If you are an employee who is preparing for retirement, our ERISA lawyer may be able to provide the guidance you need. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) dictates the rules and regulations that apply to retirement plans for private employees. This federal law focuses on retirement plans, but it also affects disability insurance plans offered by private employers to help employees who are no longer able to work. It is essential for you to understand the various protections ERISA offers.
Basics of ERISA Disability Benefits
An ERISA attorney can help you determine if you qualify for disability or retirement. If you have a disability benefits plan, there are many complex regulations that the plan follows. These regulations affect how you are able to collect benefits. The first step is for your employer to provide you with a detailed explanation of what is and is not covered, including how to file a claim if you are disabled and the outline of the appeals process if your claim is denied. Only once you have filed a claim do the ERISA time limits for your insurer to give you a decision begin. Your provider must decide whether your claim is accepted or denied within 45 days of filing, but they can extend this by a month with proper notification. If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal. If your appeal is denied, you can hire an ERISA attorney to help you file a lawsuit.
ERISA and Disability Claim Lawsuits
Our ERISA attorney can help you if you choose to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for improperly denying your claim. This is known as an “abuse of discretion” lawsuit. Judges only look at your existing file with the policy company, so it is important that your initial application is as thorough as possible. Without adequate documentation, your claim will be denied and you will not be able to receive benefits.