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October 2008 Archives

When must I file suit against my insurer for denial of my long-term disability benefits?

When your long-term disability benefits carrier gives you final notice of denial, the next step is to file suit in federal court. The deadline for filing suit is not always clear because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") contains no statute of limitations. The usual practice in that instance is to borrow the limitations period of the most closely analogous state or federal statute. The analogous limitations period under Wisconsin contract law is six (6) years. However, the federal courts have also held that a shorter limitations period in the Plan document, if reasonable, is enforceable in suits under ERISA, regardless of state law. In one recent case, for example, the court deemed the seventeen month period reasonable in general and under the circumstances of the plaintiff's case. The court reasoned that, "[e]ven though the internal appeals process was protracted, the employee, who was represented by counsel throughout the process, still had seventeen months in which to bring the suit before the period expired. . . . A seventeen month period was therefore more than sufficient to meet the standard of reasonableness."

Are my Social Security Benefits taxable?

It has been said that there are only 3 guarantees in life and one of those is that you will have to pay taxes. Naturally then, disabled persons constantly ask us if Social Security disability benefits are taxable. The good news is that only some people will have to pay taxes on their benefits.

Alan C. Olson & Associates | 2880 S Moorland Rd | New Berlin, WI 53151
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