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Stiff Person Syndrome

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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Requirements For Filing A Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Claim

What You Need To Know To File A Long Term Disability Claim Under ERISA: Q.   On what day did you become a plan member? This is very important because some plans require a waiting period before you become a plan member. The Plan may require you be employed 90 days before you become a …

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Sjögren’s Syndrome & Long Term Disability

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?

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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Community Inclusion for the Disabled

We wanted to share this thoughtful article on ways to prevent disabled neighbors or family members from becoming isolated in our communities: Community inclusion is something that most of us take for granted. Most of us have the freedom and opportunity to form many different types of meaningful relationships with other people in our communities. …

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Proposed Changes to Rules Governing ERISA Long Term Disability Claims

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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Long Term Disability & the Undiagnosed Condition

LONG TERM DISABILITY & THE UNDIAGNOSED CONDITION One of the most difficult cases in our long-term disability practice is the individual who does not have   a diagnosis. It is very common in medicine for claimants to go longer than a year without receiving a proper diagnosis. This is not the fault of physicians, but …

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Reinstating your Long Term Disability Benefit: The ERISA 502(a) Lawsuit

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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Surveillance and the Functional Capacity Evaluation

This has been on my mind for some time and I have been trying to let my clients and perspective clients know about this so they can respond appropriately.  Many insurance companies use vendors to conduct video surveillance while the disability claimant is at their home.  There is simply no way to tell which files …

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