Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 08:58:15 -0400
   From: judy morris 
   Subject: Definition of Disability

   Webster's definition of disability is too vague to be useful and there
   is no definition for Total Disability but here is what Black's law
   distionary says:

   Total disability.  A person is "totally disabled" if his physical
   condition, in combination with his age, training, and experience, and
   the type of work available IN HIS COMMUNITY, causes him to be unable to
   secure anything more than sporadic employment resulting in an
   insubstantial income.

   Within meaning of workers' compensation acts, means lack of ability to
   follow CONTINUOUSLY some substantially gainful occupation without
   serious DISCOMFORT OR PAIN and without material injury to health or
   danger to life.


   Commentary - Insurance Contracts are Adhesionary, take it or leave it
   contracts.  The law says if there is an ambiguity than a legal
   definition or lay definition would preside over a contract definition.

   All these "new" definitions of disability and total disability that the
   insurance comapanies are putting into their contracts claiming you are
   not "totally disabled" if you could perform your job ANYWHERE in the
   country and other stuff like that, are unconscionable, non- legally
   binding definitions.  They would NEVER STAND a court challenge, but that
   doesn't keep the insurer's from trying to pull the wool over the eyes of
   their policyholders and even the policyholder's lawyers who sometimes
   buy this bull.

   As one of William Shernoff's clients said (who won a million or so
   because his insurnace company wouldn't buy him a new hearing aide)
   "They are like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  They use
   words to mean whatever they want them to mean."

   Ladies and Gents, believe it or not, IF you can get to court, COMMON
   SENSE prevails most of the time.  They are counting on you not being
   able to find a lawyer and sue them.


And now for the newest torture from our government of occupation
   - [This commentary and value judgment by Bill Hammel]

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 PRNewswire -- The tightening U.S. labor market, aging
workforce, rising cost of health care and uncertain future of Social Security
mean business faces new challenges in dealing with workplace disability. In
coming decades, how will U.S. businesses deal with employees who today are
covered by long-term disability, workers' compensation or SSDI?  By the year
2024, will the concept of 'disability' still exist?

 In the current era of hyper-competition -- where companies can risk neither
unconstrained disability-related health costs nor diminished productivity from
disabled employees -- the decades old view of disability is giving way to a
different perspective.  No longer content with a passive approach, employers
are increasingly managing their workforce disability programs toward the
primary goal of increasing long-term productivity.

 In some respects, employers are rewriting the traditional definition of
workplace disability; the effects could touch not just their employees, but
beneficiaries of federal welfare programs as well.

 This is the context for the Washington Business Group on Health's (WBGH) 12th
annual Disability Management Conference, to be held Wednesday October 14
through Friday October 16, at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave.
NW., Washington DC.  Throughout the conference, industry leaders will present
details of innovative, successful programs that go beyond disability to
optimize employee health and performance.

 "Disability management programs are now moving beyond simple cost-benefit
analysis as they integrate organizational health, wellness and safety into a
creative approach that focuses on increased productivity and improved
performance," said WBGH President Mary Jane England, M.D. "Presenters at the
conference will include cutting-edge employers, insurers and service
providers, who measure their effectiveness in terms of improved well-being for
their employees, as well as a stronger bottom line."

 The Conference begins with a half-day workshop, Building a Roadmap for
Disability Management in the 21st Century. Business leaders, researchers,
medical providers, health insurers and policymakers will address key issues
that could significantly impact both the U.S. economy and our standard of

 Conference Highlights:

  Presentation of 1998 C. Everett Koop National Health Awards, honoring
businesses and organizations with the most innovative and effective health
promotion and disease prevention programs. (Oct. 16, 8:30-10:00am)

 Results from 3rd annual "Staying at Work" survey of U.S. business's best
practices in integrated disability management programs. Co-sponsored by WBGH
and international consultants Watson Wyatt, the survey is a key benchmark for
U.S. business. (Oct. 15, 10:30-11:00am)

 Rosalyn Carter, former First Lady, speaks on the special challenges of
acceptance and access-to-care faced by people with mental illness. (Oct. 15,
11am to Noon)

 Linda Mastandrea, a Chicago attorney, discusses the increasing productive
potential of people with disabilities. Mastandrea builds on her own experience
as a person with a disability to advocate a new social perspective on the
issue. (Oct. 16, 11:30am-12:30pm)

  In addition, speakers from top companies will describe their innovative
strategies for managing disability. Hear L.L. Bean on virtual disability
management, General Electric on productivity management, Liberty Mutual on
innovative case management, and Owens Corning on the impact of corporate

 "Managing employee health and workplace disability go hand-in-hand with the
development of value-based systems of care that promote organizational
productivity," said WBGH director Bruce Flynn. "Everyone benefits when health
and disability programs aim to optimize the functioning of all employees."

 The Washington Business Group on Health (WBGH) is the only national nonprofit
organization devoted to analysis of health policy and related issues from the
perspective of large employers. WBGH members -- Fortune 500 and large public
sector employers -- provide health coverage for more than 39 million U.S.
workers, retirees, and their families.

 SOURCE  Washington Business Group on Health

 CO:  Washington Business Group on Health

 ST:  District of Columbia


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Created: September 22, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000