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Long-Term Disability Benefits Archives

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.

Long-term disability benefits at risk in Nortel bankruptcy

In the business world, there is an underlying tension between employees and investors. While neither will survive, much less thrive, without the other, budget considerations often come down to what's good for the investor or what's good for the employee. Right now, telecommunications company Nortel Networks Corp. is between that rock and hard place, and its long-term disability benefits and retiree health care plans are both at risk.

Long-term disability application leads to Supreme Court privacy case

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a decision that reinforces the doctrine of sovereign immunity, even when questions of private health data are concerned. The case specifically addresses the provisions of the federal Privacy Act, but it started with a terrible diagnosis and a claim for long-term disability benefits.

Family Care bill expected to sail through Wisconsin House

It is hard enough to deal with having a loved one, a husband or wife or parent, hurt on the job. If the injury results in a permanent disability, one of the toughest decisions you will have to make is how to ensure that your family member receives the best long-term care possible. Sadly, the question of quality is often overshadowed by the questions of cost -- as helpful as disability benefits are, they seldom make up for all of the lost income.

Aging workforce challenges workplace norms

Thanks in part to the recession, an increasing number of older workers in the United States are staying in the workforce. This, however, does not make them immune from the physical deterioration that comes with aging. Reduced physical condition and other adverse effects of aging could make these individuals more susceptible to workplace hazards. In such cases where older workers are injured on the job, long-term disability benefits are a must in order for them to survive.

Disability benefits appeal denied despite primary MD's report p5

We are finishing up our discussion of an 8th Circuit case that highlights the complexities of insurance companies' benefits decisions. Each decision is based on the opinions of a number of professionals, including the treating physician(s). The plan in this case defined two long-term disability benefit periods: In the first 24 months, the claimant cannot perform his own job; after that, he cannot perform any job.

Disability benefits appeal denied despite primary MD's report p3

Starting a new job usually includes a review of the benefits plan with a human resources representative. The summary sheets give a broad overview of health and dental plans, life insurance and short- and long-term disability insurance. Most of the time, that's the last time the employee thinks about those benefits -- until he needs them.

Disability benefits appeal denied despite primary MD's report p2

We are continuing the discussion from our last post about how insurance companies determine eligibility for benefits. A recent case out of the 8th U.S. Court of Appeals shows how heavily one insurance company relied on physician reports in a long-term disability benefit claim. The case itself did not originate in Wisconsin, but we chose it because, under some circumstances, Wisconsin courts must follow decisions from the 8th Circuit. (The 8th Circuit decides long-term disability claims brought by people in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.)

Disability benefits appeal denied despite primary MD's report

A couple of weeks ago we overheard someone at lunch talking about his disability claim. He was talking about a ski trip he'd taken a few years back that ended abruptly when he broke his left leg and right wrist in a nasty fall. He was laid up for weeks, and he had applied for long-term disability benefits through his job.

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