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Recent Blog Posts

What Happens When a Veteran Dies Before VA Decides the Vet’s Service-Connected Disability Claim?

VA disability claims end when a veteran dies, unless someone “substitutes” in the place of the veteran. As a general rule, VA disability compensation claims end if a veteran dies while the claim is pending. However, if the veteran has a surviving spouse or child, they may substitute in the place of the veteran to […]

Social Security Releases 2019 Program Rates & Limits

logo of the U.S. Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration has released the program rates for 2019. 2019 Social Security & Medicare Tax Rates on Payroll: The Tax Rates for the Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) for Employers and Employees will each be 6.20% The Medicare (Hospital Insurance) tax rate for Employers and Employees, each will be 1.45%. Maximum Taxable Earnings: Social Security:  […]

Beware When Disability Insurance Company Asks for Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) Testing

Disability Denial Upheld When Insurer Relied on Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) A federal judge in Florida recently upheld a decision by Aetna Life Insurance Company to deny disability benefits to an employee making a claim under their employer’s ERISA Group Disability plan where Aetna relied heavily on Functional Capacity testing that concluded the claimant could […]

Does the Insurance Company or the Employer Pay Penalties for Failure to Produce Group Plan Documents?

Picture of Disability Insurance Policy

A Federal Law Called ERISA Gives an Employer Plan 30 Days to Produce a Copy of the “Summary Plan Description” The majority of people under age 65 in the USA have their disability, health, and life insurance through group plans sponsored by their employers.  For people that work for a company other than the government […]

Sleep Disorders: Evidence to Use in Your Long Term Disability Claim

picture of man in bed looking at alarm clock showing 5:15 a.m.

Lack of Sleep Impacts Concentration, Focus & Staminia “Did you include your insomnia in your disability claim application?”  I asked my new client.  “No, I did not even think of that,” he replied.  As a disability insurance attorney, I have had that conversation with countless clients over the last 25 years, and very few ever […]

ERISA Attorney John Tucker Admitted to District of Columbia Federal Court

picture of disabilty and life insurance attorney John V. Tucker

On November 6, 2017, John V. Tucker was sworn in as a member of the Bar of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  this latest admission adds to the list of many federal courts in which Mr. Tucker is admitted to practice.  This admission will allow Mr. Tucker to litigate ERISA […]

Want a Better Chance to Win Your Long Term Disability Claim? Keep a Disability Journal With Pictures.

picture of camera on a table

You Need Evidence to Win a Disability Insurance Claim – Use a Disability Journal As a Long Term Disability claim attorney for over 25 years, I have seen Disability Insurance Companies deny countless valid claims.  The worst part is often knowing the Long Term Disability Insurance adjuster did not believe you.  They often ignore disabled […]

Restrictions vs. Limitations in Long Term Disability Claims

Attending Physician Statement Form with Questions about patients' Restrictions & Limitations

A Diagnosis or a Doctor’s Note Are Usually Not Enough to Get Long Term Disability Doctors often have to complete Disability Insurance forms explaining their patients’ Restrictions & Limitations Many people think that a diagnosis for a doctor and note that puts them out of work is enough to win a Long Term Disability insurance […]

VA Secretary Promises No Cuts to Unemployability Benefits for Seniors….This Year

Picture of David Shulkin, Veterans Affairs Secretary

David Shulkin, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, issued a letter on October 12, 2017 advising veterans service organizations that VA now opposes eliminating Individual Unemployability benefits for veterans over 60 years old.   Despite a proposal when the Trump Administration’s budget was first floated this year that would have eliminated Unemployability – also called Total […]

Dept. of Labor Proposed Delays on New Disability Benefit Plan Regulations

Picture of U.S. Department of Labor Sign

On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposal to delay the effective date of new claims procedure regulations that were passed in 2016 for group disability benefit plans offered through employers.  These plans are governed by federal employee benefits law ERISA – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  Even though the […]


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