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Tell the Department of Labor to Adopt ERISA Disability Changes

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
In November, advocate Jeannette Burmeister blogged about some rare proposed changes to the ERISA disability law by the Department of Labor (DOL). Here is Burmeister’s blog.

The deadline for public comment is on or before January 19, 2016, which is right around the corner. We encourage public comments in favor of adopting these changes.

Background - What is ERISA?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs how Long Term Disability (LTD) claims are handled in the U.S. This is the type of disability available through your employer - it’s the other major source of disability income besides Social Security.

In a perfect world, Long Term Disability would kick in while you were waiting for your Social Security claim to be approved. Additionally, it can serve as supplemental coverage in combination with Social Security. In reality, most people with ME or CFS are denied, leaving them in a terrible financial crisis, at the same time as they’re dealing with the disease and the realities of becoming disabled.

The reason this occurs is that the insurance lobby has stacked the deck against claimants, and in favor of the insurance companies. Claims are routinely denied to increase the insurance company’s bottom line. Often, employees are actually rewarded bonuses for denying claims. The claimant cannot sue for damages, only for what they were supposed to get in the first place.

The proposed changes still wouldn’t allow suing for damages, but they would definitely go a long way towards leveling the playing field.

Read the rest and what you can do here
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
I think LTD for reasons of "mental health" is usually restricted to 2 years.
That's how I lost my LTD coverage after two years. They claimed I suffered from a psychological illness. It is interesting to note that Social Security disability does not have this restriction.
 

Denise

Senior Member
Messages
1,095
That's how I lost my LTD coverage after two years. They claimed I suffered from a psychological illness. It is interesting to note that Social Security disability does not have this restriction.


I am very sorry your LTD was cut off because of incorrect (on their part) claims about the nature of your disability.
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
Please read an Update on the ERISA blog:

http://www.meadvocacy.org/update_on_the_erisa_changes_blog


ERISA laws are very complicated and we are grateful to Jeannette Burmeister for her excellent blogs outlining the new proposed additional laws which will benefit patients in their fight for long term disability.

This is a complicated matter and in our attempt to simplify, we have taken shortcuts with our blog about the subject issued on 12/31/05, which we regret. All credit for bringing this issue to the attention of the ME community as well as the interpretation of intricate details should go to Jeannette Burmeister.

We refer you to Jeanette’s two blogs on the subject for complete information about the issue and how to participate, including a sample letter: Thoughts About M.E. blogs ‘Department of Labor Proposes Lowering Bar for ERISA Disability Claims, Requests Public Comments’ and ‘Proposed ERISA Disability Regs: Instructions and Sample for Public Comments’.
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
Yesterday, January 19, 2016 was the deadline to submit comments to the Department of Labor’s proposed new rules to the ERISA law which govern long term disability (LTD) policies. Jeannette Burmeister brought this issue to light with her blogs outlining the summary of the proposed rules, instruction and sample comment and additional guidance for commenting.

MEadvocacy.org’s advisory group composed and submitted their comment today in the hope that these new rules affecting ERISA law, if adopted, will improve the chances for disabled ME patients to collect their long term disability benefits. Please read more -http://www.meadvocacy.org/meadvocacy_submits_comment_to_dol
 

ahimsa

ahimsa_pdx on twitter
Messages
1,921
I think LTD for reasons of "mental health" is usually restricted to 2 years.
Just FYI, my own employer's LTD policy (covered by ERISA laws) had zero coverage for mental illnesses no matter how severe. So it's not always a game of approval and then denial after 2 years. My LTD claim was denied at the very start. It all depends on the LTD policy.

Many thanks to Jeannette Burmeister for posting so much helpful information on her blog and for submitting a comment. And thanks also to @Nielk & MEadvocacy.org for submitting a comment.

I sent in a comment via email but it was fairly short. Hope it helps. I noticed that the government website shows a total of 57 comments sent in.