Disability Insurance Law TV:
A Federal Judge’s perspective on ERISA disability insurance claims
This video features Judge William Acker, Jr. testifying at Senate Finance Committee hearing discussing ERISA and long-term disability insurance claims. Disability insurance attorneys Gregory Dell & Stephen Jessup provide their thoughts on ERISA and the testimony of Judge Acker.
Routinely, disability insurance companies in their bid to reduce the amount of disability benefits to be awarded to disability benefits claimants will require the claimants to first apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If the claimant happened to be successful in his or her claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the insurance companies will then offset the amount of disability benefits awarded by the amount of disability benefits that the claimant received from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, when it comes to losing out due to an SSA determination of the definition of “disability”, insurance companies will try their best to disregard the SSA determination as it is unfavorable for them financially to follow the SSA determination.
On March 29th 2011, a lawsuit was filed against the AETNA Life Insurance Company (AETNA Life) at the District court for the Southern District of Florida. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff Jose Demello alleged that AETNA Life had refused to pay the disability benefits sought by the plaintiff under a group long term disability (LTD) benefits policy that was issued and administered by AETNA Life.
Liberty Mutual finds itself back in court having to prove to a judge the validity of their reasons for denying yet another long-term disability insurance benefit claim. This time it isn’t just one lawsuit filed by a disability attorney on behalf of one plaintiff. As a matter of fact, the same disability attorney filed three separate Federal lawsuits against Liberty Mutual on behalf of three individual plaintiffs living in different jurisdictions.