Fourth Circuit Slaps Reliance Standard in ERISA Disability Case

Disability Insurance Benefits

Reliance Standard never should have terminated Fredrick Smith’s disability benefits. But appealing the District Court’s decision in favor of Mr. Smith was just plain dumb. Good news for claimants, the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in Smith v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, ___ Fed.Appx. ___, 2019 WL 2539289 (June 20, 2019), contains a trove of pro-claimant rulings that can be cited … Read More

Fourth Circuit Clarifies that an Employer/Plan Administrator/Named Fiduciary is Indeed an ERISA Fiduciary

Justice Word Engraved

Fourth Circuit Clarifies that an Employer/Plan Administrator/Named Fiduciary is Indeed an ERISA Fiduciary In the case of Dawson-Murdock v. National Consulting Group, Inc., an employer argued that it was not an ERISA fiduciary of its own group life insurance plan, even though the employer was designated as the “plan administrator” and “named fiduciary” in the plan documents. The United States … Read More

In LTD Cases, Tax Consequences Often Take a Huge Bite out of Lump-Sum Settlements

Disability Insurance Benefits

Lump-sum settlements often carry significant adverse tax consequences for the claimant. Often the tax bite makes taking a lump sum settlement less attractive than receiving monthly benefits. This can best be explained by an example. Consider a 45-year-old claimant whose gross LTD benefit is $2,750 and who is receiving Social Security disability benefits of $1,750 per month. Her net LTD … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 9

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 9 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 8

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 8 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More

Tax Deduction of Attorney Fees in Employee Benefits Cases Remains Unchanged

Disability Insurance Benefits

Deductibility of Attorney Fees in Employee Benefits Cases Remains Unchanged The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the tax treatment of attorney fee and other litigation-related expenses incurred by individuals. Congress suspended the deductibility of litigation expenses as “miscellaneous itemized deductions” through December 31, 2025. As a result, the costs and attorney fees associated with non-business-related litigation may … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 6

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 6 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 5

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 5 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 4

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 4 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 3

Disability Insurance Benefits

New ERISA Disability Claim Regulations – Part 3 On April 1, 2018, a new disability claim regulation came into effect. The regulation was promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (referred to herein as “DOL”) under the authority of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and applies to all employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. … Read More