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Long-Term Disability Benefits Archives

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.

Disabled Air Force vets welcome the IDES during every month

For the past 10 years, the armed forces have had to learn, the hard way, how to deal with increasingly complicated injuries and disabilities. A Wisconsin Air Force base recently hosted a conference about a new system, the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, that could very well serve as a model for private sector long-term disability initiatives.

House makes headway in canceling CLASS

The U.S. House of Representatives has hammered another nail in the coffin of the CLASS Act. A House subcommittee recently voted to repeal the law that the Obama administration had hoped would provide financial relief for seniors and people with long-term disabilities. The committee member from Wisconsin voted against repeal.

More strokes in teens, young adults mean more LTD claims (cont)

We are continuing our discussion of stroke and a growing concern in the medical community that teens and young adults are more vulnerable now than they had been in the past. The human cost is different for younger Americans: Less likely to die from the effects of a stroke, teens and young adults tend to suffer long-term disabilities that sap the energy and financial resources of their families.

More strokes in teens, younger men and women lead to more LTD claims

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report a couple of years ago that shows that the risk of stroke is increasing among younger people. Between 2005 and 2008, the incidence of stroke in people age 15 to 44 increased by about 33 percent. Stroke, the leading cause of serious, long-term disability, is not just for old folks anymore.

New trend: Employees bearing more costs of long-term disability benefits

The new general trend in long-term disability benefits and short-term disability benefits is that employers are asking employees to shoulder more of the cost burden. Not only are employees being asked to pay more disability coverage, the length of coverage for short-term disability is shrinking and the wait for long-term disability to start is growing longer. Workers in Wisconsin may have experienced this new trend during the current enrollment for 2012 benefits.

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