Ralph Van Deventer worked for Johnson & Johnson (Johnson) as a Compliance Analyst until he became disabled from multiple weaknesses in his skeletal structure and tenosynovitis of the left ankle. Van Deventer was enrolled in Johnson’s Long Term Disability Income Plan for Choice Eligible Employees (the “Plan”), which had two different, time-sensitive definitions of “disabled.”
According to the Plan, during the first 12 months of disability, he needed to only show that he was unable to perform the essential functions of his regular job with or without reasonable accommodation. After that, he needed to show that he was unable to perform any job in the company for which he was—or could reasonably could become—qualified with or without reasonable accommodation. Van Deventer received benefits from the time he filed in 2009 until 2010. After one year, the Plan Administrator determined that he wasn’t so disabled as to be unable to perform “any job” as required by the Plan for an award of long-term disability benefits.