July 5th, 2011

Denial of Disability Retirement Reversed

Stennett & Casino’s client was employed by the County of San Diego for over 10 years in a clerical position.  She had to stop work because of an injury to her knee resulting from continued banging against a desk when she was placed in an awkward work station.  Despite the fact that she underwent 4 unsuccessful knee surgeries that left her with severe standing and walking limitations and severe pain with extended sitting, the County asserted that it could accommodate her limitations and continue to provide her a sedentary position.

The County denied the client’s claim for disability retirement.  The employee hired Stennett & Casino to represent her at a fact finding hearing.  The primary issue was whether the employee had a “permanent incapacity” precluding her from performing work for the County.  Stennett & Casino had the treating physicians focus on this issue and were able to convince the hearing officer that her constant pain and distress associated with her knee, no matter what position she was placed, precluded her from any full time employment.  Client received her disability retirement benefits.

May 25th, 2011

Our client was a financial analyst for a large defense contractor.  She had to stop work due to severe symptoms related to her diagnosis of Lupus.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks one’s own body.  Our client was treated with medication to suppress her immune system, which exposed her to other illnesses and infections which her suppressed immune system could not fight. Read more

February 16th, 2011

The City of San Diego provides Disability Retirement Plans to employees that differ from private sector plans.  San Diego City employees are provided with two levels of Disability Insurance Benefits:

  1. Industrial Disability Retirement – If your disability is work related, you are entitled to greater benefits from the date of disability regardless of your age.
  2. Non-Industrial Disability Retirement – If your disability is not related to your employment, you are entitled to benefits beginning at age 55.

The criteria for a member to be considered for Industrial Disability Retirement is to be permanently incapacitated by bodily injury or illness caused by their job; are unable to perform the usual duties of their job; and are required to retire. If awarded, an industrial disability retirement benefit is the higher of the following amounts:
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April 28th, 2010

Our client was employed as the Clinical Director of a medical research company whose job was classified as sedentary, even though it required her to travel.  She developed a neuromuscular disorder which became progressively debilitating and eventually totally disabled her from work.  Her condition was considered to be permanent and had no treatment or cure.
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April 28th, 2010

Our client received a letter from her disability insurance company offering to buy out the future benefits owed to her under her disability policy.  In that letter, a lump sum of money was offered and she was told that the insurance company would pay a minimal amount to have an attorney review the offer.  Stennett & Casino were retained and reviewed the client’s entire disability claim.  Through our review we discovered that the insurance company had been paying our client the wrong monthly benefits for the last five years.  We convinced the insurance company that they underpaid our client $27,755.00 in benefits.  In addition we negotiated the buy out of her future benefits and our client received $9,000.00 more than what was originally offered. 
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