110 of the Illinois Pension Code qualified as having a “catastrophic injury” within the meaning of Section 10(a) of...more

Does Facebook Have the Right to Challenge Search Warrants Seeking Facebook Users’ Data? New York’s Highest Court Hears Argument

Facebook is the latest social media giant to push back on law enforcement efforts to seek user information. On Tuesday, the New York Court of Appeals heard oral argument in a case focusing on whether Facebook has the...more

ERISA: Fibromyalgia – “[D]iagnosis is not the automatic equivalent to a finding of disability.”

Fibromyalgia cases often are difficult to assess in determining eligibility for benefits. But the mere diagnosis of a condition (like fibromyalgia) is not enough to qualify for disability benefits under most policy...more

CPP Disability Benefits: To Deduct or Not to Deduct

by Field Law on

The standard form SEF 44 endorsement (The Endorsement) was recently interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co., 2017 SCC 7. The Endorsement indemnifies an...more

Court upholds South Carolina company's benefits plan decision

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

One of the most important components of the employment relationship is the benefits package an employer is able to offer its employees. Employee benefits have to make business sense for the employer because there’s always a...more

Disability and Leave Law Under President Trump: What’s Next?

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Since Election Day, prognosticators and pundits have been speculating about how the Trump Administration’s actions will impact existing laws and regulations. Now that President Trump and his team have hit the ground running,...more

Health and Welfare Grab Bag of End of Administration Changes

by Winstead PC on

21st Century Cures Act Impacts Employers with 50 or More Employees - Employers with 50 or more employees need to watch developments under the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures”) because in addition to the establishment of...more

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze...more

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