A former highly distinguished marketing executive of a major law firm filed an ERISA lawsuit on July 3 seeking long-term disability benefits that the insurer had denied, in part, because it claimed that a long delay in applying for benefits made documentation of the disability challenging.
Earlier this year, we shared information about how medical researchers are better understanding the science behind chronic fatigue syndrome, also called CFS. In that post, we mentioned that the new name for the disease is myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME or ME/CFS. This name better describes the inflammation and muscle pain accompanying the condition.
On June 28, 2018, a federal court in Mississippi issued a scathing decision ordering payment of past and future long-term disability benefits as well as attorney’s fees to LTD claimant, Juanita Nichols. One interesting aspect of this opinion is that the court described its own research into previous lawsuits against Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., Nichols’ LTD insurer.
One common challenge in the quest for short- or long-term disability benefits is getting the insurance company to take the disabling nature of pain seriously. There is friction between insurers asserting that claimants have not objectively proven that they are disabled by pain and claimants who struggle to “prove” the pain that contributes to their disabilities.