Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

Disability Claims Procedures Get an Affordable Care Act Makeover

in Welfare Benefits

In light of the volume of litigation involving claims for disability benefits, and the perceived need to improve procedural protections for workers who become disabled, the DOL is updating the disability claims and appeals procedures. Issued today, the newly proposed regulations mirror in large part the rules that are now in place for claims relating to health benefits, as revised under the Affordable Care Act for non-grandfathered health plans. The proposed rules are intended to reduce conflicts of interests by those making the disability benefit claims and appeals decisions. The hiring, compensation, and promotion of individuals adjudicating claims cannot be… Continue Reading

Affect of Obergefell on Benefit Plans

in Court Cases, Health Benefits, Retirement Plans, Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

For the second time in exactly two years, the United States Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision relating to same-sex marriages. Two years ago, in United States v. Windsor, the Court recognized same-sex marriages for federal law purposes. However, states were not required to recognize same-sex marriages entered into under the laws of another state. On June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Court went further, holding that all states must recognize a marriage as valid if it was valid in the jurisdiction in which it was performed, and also required that all states license same-sex marriages. State… Continue Reading

Department of Labor Broadens Family and Medical Leave Act Protections for Same-Sex Spouses

in Welfare Benefits

On February 25, 2015, the Department of Labor announced a new regulatory definition of “spouse” for purposes of spousal leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The new definition will significantly enhance the opportunities for same-sex spouses to take leaves under the Act and will affect some opposite-sex spouses as well. This Legal Alert discusses the new regulation and how it will affect employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.