Fresno California ERISA Blog

The most common reasons for long-term disability claims

Many people don’t realize the types of disabilities most likely to affect them. While serious injuries from car wrecks or home accidents jump to mind, those generally represent a much smaller portion of causes for long-term disability claims than you might guess.

The most common reasons given for long-term disability claims are varied, and can include abrupt health changes as well as slowly worsening aliments.

What are my options after a long-term disability claim is denied?

Long-term disability insurance is supposed to be your safety net. If something happens and you can no longer work, you expect an employer-offered plan to be there.

Because of this, having an insurance company deny your disability claim can be devastating. It does not mean you’re completely out of luck, however. There are ways to appeal a denial.

Filing a long-term disability claim due to rheumatoid arthritis

Many people who don’t have rheumatoid arthritis struggle to understand the impact it can have on a person’s life. It’s not just aching joints – an autoimmune disease, it can lead to joint deformity, weight loss, difficulty moving and fatigue.

All of these symptoms can significantly impact your ability to work. But what if you apply for long-term disability benefits through your employer-offered plan, only to be denied? What options do you have?

Sleep apnea sometimes unacknowledged despite ERISA

If you have or think you may have sleep apnea, you probably know it’s often not taken seriously often enough. If another condition caused headaches in the morning, insomnia at night, difficulty staying awake during the day, an inability to focus, and mood disorders, it probably would be more easily recognized as serious and debilitating.

For some sufferers, one of the condition’s hardest aspects is knowing that your spouse or partner is unable to sleep due to your snoring, or out of worry after they find you gasping for air or not breathing at all.

Lesser-known law may pay for breast reconstruction

Women’s health coverage took a step forward when the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was amended in 1998.

The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) requires reconstructive surgery and other post-mastectomy measures to be covered by group health plans if they also cover mastectomies for breast cancer or other medical reasons.

Recent breakthrough may help victims of fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, you know how painful and crippling it can be to suffer from constant cramps, aches, numbness and fatigue. And you likely know how hard it can be to convince others your invisible pains are real.

Fortunately, a recent breakthrough from the Indiana University School of Medicine may lead to a better measurement of your pain. Researchers at the school say they’ve found pain biomarkers in the blood that could allow doctors to create objective pain tests. Such tests wouldn’t relieve you of your pain, but they could help doctors regulate your medication more effectively and would likely strengthen any disability insurance claims you need to file.

ERISA should provide for your mental health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. And the purpose of this month is to increase the visibility of mental health issues. It also has a goal of reducing the stigma that often surrounds mental illnesses.

For a long time, that stigma influenced employers as well. However, a recent amendment to ERISA changed that.

Out with the old fiduciary rule

For years, people have been consulting with financial advisors who are sponsored by retirement plans to receive information and advice on how to best proceed with their retirement investments. The Department of Labor allowed for this under its fiduciary advice rule, but that rule was recently stricken down by a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Legal experts anticipate that there will be another rule coming down the pipeline that covers this same topic, but that could take months or even years to complete. In the mean time, organizations that offer retirement savings plans and investment accounts need to figure out how to maneuver through the law now that the rule no longer exists.

How to know if your claim was denied in bad faith

Individuals who pay their insurance premiums consistently expect their insurance company to give them the support they need in times of trouble. For example, older California workers suffering from severe injuries or long-term disabilities should be able to collect insurance for financial assistance.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are often more interested in their finances than the individuals they are supposed to support. Some of them even go to extreme measures to deny valid claims to protect their profit. It is essential to know the signs of a bad faith insurance claim, so you can appeal to obtain the benefits you deserve.

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