Offsets to Disability Benefits

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Appeals panel considers insurers rights

In order to prevent a double-recovery of benefits when claimants qualify to receive both Social Security and disability insurance payments, most group insurers include provisions in their policies that reduce the insurance payment by the amount of Social Security benefits received by the claimant. In addition, since Social Security adjudications often follow the disability insurance […]

Does insurer get offset from VA disability benefits?

In 2010, I authored a column titled, “The standard of review can affect application of offsets,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 12, 2010. That column discussed two recently issued U.S. District Court rulings on the subject of benefit offsets and pointed out the standard of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) review could determine whether […]

Ruling addresses policy limitations

Despite significant medical advances in recent years, many debilitating impairments remain impossible to diagnose through imaging such as x-ray or MRI, electrodiagostic testing, or blood tests. Consequently, due to potential uncertainty as to the legitimacy of such conditions, disability insurers have adopted policy provisions that purport to limit payments for conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic […]

The standard of review can affect application of offsets

Two recent district court rulings ,Day v. AT&T Disability Income Plan, 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 61477 (N.D.Cal. June 8, 2010) and Riley v. Sun Life and Health Assur.Co., 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 61881 (D.Neb. June 18, 2010), starkly illustrate how the standard of review in ERISA cases can dramatically impact the application of offsets against benefits payable. In both […]

Offset ruling beneficial to claimants

Group disability benefits are typically offset by both Social Security disability benefits and by awards of workers’ compensation. In Alloway v. ReliaStar Life Ins.Co., 2008 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 34853 (C.D.Cal. April 28, 2008), the district court took a fresh look at workers’ compensation offsets, and the result proved beneficial to claimants. Alloway was a class action consisting […]

Court nixes insurer offset for dependent SSA benefits

A ruling by a federal judge in California offers new and significant insight into whether disability insurers properly offset dependents’ Social Security disability benefits. Carstens v. United States Shoe Corporation’s Long-Term Benefits Disability Plan, 2007 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 96094 (N.D. Calif., Oct. 31). Group disability insurance policies typically offset the beneficiary’s primary Social Security disability benefits […]