Jury awards $873,000 in long-term disability benefits suit

Many Wisconsin employers offer long-term disability benefits to their employees as a part of their benefits package. While not everyone recognizes the advantage of such a plan, when an individual becomes sick or disabled, this type of benefit plan can be quite beneficial. Recently, a worker in another state was awarded a substantial amount as a result of her long-term disability benefits claim being denied by the insurance carrier.

The woman who filed the suit had been diagnosed with Lupus in 2008. In 2009, she began working for the employer who offered the long-term disability benefit. At this time, she was not showing any signs of the disease. Over the course of the next year, she began suffering symptoms of the disease which she claimed prevented her from being able to do her job.

Her claim for long-term disability benefits was denied. Records indicate that this denial was based upon a doctor stating that there was medication available that would make it possible for her to work. However, other doctors, including one who specialized in Lupus treatment, testified that she was unable to work as a result of her condition.

A jury agreed with this woman and her doctors. She was awarded $873,000 in long-term disability benefits. This is the amount they estimated she would earn if she were to work until she turned 67-years-old.

Employees in Wisconsin often make employment decisions in part based upon the benefits package that is offered. This benefits package can be a substantial part of their compensation. Long-term disability benefits is often an important part of this package.

Source: pressdemocrat.com, Federal jury orders insurance company to pay woman $873,000, Paul Payne, Feb. 18, 2014

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