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Arizona Court Rejects "Retired/Unemployed" as Regular Occupation for Purposes of Terminating Disability Benefits

A federal court in Arizona rejects Equitable Life Assurance, Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, and Provident Companies (“the Equitable Companies”) characterization that “retired/unemployed” is a regular occupation used for purposes of terminating disability benefits.

Retired or Unemployed Person is not a

Mr. Norcia had three separate policies with the Equitable Companies. He suffered from a series of health ailments before filing for disability benefits. When he filed for long-term disability benefits, he had listed his occupation as “self-employed.” However, the Equitable Companies considered his regular occupation to be that of a retired/unemployed person.

The Equitable Companies reasoned that in order to be considered totally disabled under the terms of the policies, a retired/unemployed person must be unable to perform the activities of daily living such as standing, sitting, walking, and driving. Mr. Norcia’s doctor informed the Equitable Companies that even though he could do all those activities, he still remained disabled because of his numerous health conditions. Nonetheless, the Equitable Companies terminated Mr. Norcia’s benefits.

The Arizona court was quick to reject the Equitable Companies’ argument and called it “pure poppycock.” The Equitable Companies were ordered to pay Mr. Norica the benefits he was owed.

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