Under ERISA, a plan is often entitled to take offsets against other benefits that a claimant receives. For example, plans almost always take an offset for workers’ compensation or social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many plans go as far as requiring claimants to apply for SSDI benefits, so that the plans can take the offset and deduct the monthly SSDI benefit from a claimant’s monthly LTD benefit.
A new case that the Supreme Court will hear next term will impact a plan’s ability to collect personal injury awards as an offset to disability benefits. In U.S. Airways Inc. v. McCutchen, “the Third Circuit created a circuit split when it ruled that a health plan’s attempt to obtain reimbursement from a plan participant’s personal injury settlement was not allowed under ERISA because it would not amount to “appropriate equitable relief.”‘ The Supreme Court’s decision could affect a plan’s ability to collect reimbursement from third-party recovery sources, which affects what a claimant has to pay back to a plan when receiving third-party recovery. Read more here. Ronstadt Law will provide more on this story as it develops.