August 2015 Archives

Pre-Existing Conditions and Claims of Disability

Many times we've been asked about whether or not a long-term disability claim can be denied because of a pre-existing condition. Like many aspects regarding laws and the interpretation of such, the answer is - it depends. Because it depends also on the insurance company's policy clauses and whether your policy is of a private nature or one that was attained through an employer, it is important to seek the advice of a long-term disability attorney.

Regional Facilities Manager Triumphs Over Aetna


Following the birth of her child in 2006, Victoria Wong began to experience back, leg and groin issues that would often cause her to double-over in pain. Unable to return to her full-time position as a regional facility manager as she was unable to effectively perform her duties as such, her disability benefits provider, Aetna Life Insurance was found to have acted unreasonably after denying Wong her benefits for permanent disability. ERISA Law Center was able to prove to the court that Aetna's denial was inappropriate and unfounded as Wong's treating physician had indicated to the insurance company that she "had no capacity to work, not even for one hour". Fighting for Wong, ERISA Law Center was able to obtain retroactive disability payments that she was due and was able to gain a denial in Wong's favor when Aetna moved to attach her Social Security Benefits.

Network Engineer Beats Metlife


Suffering from chronic back and leg pain brought on by both fibromyalgia and Paget's Disease, Verizon Communications employee Kathleen Boxell found herself unable to continue her work as a network engineer. Required to sit for almost 95% of her day left her with excruciating pain that caused her to have to leave the profession she loved. After initially being awarded short-term disability benefits, Boxell was surprised when MetLife made the decision to deny her long-term benefits, contradicting their own findings that her diagnosis of fibromyalgia was enough to disable her allowing her to attain those benefits. Fighting for Boxell's rightful claim to long-term benefits, ERISA Law Center was able to persuade the court to force a plan administrator for MetLife to reassess Boxell's appeal of their denial.

My Insurance Company is Videotaping Me. Is this legal?

We often hear from our clients about instances where they believe that the insurance company that they have filed a long-term disability claim with is videotaping them when in public. Often the question is whether this is a legal strategy or if they can sue for what the see as "an invasion of privacy." Basically, ERISA law, though essentially protective of claimants rights, overrides your right to bring a suit for invasion of privacy.

Considering a Lump-Sum Buyout on Your Long-Term Disability

If you are already receiving long-term disability but are thinking about a lump sum buyout for any reason, it is important to consider all aspects and to consult with your ERISA lawyer first. Where lump-sum buyouts may be beneficial to some, others find them lacking. Reasons to consider a lump-sum buyout include:

Myths Regarding Long-Term Disability Insurance

Sharon E. didn't expect that it would be fibromyalgia that would end the career she loved. She always thought that she would continue working as an account executive in the industry that she loved so much until the day she decided to happily retire. She didn't count on a long-term, chronic illness to sideline her with debilitating pain and weakness; making it almost impossible to do her job. Which is why she didn't think twice about her long-term disability insurance benefits offered to her by the company she worked for. She thought it would be something she would never utilize as her job wasn't exactly a dangerous one. Sharon assumed that her health would continue as it had and that she and her family would be fine. Like many Americans, Sharon fell into the trap of believing long-term disability myths about what it is and what it is for. The common myths regarding the insurance include:

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