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This is a review of the General Dynamics long-term disability insurance plan. We have represented many long-term disability insurance claimants who were employed by General Dynamics. Though the plan mentions Aetna, Hartford now manages claims.

This plan receives a "3-Star" rating from BenGlassLaw.

This review is of a plan with an effective date August 26, 2016. This review is conducted in June 2021. If you have an updated Plan for us to review please send it to us and we will review it.

Definition of Disability [substandard benefits]

For the first 18 months of disability payments ("own occupation") you are disabled if you "are not able to perform the material duties of your own occupation solely because of disease or injury and your work earnings are 80% or less of your adjusted pre-disability earnings."

After the first 18 months of benefits, you will be deemed disabled if you are unable to work at any reasonable occupation because of disease or injury.

A reasonable occupation is "any gainful activity for which you are or may reasonably become fitted by: education training or experience in which results in or can be expected to result in an income of more than 60% of your adjusted pre-disability earnings.

Comment by BenGlassLaw: the General Dynamics long-term disability plan loses one star because it protects an employee in their own occupation for only 18 months. Most group policies (98% in our experience)  protect employees for the first 24 months that they cannot do their own job.

Limitations in the policy [substandard benefits]

According to the policy "Your disability will end after 24 monthly benefits are payable if it is determined that the disability is primarily caused by:

  • A mental health or psychiatric condition, including physical manifestations of these conditions, but excluding those conditions with demonstrable, structural brain damage.
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Environmental allergies
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Headaches (including but not limited to functional, migraine, organic, sinus and tension)
  • Seizures (in absence of an additional diagnosis)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sick building disease
  • Cumulative trauma disorder, overuse syndrome or repetitive stress disorder including carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome
  • Ménière's disease
  • Latex allergies
  • Myalgia 
  • Neuralgia 
  • Myofascial pain syndrome 
  • Arthralgias 
  • Myositis 
  • Lyme disease ​

Comment: this is an extraordinary list of exceptions and limitations. Frankly, this is the longest list of limitations we have seen in our experience dating back to 1998. 

Recommendation: employees of General Dynamics should consult with an experienced insurance broker and inquire about purchasing individual disability insurance to fill in the weakness of the General Dynamic Group policy.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.