Chilean miners struggle with long-term disability

Almost a year after 33 Chilean miners were rescued from being trapped , most of the men are still unemployed or on medical leave.

The Chilean men have coined the term, “Los 33,” and have found representation to protect their image as well as create future movie deals. Others decided they would sue the Chilean state due to sub par working conditions at the mine where they worked.

Long-term disability was only awarded to 14 of the men, who receive $470 a month from the government.

These miners are seen as heroes to most but concern is rising, because they are unable to hold a steady job or overcome their disabilities from the accident.

If you feel you qualify for long-term disability insurance, please contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633 today.


Causes of long-term disability

One in three people will become disabled before they retire.

There are many circumstances which can lead to disability that are not top-of-mind when people think of long-term disability. Some of the most common causes of disability include mental health problems, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, nervous system disorders, and musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis.

While many individuals believe that injuries sustained in accidents are the leading cause of disability, this is actually incorrect. Less than 10 percent of disability cases are accident-related. Instead, many disability claims today come from individuals diagnosed with cancer, which is the fastest-growing cause.

If you believe you qualify for long-term disability insurance, it is important to have experienced representation on your side to recieve the financial compensation you deserve. Contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633 today.


Construction worker suffers extreme injuries in workplace accident

25-year-old Texas construction worker, Dallas Wiens, was the victim of a horrible construction site accident.

The worker was operating a boom lift when it struck a power line. The accident resulted in severe burns to his head, leaving him blind and in a coma for the next three months.

Wiens then underwent 22 different surgeries. The most recent surgery he underwent was a 15 hour face transplant procedure. According to Bringham and Woman’s Hospital, Wiens’ face transplant was the most complete transplant that has been done in the U.S. to date.

It will take Wiens a very long time to recover from his workplace accident. Due to the nature of their job, construction workers can easily find themselves in danger of eloctrocution, suffocation, burns, broken bones, and other injuries from the powerful equipment they work with.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and believe you may qualify for long-term disability insurance, contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.


$20M Settlement in Verizon Long-Term Disability Lawsuit

Verizon has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class-action long-term disability lawsuit.

According to court documents, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a long-term disability lawsuit against Verizon alleging the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Verizon refused to make exceptions to its “no fault” attendance plans to accommodate employees on long-term disability. Under the challenged attendance plans if an employee accumulated a designated number of “chargeable offenses,” he or she could be penalized.

Verizon placed the employee on a disciplinary step which could ultimately result in more serious disciplinary consequences, including termination. The EEOC claimed that Verizon failed to provide reasonable accommodations for people on long-term disability and failed to make an exception to its attendance plans for individuals whose “chargeable absences” were caused by their disabilities. According to the EEOC, the company instead disciplined or terminated employees who needed such accommodations.

The lawsuit resulted in a $20 million settlement.

If you need assistance with a long-term disability lawsuit, please contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.


Court Sides with Employer in Long-Term Disability Appeal

A appellate court has upheld an employer’s decision to deny an injured North Carolina woman long-term disability benefits.

According to United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit documents, Luciana Baker was denied benefits through her employer’s long-term disability benefits program, which was run by The Hartford Life Insurance Company. Baker contested the program’s determination in federal court. The District Court concluded that the decision of the claims administrator for the program was not arbitrary or capricious. The court granted summary judgement in favor of Baker’s employer. This week appellate court judges affirmed that decision.

Baker was an employee of Bloomberg, L.P. Most of her job was spent at her desk. She began to experience back pain in early 2007 and she took leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. She applied for and received short-term disability benefits on account of “chronic lower back pain and disc disease with acute exacerbation.” Baker’s physician placed her on a strengthening and stabilization exercise program.

Baker’s condition improved under the exercise regimen. Her doctor advised her, however, that she should not return to work if her position required “prolonged sitting.” Baker then filed an application for long-term disability benefits, which were available to employees who participated in Bloomberg’s ERISA-compliant Group Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan.

Baker’s application  was denied. The company produced a Physical Demands Analysis regarding Baker’s position. The document noted that Baker’s “typical work day entailed seven (7) hours of sitting, a half-an-hour of standing (.5) total, and a half-an-hour of walking (.5).” The document further indicated that Baker could alternate sitting and standing as needed. For this reason, Baker’s application for long-term disability benefits was denied. Hartford concluded that she was able to perform the “essential duties” of her position.

If your long-term disability claim has been denied, please contact an Indiana long-term disability appeals attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.


Cigna Long-Term Disability Lawsuit Filed in Texas

A man in Texas has filed a lawsuit against his insurance company, claiming it stopped payment of his monthly long-term disability benefits.

