Frankel & Newfield, P.C.

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January 2009 Archives

Californians Should Be Concerned About Their Disability Insurance

According to Michael Kiltzik of the LA TIMES, anyone who lives in California should start worrying about their disability insurance protection.  Steve Poizner, a successful businessman and Insurance Commissioner of California, wants to roll back regulations that reduce disability insurance benefit payments to offset payments that the claimant receives from pensions, workers compensation payments or wages.    While offsets are business as usual when it comes to Social Security disability claims, why should Californians - or anyone, for that matter - who worked hard to earn a pension have that money offset against their benefits?

New FMLA Requirements Are Now In Effect

As of January 16, 2009, employers will be required to comply with the United States Department of Labor's new Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") regulations that concern employees who are related to military personnel and create new employee notification obligations. Among numerous changes, the revised regulations implement two new forms of leave for employees in the military.

Unum's Bad Reputation Continues

The Second Circuit provided claimants with a holiday gift, when it decided McCauley v. Unum Life Ins. Co. 2008 U.S. App LEXIS 26094 (2nd Cir., Dec 24, 2008).  First Unum (part of Unum Provident) is the nation's  largest long term disability insurance company, and it has an extensive record of systematically denying and delaying claims to protect its shareholders more than policy owners.  We remember the 60 Minutes and Dateline segments that explored the company's employee rating system for employee promotions, raises and bonuses:  based on how many claims they can deny or delay.  We call that bad faith.  And while it's systemic to the entire long term disability insurance sector, Unum seems to have a particular gift for mean spirited denials.

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