Disability Benefits

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Ex-NFL players’ disability case remanded yet again

There has been a growing volume of litigation relating to disability benefit claims brought by former professional football players. A recent example is the ruling issued by a federal court in California in Dimry v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, 2020 WL 5526607 (N.D. Cal., Sept. 15). This ruling was the second time the […]

Disability benefits are difficult to navigate for someone with SD, but not impossible

Among the challenges presented by spasmodic dysphonia (SD), qualifying for disability benefits can be both difficult and frustrating. The process is complex, confusing, and extremely difficult to navigate without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Yet despite these challenges, both the Social Security Administration and private disability insurers recognize the impact of SD on the […]

1st Circuit ERISA benefit ruling misapplies review standard

How should federal courts conduct a de novo review of Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefit claims? One approach was delineated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2009 in Krolnik v. Prudential Insurance Company of America.[1] There, the court pronounced the phrase “de novo review” as “misleading” and explained the de novo review standard […]

Reflections on the Americans with Disabilities Act at age 30

This month marks thirtieth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA requires that people with disabilities be granted equal access to employment, public services, and public accommodations.  […]