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Long-Term Disability Benefits Archives

Retirement age changes; need for disability insurance does not (p2)

Most baby boomers will not have the retirement their parents had. To borrow a term from the headlines, the 99 percent of us who make an average wage and save an average amount for our "golden years" have watched our savings dwindle with the stock market over the past couple of years. Chances are good that we'll be in the workforce for a few years after our official retirement age.

Retirement age changes; need for disability insurance does not

When the recession hit and the stock market plummeted, more than a few workers watched their savings disappear. Hard-earned retirement funds dropped in value by as much as half. For younger workers, the result was a change in investment strategy. For older workers, though, the result was a change in retirement plans: They would stay in their jobs for as long as possible if only to maintain their benefits.

Dog tired, people with chronic fatigue syndrome have no answers

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.

Taking a risk, most employees lack long-term disability insurance

Following up on our discussion of stroke, we came across the startling results of a recent survey. The researchers found that more than two-thirds of all workers in full-time jobs lack long-term disability insurance. One-third of all such employees simply don't have it available to them, while 38 percent have the option of employer-sponsored coverage but choose not to enroll. The lack of coverage poses an enormous risk, because medical problems, some of which involve disability and inability to work, are factors in approximately 50 percent of all home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies in the U.S.

The long-term effects of a stroke aren't just physical, p. 3

May is American Stroke Month, and we are taking this opportunity to offer some basic information about one of the most common reasons for long-term disability claims. So far, we have reviewed the types of stroke and talked a little about the physical and cognitive damage a stroke can inflict. During recovery, patients can also experience emotional ups and downs, because the stroke has damaged the part of the brain that controls emotions and, at times, behavior.

The long-term effects of a stroke aren't just physical, p. 2

The actress Patricia Neal is one of the most famous stroke survivors. Having won an Academy Award and a Tony Award, Neal was at the height of her career when she inexplicably suffered a series of strokes. The physical and emotional toll of her illness and recovery prevented her from performing, from making a living for years after.

The long-term effects of a stroke aren't just physical

Stroke is not just a geriatric issue. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, about 28 percent of the people in this state who have a stroke are under 65. While strokes are often fatal, a good number of people survive a stroke -- a good number of working people, in fact, because stroke is one of the most common causes of long-term disability.

Long-term disability application leads to privacy case, concl.

We are still discussing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision about the Privacy Act and its waiver of sovereign immunity. The plaintiff sued a handful of federal agencies when his HIV status was made public; the agencies had shared information about him, including his application for Social Security disability benefits. In the majority opinion, the court focused on the act allowing individuals to file civil actions if they suffered "actual damages" because of an agency's violation.

Long-term disability application leads to privacy case, p. 3

The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in a Privacy Act case has caused a stir among consumer advocates and in legal circles. The plaintiff accused the Federal Aviation Administration, the Social Security Administration and the United States Department of Transportation of violating the Privacy Act when the agencies shared information about his Social Security long-term disability benefits. As we said in our last post, the majority decision turned on the Privacy Act's use of the term "actual damages."

Long-term disability application leads to privacy case, cont.

We are picking up our discussion from earlier this month of a U.S. Supreme Court case that provoked some strong feelings for commentators. As we explained in our April 5 post, the case was brought by a man whose HIV status became public knowledge at the hands of the federal government.

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