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Stiff person syndrome (SPS) Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a rare, progressive syndrome that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord.  Although very rare (Stiff Person Syndrome affects only 1 in a million people), McDonald & McDonald has represented several Long Term Disability Insurance clients who have suffered from SPS. The cause of stiff person syndrome is unknown,…

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Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) Syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease involving gland dysfunction that can affect the entire body. Because Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune syndrome, it is found more commonly in families that have members with other autoimmune illnesses. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system, which normally protects the body from infection and cancers, may cause…

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Have You Heard of ERISA? It’s important to have familiarity with the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA) if you receive employee benefits through your employer. Established in 1974, ERISA sets minimum standards for private industry to protect individuals in employee benefit plans, including pension and welfare benefit plans. Welfare benefit plans may include benefits in…

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Recently the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed some amendments to Section 503 of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), to improve the current rules governing Long Term Disability claims and appeals.  Joe sent his comments and recommendations to the DOL with the hope of improving the disability claims process for all of our clients. Here are…

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Most individuals become familiar with the phrase 502(a) lawsuit by receiving a letter from an insurance company denying access to their long-term disability benefits. The traditional language often used by long-term disability insurers advises clients that they have “exhausted their administrative remedies”, and now have the ability to file a lawsuit under Section 502(a) of…

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