denial of long term disability benefits because fired

I have an accepted worker's comp claim. My physician took me off work. I was paid total temporary disability payments through comp. The company has a benefits program that pays 100% of salary for 8 weeks and 60% of salary for 5 weeks. After the 13 weeks, I had a purchased longterm disability plan that should have kicked in paying 60% of my salary. the policy is self funded by the company and adminstered by the company. The company denied me all salary continuation benefits. i asked my doctor to return me to work and he returned me to light duty with many restrictions. He noted this was a TRIAL of return to work. On the morning of the 6th day of return to work I was fired, July 2. On the same day they reversed their denial of salary continuation and long term disability benefits and sent me a check for the past due money. But, they terminated my long term disability policy because I was fired. My physician was on vacation, and I could not get into see him until July 17. He deemed me unable to work at that time. Also, on July 11 I was seen by a specialist who also reported I was unable to work. The comp carrier (who is my employer as well) denied further comp payments since I had returned to work for 5 days, even though it was a trial and I had failed the trial. I believe I should be entitled to the long term disability payments, a policy I paid $1200 a year for, and had carried for 6 years before using. The manual states that the policy will be terminated if the employee is terminated, but I was still under physician's care when they terminated me. Is there any way I can get the LTD benefits reinstated due to the fact I was still in the same disability when they fired me?

1 answer  |  asked Jul 20, 2001 11:19 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
erisa

it sounds like your ltd benefit is part of what's known as an "erisa-qualified plan". companies with such benefit plans are exempt from state law requirements. you need to see an erisa law specialist. the only one i know of in southern california is ron dean, 310-459-1636.
good luck
janet koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Jul 21, 2001 08:44 AM [EST]

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