Van Camp v. SD Warren
March 12, 2018
CategoriesCoordination of Benefits
Social Security Benefits §221 Economic Hardship Analysis
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
S.D. Warren had paid Mr. Van Camp incapacity benefits when, unbeknownst to them, Mr. Van Camp was also receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Once S.D. Warren found out, it unilaterally took a weekly benefit payment holiday to recover its unused retirement offset, and Mr. Van Camp filed a petition to compel continued payment. Judge Knopf granted the petition, construing §221 to prevent S.D. Warren from recovering its over-payment of past benefits by applying a vacation on current benefits. S.D. Warren appealed.
In the meantime, the Maine Supreme Court issued its ruling in Urrutia, permitting the employer in that case to recoup past offsets caused by a missed §221 offset, and remanding for the Board to consider whether the financial impact of the employer's holiday may be considered under a hardship analysis. In view of this decision, the Appellate Division vacated Judge Knopf's decision and denied Mr. Van Camp's petition but remanded the case back to Judge Knopf for proceedings to address the hardship issue.