According to the West Virginia Record, Mark Underwood and Patrick Stephens of Underwood Law Offices are representing a woman who is suing Wal-Mart’s disability plan for wrongfully denying her long-term disability claims. Her complaint claims that she was a qualified participant in Wal-Mart’s long-term disability plan and complied with all the requirements to get her benefits. Yet after the worker became disabled due to neuropathy and a mass on her rib cage, her claim for benefits was still denied. The plan is governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”).
The Underwood Law Offices have filed an ERISA lawsuit against the Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Plan and others demanding the disabled worker be paid the long-term disability benefits which she is entitled to receive based on the objective medical evidence of her treating physician.
West Virginia workers have the highest disability rate in the nation with 12.5% of the population receiving benefits. This is tied to the fact that 150 out of every 1,000 jobs in West Virginia involve transportation, hauling, construction and mining. Despite the impression that jobs in America are becoming less strenuous, 45% of workers who are 59 years and older hold jobs that are physically demanding and involve difficult working conditions, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In addition, the Social Security Administration estimates that about 30 percent of workers in the United States will become disabled at least once. Workers today face the very real possibility of experiencing a disabling injury or illness.
Once workers are disabled, it can be very difficult for them to find new work if necessary. Disabled workers always have a harder time finding work than other folks, especially when desk jobs disappear and laborer’s positions are all that’s left. This makes getting those ERISA disability benefits even more important to keep families fed and sheltered. Plus, it can be a very lonely place to find yourself fighting for benefits when you’ve done everything right.
If you have been denied your ERISA disability benefits, talk to a knowledgeable ERISA lawyer at Underwood Law Offices about protecting your legal rights.