A Federal judge has awarded benefits to a long term disability insurance claimant, whose claim had previously been before the Court. Originally, the Court remanded the claim back to the administrator to properly consider the claim, including evidence supporting impairment, to include the Social Security determination and other evidence.
Upon remand, the administrator largely ignored the SSDI determination. The Court, in deciding to award benefits to the claimant, determined the administrator failed to provide appropriate consideration to the SSDI decision and that such failure caused the claim process to be significantly flawed. While the Court noted that SSDI determinations are not binding upon insurers in long term disability insurance claims, the Court also opined that the administrator did not give the necessary consideration to the SSDI decision, without properly articulating why it did not give such consideration.
As such, the Court awarded payment of all back benefits to the claimant, as well as attorneys fees and costs.
Torrey v. Qwest Communications