According to Galveston County District Court, Leo Rudd purchased a group long-term disability insurance policy through Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. Rudd claims the policy guaranteed lifetime compensation for total disability due to injuries. The lawsuit shows that Rudd suffers from a recurrent major depressive disorder resulting from a traumatic event surrounding the death of his daughter in a car accident.

According to the lawsuit, Rudd made the claim for the loss in April 2009 in accordance with the short-term disability provision of the plan. He was made eligible to receive benefits for six months, provided he remained disabled as defined in his contract under the plan.

Rudd contends that Cigna wrongfully claims that his behavior is indicative of “stabilization/improvement.” He is seeking maximum monthly benefits “pursuant to the option long term disability provision of the policy,” or the acceleration of the payments in a lump sum “calculated from Rudd’s 65th birthday discounted to present value.”

If you need assistance with long-term disability litigation, please contact an Indiana long-term disability attorney of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.


Labor Department Backs Deutsche Bank to Fund Long-Term Disability

The Labor Department has given tentative authorization to Deutsche Bank to use its Vermont captive to reinsure long-term disability benefits.

Under the arrangement, New York-based Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp. would use its captive, MHL Reinsurance Ltd., to reinsure 100 percent of the Long-term disability risk with a unit of Unum Group.

The tentative authorization granted last week comes after the Labor Department’s proposed approval last month of an application by Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Verizon Communications Inc. to use its Vermont captive to reinsure group term life insurance written by Prudential Life Insurance Co.

The Labor Department is expected to give final approval to the Verizon arrangement next month.

If you need assistance securing Indiana Long-Term Disability Attorney of the Hankey Law Office, by calling 800-260-3633.


NJ Federal Court Permits Aetna ERISA Lawsuit to Proceed

A federal court in New Jersey has given the go-ahead to a class action ERISA overpayment lawsuit against Aetna, Inc.

The lawsuit, Association of New Jersey Chiropractors v. Aetna, pertained to the plaintiffs challenging Aetna’s practice of demanding repayment of healthcare benefits it later deemed had been improperly paid. The plaintiffs claim that Aetna failed to comply with procedural protections provided by ERISA.

Accordidng to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs “assert that Aetna, prior to requesting repayment from a provider, must issue a revised Explanation of Benefits to the insured.” The lawsuit also claims Aetna’s prepayment review process was improperly handled in their case.

Aetna claimed that the group of doctors sought to use ERISA to bring the company’s anti-fraud efforts to a “standstill.”

If you need assistance with an ERISA claim, please contact the Indiana ERISA lawyers of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.


FedEx Worker Files Lawsuit Over Long-Term Disability Benefits

A FedEx worker has filed a lawsuit against Hartford Life Insurance Co. challenging the termination of his long-term disability benefits.

According to court documents, Geral R. Brown was employed by FedEx Freight East, Inc. when he was injured while unloading a delivery truck on March 3, 2003. Brown was covered by FedEx’s employee welfare benefit plan, the lawsuit states.

Brown received short-term disability benefits for six months and then long term disability benefits for twelve months from  September 1, 2003 through August 31, 2004. The lawsuit claims the “Plan provided that an employee may continue to receive disability benefits only if the disability prevents him from performing one or more of the essential duties of any occupation for which he is qualified by training, education, or experience.” Hartford found that Brown did not qualify for an extension of benefits.

Brown claims Hartford’s representative was supplied with incorrect documents filed in a social security hearing that occurred far before his injury.

If you need assistance with a similar lawsuit, please contact the Indiana Long-Term Disability Litigation Attorney of the Hankey Law Office, by calling 800-260-3633.


Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss in BofA, Aetna Long Term Disability Lawsuit

A federal judge in California has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Bank of America and Aetna Insurance improperly denied long-term disability benefits to a loan officer when he worked for the bank.

According to court documents, U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong of the Northern District of California refused to dismiss a long-term disability complaint filed by Omid Behjou. Bank of America filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit claiming a settlement in a prior class action against the bank precluded Behjou from claiming employee benefits.

Behjou filed the lawsuit in September 2010 against Bank of America and Aetna Life Insurance Co., the administer of the bank’s insurance plan. Behjou claimed the bank refused to pay his long-term disability benefits by withholding some of his sales commissions from his salary.

Judge Armstrong said Behjou’s claims for long-term disability benefits are still actionable under the terms of the class action settlement.

If your long-term disability claim has been denied, please contact the Indiana long term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, by calling 800-260-3633.


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