In a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case decided last week, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("Met Life") terminated the disability payments that "Lisa" had been receiving since 1990. Lisa filed an action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") for payment of benefits due under the long-term disability benefits plan ("the Plan") provided by her employer, the Tribune Company.
There are two different types of disability programs through the Social Security Administration: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Not all individuals are eligible for one or even both of these programs, but they both offer benefits for disabled persons who are unable to perform any type of work activity.
In this case, "Sam" was an associate attorney in the law firm and was covered by the firm's Long Term Disability Income Plan (the "Plan"). First Unum was the Plan's administrator and insurer. Sam was seriously injured in car crash suffering broken ribs, leg injuries, severance of the left ulnar nerve, and severe damage to other nerves and arteries in his left arm.