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July 2011 Archives

Lawyer's long term disability benefits restored because job found non-sedentary

Today many office jobs are generally considered sedentary and sometimes that classification can make it hard for an injured or disabled worker to gain long-term disability benefits. It turns out that some jobs believed to be sedentary are more active than generally believed. A federal judge recently restored the long-term disability benefits of an attorney whose insurance company labeled his position sedentary and ceased his benefits.

Employees should understand all forms of disability insurance to ensure best coverage

Many workers today do not envision experiencing a long-term disability or even a short-term disability before they retire. The workplace reality is that one out of four employees in Wisconsin and in the United States will be disabled before retirement. Disability insurance and the ability to earn an income are extremely important issues since the average worker's largest asset is their ability to earn an income. Once disabled, the likelihood of returning to your previous position is greatly declined.

Social Security Disability Judge retires during investigation

A Social Security Disability judge subject to multiple investigations because of his disproportionately high approval rate of disability benefits retired last week. The story of the judge's high disability approval rate has created the impetus for an overall review of the methods that Social Security Disability judges use to determine approval of disability benefits.

Massage helps reduce back pain and related long-term disability

Workers who suffer from back pain in Wisconsin and across the United States may want to seek out their local massage therapist based on the results of a new study. The new study shows that massage therapy reduces lower back pain and therefore prevents incidents of related long-term disability and income loss.

Wal-Mart ruling may have helped class-action cases involving wage and hour issues

The class-action discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart that was ruled in the company's favor may prove beneficial to class-action lawsuits involving wage and hour and overtime disputes. Judges ruling on overtime and other wage and hour cases have issued opinions explaining how the Wal-Mart decision does not apply to their particular case.

Unum loses LTD case for lack of self-reported symptoms clause

Our client, "Sue", received good news today when Unum was ordered to pay her long-term disability ("LTD") benefits all the way back to August 2008. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviews LTD denials against claimants in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, decided today that Unum is arbitrary and capricious for two reasons. First, it is clear that Sue does not "have reliable, sustainable functional capacity at any level of physical demand". Indeed, Sue's treating rheumatologist concludes that "[d]espite interventions by neurology, psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, orthopedics, physiatry, integrative medicine, [and a] pain program with multiple interventions from these services, [Sue] remains unable to work." After a review of the record, "we agree that the record evidence points to a finding of disability under the 'any occupation' standard," said the Court.

Man fired after informing his employer his wife has cancer

Employees who work at small companies may sometimes fall outside of federal labor law protection. The story of one accountant who worked at a small company fell outside of the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Unfortunately, the accountant and husband was fired from his position when he told his employer that his wife had cancer and that he would like to adjust his hours accordingly.

New info shows approval of Social Security Disability appeal may depend on judge

According to new information on the number of approved Social Security Disability Income appeals cases, the likelihood of having a disability benefits appeals case approved may depend on the discretion of the judge that decides the case. There is a growing disparity in approval rates among the Social Security Administration's 1,400 administrative law judges. According to federal data, some judges are inclined to approve most of the cases that come before them and others are inclined to deny most cases.

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