Entries by J.J. Conway

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A Lawyer’s Tough Talk on Long Term Disability Insurance Claims

In twenty years of handling employee benefit disputes, I have made a few observations of the ways to keep a long-term disability insurance claim in “approved status” or “open” as insurance companies say. A disability claimant’s medical file should include accurate and documented history of disability and should always be up to date. A disability […]

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Court Rules That ERISA Disability Appeal Requirements Must Appear in Plan to Be Enforced

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has held that an insurer must advise a long-term disability claimant of its internal appeal requirement within the actual plan document in order to establish a failure to exhaust defense. In Wallace v. Beaumont Healthcare Employee Welfare Benefit Plan, No. 16-cv-10625 (E.D. Mich. January […]

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Court Recognizes “the Spirit of ERISA” in Long Term Disability Claims

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has cited the “spirit of ERISA” in reversing a district court decision granting summary judgment against an employee pursuing a disability claim.  In Waskiewicz v. Unicare Life & Health Ins. Co., 802 F.3d 851 (6th Cir. 2015) the plaintiff-employee was suffering from mental illness when she was discharged by […]

A Basic Guide to ERISA Benefits Claims for Non-ERISA Lawyers

What is ERISA? “ERISA” is an acronym standing for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 which went into effect on January 1, 1975. The statute was designed to protect employee pensions and other employee benefits. 29 U.S.C. §1001 et seq. The statute changed the landscape of employee benefits law by requiring that all […]

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Do You Have An ERISA Disability Claim? Print This Article, and Take It to Your Doctor

It should come as no surprise that doctors want to practice medicine. Doctors do not want to complete claims forms or be dragged into litigation. No one knows this better than ERISA disability insurance companies.  In fact, among the many strategies used to stack the odds in their favor, ERISA disability insurers will often send […]

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Anticipation is Your Best Offense: A Basic Guide To Keeping Your ERISA Long-Term Disability Claim Approved

Insurance companies can make the processing of a long-term disability claim unimaginably difficult. When a disability insurance company issues a written denial, its reasoning can seem insulting, insensitive, even callous. Litigation is always available as a means of holding difficult disability insurance companies accountable.  However, it is often more effective to take active measures in […]