Supplemental Evidence – Long Term Disability ERISA

A reviewing court has discretion to consider supplemental evidence presented by the parties in the context of an ERISA LTD claim.  Viera v. Life Ins. Co. of North American, 642 F.3d 407, 418 (3rd Cir. 2011).  In particular, a party may supplement the record with evidence concerning a plan’s funding mechanism to show a conflict of interest.  Kosiba v. Merck & Co., 384 F.3d 58 (3rd Cir. 2004).   Interestingly, in the context of a conflict of interest, Court’s have noted “structural conflicts of interest”; but held that disposition of the matter turns on “whether a reasonable basis existed for the administrator’s benefits decision.”  Blankenship v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 644 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. 2011).   In other words, some Courts find that although the conflict of interest must be considered, it does not alter the basic analysis of an ERISA LTD claim.  Id.  In my opinion, the fact of a conflict of interest should be important, especially on “borderline” claims.  

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About tngadisabilitylawyer
Disability Lawyer in Tennessee and Georgia.

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