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Returning to work after being on Disability
Sep 23, 2002

Hi Lynn:

In December of 1997 I was diagnosed with Terminal Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and forced to go on disability. I of course beat all the odds and decided to go back to work in Jan of 2001. I realize I had some responsibility knowing that I could have to go back on disability once again which took place in October of 2001. I went on short term disability at this time, and then LTD kicked in only to find out that I now fall under a pre-existing clause due to a change in a group policy. My question is did my employer have any responsibily knowing full well that I was terminal at one point to advise me that if I come back to work that they had a new LTD carrier and that I would fall under the pre-existing clause if I was to have to go back on disability?

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Did you return to work for the same employer? If so, when you enrolled in the LTD plan you should've received a summary plan description (SPD) for the plan which would explain how pre-existing conditions work, what happens if you return to work and become disabled again, etc. If you didn't receive an SPD, or you received one but it did not explain this, then you should contact your employer because the employer has an obligation to provide you with an SPD that explains the provisions of the plan. If you went to work for a new employer, once again the SPD should've explained how the plan would work if you became disabled due to an existing medical condition.



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