You would think that if you suffered an injury or illness and you could not perform the actual duties that your own boss required you to do that you would be able to recover under your employer’s long-term disability policy.

Most employer-sponsored long-term disability policies aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Many will define “disability” in a way that makes it almost impossible for you to claim and recover benefits.

In a recent case, the director of commercial security operations at Stephens Investment Holdings LLC claimed benefits under a policy that his employer had with  Standard  Insurance  Company.

The employee thought that he was protected if he could not perform the duties of his quote own occupation”. Unfortunately, his employer had purchased one of those policies that only protected the employees if they cannot perform the duties of the occupation as that occupation is performed in the national economy.

Since his actual job was apparently tougher than the way most people perform their job in his position, the claim was denied. The claimant appealed his claim to a federal court but the court upheld the finding of standard insurance company.

Hankins v Standard Ins. Co., (8th Cir, May 14, 2012)

If you’ve received a denial letter from your employer’s insurer, give us a call  and we’ll be happy to help.