Claim Remanded To Claims Administrator Initially Terminated Before Providing Participant With Requested Plan Documents

Hoskins v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 551 F. Supp. 2d 942 (D. Ariz. 2008)

An employee submitted a claim for benefits through his employer's ERISA governed disability plan. After approving the payment of both short-term and long-term disability benefits, MetLife requested that the participant apply for Social Security benefits. Through her attorney, the participant requested that MetLife provide all information relating to plaintiff's claim, including a copy of the Plan, policy, summary plan description and copies of all internal notes concerning MetLife’s consideration of plaintiff's claim. Travelers Insurance, the plaintiff’s employers and plan administrator, took the position that the plan documents were not to be disclosed absent a subpoena and directed MetLife to not comply. Upon instructions by Travelers, MetLife subsequently terminated benefits for failure to apply for Social Security benefits and for failure to provide proof of continuing disability.

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