A recent court decision from another state makes a few important points that Wisconsin workers can benefit from. The plaintiff in the case suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, a medical condition we discussed in our June 2 post. Unable to work, the plaintiff filed for and received long-term disability insurance benefits.
For some time now, researchers have been looking for clues to what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. Without knowing what's behind it, the medical community can't treat the disorder. The disorder is very real, though, especially to the 25 percent of sufferers that are unemployed or receiving disability benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a family with a wage earner suffering from CFS loses $20,000 every year in earnings. Every year, the CDC says, the U.S. suffers $9 billion of lost productivity because of CFS.
The Ninth Circuit appeals court ruled that a 47-year-old California man should be awarded long-term disability payments for his extreme case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The federal appeals court found the insurance company's denial of long-term benefits was "illogical" and "implausible." A federal district court in California ruled in favor of the insurance company, but the Ninth Circuit appeals court reversed the decision.