Skip to main content
William J. Driscoll

William Driscoll’s Answers

13 total


  • Curent emp on LTD, payout given to emp as of 1/14/14...I should be entitled?

    I am currently on LTD from my employeer, but I am on the books as active, earning VT and ST until Jan 23. As of Jan 14 all current employees get 80 hrs comp time which they can cash out (instead of COL raise). As an Active employee I SHOULD be ent...

    William’s Answer

    In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, you should qualify for those benefits. But your Separation Agreement sets forth your rights regarding compensation and employee benefits. You need to consult with a CA attorney with experience in employee benefits and contract law.

    See question 
  • I am on long term disability my employer terminated my employment. Can I collect unemployment in massachusetts?

    I worked for a public school system for 10 years, due to several health problems I can no longer work in the education field and I am on long term disability, My employer sent me a notice that as of Dec 31 they were terminating my employment. I do...

    William’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Ehrlich in that most states require you to certify that you can work full time, and are actively seeking employment, to qualify for unemployment benefits. Whether you should file for unemployment depends on how your LTD policy defines "disabled." Most LTD policies define "disabiled" as being unable to perform the material duties of your "own occupation" for the 1st 24 months; after 24 months of LTD benefits, the question becomes whether you can perform "any occupation." So if you are in the "own occupation" benefit period, it is ok to file for unemployment benefits. But if you are in the "any occupation" benefit period, or your LTD policy is "any occupation" coverage from day one, it would be inconsistent to apply for unemployment benefits while you are claiming LTD benefits due to you inability to perform "any occupation."

    However, as a public school teacher, you might be covered by a statutory disability scheme that covers all state government employees. If that is the case, you need to consult with a MA lawyer who is well versed in the state employee disability program. Even if the school system insures the LTD benefit, through an insurance company (i.e. MetLife, UNUM, Aetna, the Hartford or Prudential), you still need a MA attorney who has experience in insurance disputes and breach of contract claims. As a governmental employee, you are exempt from ERISA, which is the federal law that applies to almost all employee benefit claims (including LTD claims), and MA state law applies.

    One last thing to consider: most LTD policies and statutory schemes take a dollar for dollar offset, or credit, for other income. Read your policy, or consult with a lawyer, to see if this is the case. If so, your LTD benefit will be reduced by the amount of your unemployment benefit, leaving you with no net gain.

    Best of luck.

    See question 
  • April 2011 csx train accident involving a ups frt delivery truck hire a lawyer in timely manner can I hire a different lawye.

    In April 2011 I was involved in a accident involving a csx train I was driving a ups freight delivery semi . This was a a crossing with no cross arm I did not see flashing lights or hear a horn from the train I have already been awarded my work c...

    William’s Answer

    You should schedule a face to face meeting with your lawyers ASAP and ask them to explain the status of your case. The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is 1 year (longer for car accidents), so you need to find out if suit has been filed and, if not, whether your lawyers have obtained a Tolling Agreement with CSX to prevent your deadline from expiring. I would also be concerned about the Release language in your Worker's Comp Settlement Agreement, as many of these contain broad Release language which might have release CSX from any liability.

    See question 
  • If a trucking accident happened in Montana, im from texas, the other company is from or. and the other driver is from fl

    where do I need to get a lawyer from?

    William’s Answer

    You can file suit in the state where the accident happened, the state where the truck driver resides, and the state where the trucking company is considered a citizen (state of incorporation and state of principle office is located). In trucking cases, there are often other possible defendants, such as the broker, manufacturer, owner and repair shop. You need to discuss this with a lawyer experienced in tractor trailer cases, as there are several variables to be considered (location of witnesses, location of primary health care providers, etc.)

    See question 
  • My short term disability expired and I wasn't switched to long term. Now they claim I'm responsible for repayment? What Now?

    I was out of work due to a injury and put on short term disability for 6 months, I returned back to work for 3 months and ended up having a different injury and was put on short term again until present. Recently I was informed that my union made ...

    William’s Answer

    The disability insurer is entitled to recoup any overpayments regardless of who made the mistake. However, their remedy is to withhold any future LTD payments that are due until the overpayment is repaid. You should contact an experienced LTD attorney to verify whether the claimed overpayment is correct and to discuss your options are in the future.

    See question 
  • Should an Offset, taken by an LTD for a child SSDI, go away when that child turns 18 and is determined to be disabled by SSA?

    Disabled, with last day worked in May 2012, I began receiving LTD benefits through my employer sponsored ERISA group disability plan in Dec 2012. Applying for SSDI, was determined disabled and received SS benefits retroactive to Nov 2012. My aut...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, the offset should go away. Most group LTD policies have an offset provision for "Other Income", which is defined by the policy. The majority of policies define "Other Income" as your primary SSDI, worker's comp benefits, etc. A few years ago, many insurers added dependent's SSDI to the definition of "Other Income", and the Courts let me get away with it (despite a good argument that the money is intended for the minor's care). If your daughter is receiving her own SSDI, that is not dependent's SSDI, your offset should be reduced, especially if she is over 18 and moving out of the household.

    See question 
  • Iam on long term disability from my company and they are giving out a severance package.Can i collect both.

    off work for the rest of my life.

    William’s Answer

    Possibly, it depends on the terms of your severance package. Most contain language releasing all possible claims against your employer, so if your LTD benefits are self-funded by your employer, that would be a problem, unless the company would agree to exclude your LTD claim. If your LTD benefits are insured and administered by an insurance company, such as MetLife or CIGNA, you probably can receive both, as long as you ensure that you aren't releasing your LTD claim by receiving the severance package.

    See question 
  • In a case of wrongful death. Will I receive the proceeds of the settlement or will it be divided among siblings?

    My mother recently died as a result of negligence on the part of a nursing home. My brother and sister did not assist in providing monetary support for her of any kind. Her Will only listed me to receive any proceeds left in her estate.

    William’s Answer

    In Kentucky, wrongful death actions are prosecuted by the personal representative of the Estate (Executor if there is a Will), but any proceeds recovered for wrongful death pass outside of the Estate, after funeral expenses and the cost of administration. Pursuant to KRS 411.130, wrongful death proceeds are divided equally among the children, if there is no surviving spouse. However, if there is a viable claim for pain and suffering, these proceeds would go into the estate. If the case settles, the children will either have to agree to allocate the amounts between the wrongful death claim and the personal injury claim, or submit the issue to an arbitrator for a decision.

    See question 
  • Can an Administrator or Executor get decedents medical records if there is a question to medical neglect?

    Decease is child of Administrator/Executor. There was medical error involved in death of adult child. Mother has requested information now is being asked for legal/original document with decent's signature witness by notary. Impossible to do a...

    William’s Answer

    The Administrator or Executor is entitled to a copy of the decedent's medical records. Exactly what document is needed to prove the person's status depends on state law. In KY, the document is called a Certificate of Qualification.

    See question 
  • Who should receive awarded wrongful death benefits if spouse is deceased also.?

    the families executor is holding up payments to them what should we do about this or what can be done .?

    William’s Answer

    The distribution of wrongful death proceeds is controlled by state law. You should call an attorney licenced in AR, and also ask if a motion can be filed to compel distribution. There usually is not any reason to wait, unless the estate is waiting on a response from Medicaid or Medicare about the existence / amount of a lien.

    See question