Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Disability Claims: liberally construed in favor of the employee

The 6-3 decision in favor of Glenn reflected the United States Supreme Courts’ view that Labor Laws, more particularly those covering employee benefits, should be liberally construed in favor of the workers. The whole story can be read in the news published last June 20 entitled, “Disability Claims: liberally construed in favor of the employee”

I agree with the Court when it held that benefit denials should be carefully scrutinized by the employers and the insurance companies, especially when such denials would result to devastating financial situations on the part of the employee.

It is really a life-shattering experience to find out that all your life, you’ve been giving your contributions, and then suddenly, just when you are about to need them, these contributions would just go down the drain.

A conflict of interest often occurs when the one who evaluates the claim and the one who pays the claimant are the same person. Unfortunately, the Congress authorized the insurance companies to perform both acts, without giving the judges the necessary guidelines on how to reconcile the possible conflict.

By coming up with the “combination-with-factors-method-of-review”, the judges can finally, determine whether the insurance company meticulously studied the different factors revolving around Glenn’s case. Moreover, by using said method, they found out that the insurance company did not.

Relying mainly on the written medical records of Glenn, the insurance discontinued her disability benefits. The insurance company ultimately disregarded the statement of Glenn’s physician asserting that Glenn is incapable of working.

The company’s conflicting interests had blinded it from realizing that employment benefits are primarily created by Congress in favor of the workers. Hence, these benefits should be interpreted liberally for the employees when they give the company no reason to rule otherwise.