ERISA and SSDI Offsets
One of the questions we are asking most frequently is why long term disability insurance companies are allowed to offset and take a credit for SSDI benefits. The short answer? Because the insurance policy says they can, and the law permits it. The next question we are asked? Does the insurance company waive that offset if it wrongfully denies my disability claim. The short answer (again) probably not. Here’s the case of Hart v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America Catholic Healthcare West LTD Disability Plan, 2017 WL 4418680 (October 4, 2017)(Court denied Plaintiff’s request to invalidate offset provision). In that case, the court did decide that the insurance company had wrongfully witheld disability benefits. The court also held, however, that the insurer did not waive the right to take an SSDI offset despite its bad faith conduct!