Disability Benefits

New Research Offers Potential Hope for Lupus Sufferers

For patients who suffer from lupus, their immune cells attack the body’s own tissue and organs as if they are enemy invaders. There are many kinds of lupus, but the most common and severe kind is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and nervous…

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When It’s More Than A Concussion

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when an external force injures the brain. Causes include slips/trips/falls, vehicle collisions, military incidents, construction incidents, sports and violence. Brain trauma occurs as a consequence of a sudden acceleration or deceleration within the cranium or by a complex combination of both movement and sudden impact. The general term…

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Lyme Disease Can Lead to Long-term Disability

You have a great time hiking in the woods or even working in your own backyard, but it isn’t until later that you realize you have a tick on you. You pluck the tick off and go about your business, not realizing that what has been left behind could make you very sick. Lyme disease…

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The Standard Reversed for Ignoring Medical Evidence and Improper Denial

Marcin v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., No. 16-7125, 2017 WL 2818648 (June 30, 2017). Affirming the judgement of the district court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company acted unreasonably when it failed to properly consider the downward progression of one of its…

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Sixth Circuit Allows Lawsuit to Continue Despite ERISA Requirment

On October 2, 2015, in Waskiewicz v. UniCare Life & Health Ins. Co., the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Ford’s ERISA Plan because the insured, who suffered from major depression and gender identity disorder, failed to provide notice of her disability to the Plan after she suffered…

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Sixth Circuit Continues to Give Meaning to “Equitable Relief”

On June 18, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Pearce v. Chrysler Group LLC Pension Plan, 2015 WL 3797385, found that a retirement plan participant could state an equitable claim under ERISA for supplemental pension benefits until he became eligible for Social Security benefits, notwithstanding the fact he was terminated prior to receiving the benefits and the…

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Eleventh Circuit Vacates Prior Decision on ERISA Fiduciary

The Eleventh Circuit revisited its holding in Pruitt v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., No. 14-13207 (11th Cir. June 30, 2015), a putative ERISA class action brought against ERISA fiduciaries by plan participants, concerning certain investments in the plan.  The district court had dismissed the case based on ERISA’s borrowed six-year statute of limitations.  In related proceedings,…

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Seventh Circuit Reaffirms Requirement to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

In Orr v. Assurant Employee Benefits (7th Cir. May 19, 2015) the district court dismissed a lawsuit for life insurance benefits because the plaintiffs did not first exhaust their administrative remedies.  On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed noting that the denial letter plaintiffs received informed them of their right to seek review and included a copy of USIC’s Life…

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