Court Watch: Cases Affecting ERISA and Disability Claims

Although we’re not lawyers or a law firm, paying attention to recent court cases and rulings helps us keep up with the constantly changing rules and regulations of disability insurance claims. In the recent past, we’ve seen two cases taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a few other cases that affect the way the disability insurance companies treat insureds and their claims and the options to be considered by claimants. These court rulings set precedents and rules for many future claims and help form the disability claims process almost as much as claims examiners or company policies.  Today’s blog post is going to explore a few of the more relevant cases and their effects on disability claims.   Continue reading

Accountant’s Angle: How to Deal With Your Disability Benefits During Tax Season

During this time of year, many people have questions about the tax effects of their disability benefits and how they can be reported on their tax returns.  Many of these questions are addressed by one of our partners, who’s a Certified Public Accountant.  These answers may help you with some of the issues that may come up with your benefits and the related income taxes.   Continue reading

Arthritis: Common Claim Mistakes and How to Get Approved for Benefits

If I were to ask you the number one cause of disability in the United States, what would you say? It may surprise you that the answer is…arthritis.  Arthritis is a very common condition that affects the ability of more than 20 million Americans to work in their chosen careers on a daily basis. It manifests itself in many different forms, but the main type is osteoarthritis followed by rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. In the case of individuals who try and continue their careers, their work abilities can be marred by absenteeism and frequent doctor appointments to deal with the pain and difficulties of movement. It’s estimated that over $60 billion dollars a year in earnings are lost due to this degenerative disease. Disability insurance is a very important consideration in the treatment and recovery of an arthritis patient, so it’s critical to remember several key points when applying for disability benefits from an insurance company. Continue reading

Medicinal Marijuana: How the Debate Affects You and Your Disability Claim

The pros and cons of medical marijuana use are a major area of contention in the alternative medicine communities and are beginning to appear on the radar of mainstream politics as well.  In fact, the very mention of the topic seems to cause controversy and raise strong feelings.  Whatever your beliefs, the use of medical marijuana is a topic that deserves examination.

As new studies have shown, medical marijuana may have a place and time in the treatment of many different ailments.  This is not an opinion shared by all medical experts.  There are increasing debates raging in the medical community about the usefulness and effectiveness of many different iterations of  the substance, from smoking the plant to eating marijuana reductions and taking synthetically produced THC medications as Marinol.  We have had several clients who have gotten good results and advocated the use of medical marijuana as well as clients who have questions about how the medication may affect their diseases and the corresponding effect on their disability claims.  Today I’m going to look at several facets of the argument and let you and your doctor decide on the proper course of treatment for your condition. Continue reading

Getting Back to Work After a Disability

This month, we celebrate the 22nd birthday of the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, so I’d like to talk about some of the many resources and support groups our clients have used when going back to work after a period of disability.  Most people have a negative impression of disability insurance, both public and private, creating a stigma which mislabels many disabled individuals as lazy or slackers.  Based on our clients, these stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth.  Most of the claimants we work with would jump at the chance to return to productive, rewarding work and forget all about their disability claim along with the burdens they have to bear.  The Social Security Administration, along with several private organizations, have created multiple programs to help individuals transition from disability to recover their ability to be gainfully employed. Continue reading

Disability Insurance Financials, Part 2 of 3: Social Security Awards

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI, had a large influence in the private disability insurance world.  From helping determine the diagnosis of an insured to the amount of an insured’s benefit check each month, it is almost impossible to deal with private insurance without worrying about Social Security.  This is why Social Security questions are some of the most common inquiries that come into our office.    In the second blog in this series, we are going to discuss the different ways that SSDI payments have on a private insurance claim and the proper ways for an insured to handle problems. Continue reading