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Recent Blog Posts

How to Find the Amount Social Security Disability Will Pay You

You may need to know how much your Social Security Disability payment will be for your SSD claim or your Long Term Disability case.  Here’s how to find out. How much a person gets if they are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) depends on the earnings they reported on their taxes in the years […]

Court Considers Whether “Substantial Compliance” Applies in ERISA Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation

A U.S. District Judge in Massachusetts decided that he could not decide who the beneficiary was in a dispute over life insurance benefits based on the facts presented to his court.  Using a process called remand, the Judge sent the case back to Prudential (the insurer and plan administrator of the group life insurance plan) […]

Hartford Life Gets Part of Doctor’s Disability Lawsuit Dismissed

A New York court dismissed multiple state law claims filed by a group disability plan participant on the grounds that the federal employee benefits law, ERISA, – not state law – controlled the case.  Dr. Elizabeth Chau collected disability benefits for years from Hartford Life due to autoimmune disease. The disability benefits were paid under […]

11th Circuit Reverses Award of Court Costs to LTD Plan Administrator

11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta

11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court’s award of court costs to the administrator of a group long term disability.  In Emery v. American Airlines, Inc., Kathy Emery, a former pilot for American Airlines, had filed a lawsuit for LTD benefits against American, along with […]

MetLife Failed to State Deadline for Filing ERISA Lawsuit in Denial Letter – Court Rejects Statute of Limitations Defense

Beware of Shortened Deadlines for Filing Lawsuits In Disability Insurance Cases

Beware of Shortened Deadlines for Filing Lawsuits In Disability Insurance Cases Joining two other federal appellate courts, the First  Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling “that ERISA requires a plan administrator in its denial of benefits letter to inform a claimant of not only his right to bring a civil action, but also the […]

Latest Biennial Review of Health Problems That May Be Linked to Agent Orange Exposure During Vietnam War Upgrades Bladder Cancer and Hypothyroidism, Downgrades Spina Bifida

In March, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its latest report on medical conditions associated with Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant widely used in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recognized Agent Orange as causing many diseases in thousands of Vietnam veterans.  The National […]

Who is the Life Insurance Beneficiary In an ERISA Life Insurance Claim?

Life Insurance Policy

One of the thorniest issues in life insurance law is how courts decide who is a beneficiary for purposes of being paid life insurance benefits.  For insurance policies that were sold to individuals outside of their work, state law applies to this question.  States have varied law on this subject, but if it makes it […]

Aetna Denies Life Insurance Premium Waiver and Terminates Coverage – No Appeal by Employee – Survivors Claim Denied

Life Insurance Waiver of Premium Due to Disability When Laura Hawkins became disabled in 1982, she made a claim for a benefit under her employer’s life insurance plan called a “Waiver of Premium.”  Life Insurance Premium Waivers are available under many employer sponsored group life plans.  When an employee can no longer work due to […]

Federal Appeals Court Penalizes MetLife For Failure to Follow ERISA Claim Procedures

On April 12, 2016, the U.S. Second Circuit of Appeals issued a decision which significantly impacts how group insurance cases are assessed by courts.  In Halo v. Yale Health, the court considered a situation where a health plan administrator failed to include all of the required information in its denial letter.  The Department of Labor […]

Life Insurance Companies Not Paying Billions of Dollars in Claims Despite Knowing About Death of Policyholders

Life Insurance Policy

On April 17 2016, the CBS television show 60 Minutes ran a story titled, Life Insurance Industry Under Investigation:  Audits of leading life insurance companies have uncovered a systematic, industry-wide practice of not paying significant numbers of beneficiaries, which reported on a multi-billion dollar settlement agreement that 25 life insurance companies have entered with state regulators.  The story […]

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