Stacy Monahan Tucker was introduced to the world of disability insurance claims when working at one of the largest law firms in the world. Insurance companies would hire her to defend the most complex and expensive cases brought against them. Stacy received a crash course in how to manage the complexity of executive and business owner compensation issues and their effect on disability insurance benefits. Monahan Tucker Law has extensive experience in addressing these complicated problems.
Most disability insurance policies pay a percentage of the insured’s compensation earned immediately before the insured filed a disability claim. For most people, determining that amount is simple – look at their monthly salary and calculate the correct percentage. But for an executive or business owner, it can be much more complicated. Business owners, white-collar professionals, and executives may be entitled to far more in benefit payments than simply their salary.
The first step in determining the total benefits owed to the insured is a careful review of the insurance policy. Does the policy address bonuses? Commissions? Deferred compensation? Car or housing allowances? Stock awards or vesting options? Matching contributions to 401(k) plans? Depending on the compensation agreement with the employer, any of these could be an issue that is overlooked by the insurer. Any disability insurance claimant should look at their last W-2 form to see all compensation reported on it by the employer. There will be more than simply the salary. Depending on how the policy is worded, those additional compensation areas should be included in the insured’s benefit calculation.
For business owners, it becomes even more complicated. How does the policy define the compensation to be included? Policies for business owners often look at the business profits over a three-year period as stated on tax returns. That can result in an artificially low compensation amount depending on the amount of expenses the owner ran through the business. What is and is not part of that calculation of profitability? If you have employees, and they continue to work while you are unable to do so, how does that affect your benefits? Have you hired a replacement for your role? These are all questions to be addressed as part of the claim review.
Also, executives and business owners are often extremely invested in their careers and businesses and very motivated to find accommodations that allow them to work, usually with a less demanding schedule. This raises the question of partial disability and how that benefit will be structured based on prior year compensation and the amount of income lost.
For some professionals, having your disability benefits approved is only half the battle, as unique compensation issues force you to fight for the full benefit amount you deserve. At Monahan Tucker Law, we have extensive experience helping executives and business owners resolve complex compensation issues related to disability claims. If you are dealing with a disability compensation dispute, call us today to learn how we may be able to help.
Our attorneys have decades of experience with insurance litigation and an unparalleled track record of success.
Your trust is important to us. From our first consultation through litigation, we will be transparent with you, and we will hear you every step of the way.
We are one of the rare firms that can provide first-hand knowledge of how your insurer thinks and reacts, and has consistently prevailed in some of the most complex and high value insurance disputes seen in ERISA and non-ERISA litigation.
Our attorneys trained at some of the most aggressive large law firms in the world. Though we believe there are usually better ways to litigate and resolve disputes, our opposition does not always agree. When necessary, we are masters of unrelenting, tenacious litigation. When you hire us, you turn the insurer’s previous weapon against it.
We do this work because we want to be here, for you. We understand what you have been through, and that everyone has times where they need support. One of the strongest steps for yourself and your family is to ask us for help. Together, we’ve got this.
I empathize with you that you find yourself in need of a Disability Insurance Attorney. Stacy Tucker empathized, and compassionately assisted me throughout a very difficult, complicated and drawn-out legal process. I was very satisfied with the result we ultimately...
Stacy Tucker is a knowledgeable, skilled attorney who you want on your side. In a difficult LTD case, with complicating factors, Stacy fought hard to get me the best possible outcome. I was wrongly denied benefits by my LTD carrier...
Excellent attorney! Could not be any better! Stacy helped me with my long-term disability case. After fighting with the insurance company on my own, I was exhausted and frustrated. After the very first conversation with Stacy, I knew I could...
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