You already know that when a Summary Plan Description conflicts with ERISA plan language, the ERISA plan language controls.

But what happens when all you have is a Summary Plan Description (SPD), and… no ERISA Plan? Can the SPD become the Plan, and authorize subrogation reimbursement? YES.

Here’s the case of Board of Trustees/National

Yesterday, Jordan Weissman’s excellent article, “Disability Insurance: America’s $124 Billion Secret Welfare Program,” published March 25, 2013 in The Atlantic,  explains how the number of former workers enrolled in Social Security Disability has doubled in 20 years.  He states:

“Since the early 1990s, the number of former workers receiving payments under it has more

Here’s a unique twist:

Does that workers’ compensation settlement agreement release the ERISA disability claim?  Probably not, unless the release explicitly mentions ERISA claims and the ERISA Plan.

Here’s the case of Duncan v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, 2013 WL 506465 (E.D. Cal. February 8, 2013)(workers’ compensation release did not eliminate ERISA

What happens when an ERISA claimant submits contradictory statements to the Social Security Administration and the ERISA plan administrator? Can these contradictory statements be used to deny the ERISA claim?  YES.

What’s the difference between a “Commission” and a “Bonus” in calculating a claimant’s monthly benefit? The dissent in this new decision provides guidance

Courts had dismissed ERISA cases for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the plaintiff was not a plan “participant, beneficiary or fiduciary.” Harris v. Provident Life Accident Ins. Co., 26 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir. 1994).

Not any more in the Ninth Circuit. The issue is now merely an element of the ERISA