An Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan is a federal law that covers long-term disability benefits plans that are offered by employers. If this type of plan might be beneficial for you, it is important for you to know the following information, which will help you understand the eligibility requirements and application process.
Most employer provided long-term disability benefits plans are governed by ERISA. The law has been in place since 1974 and covers most aspect of employee welfare benefits. ERISA allows employees who have had denied disability claims the right to pursue a lawsuit in the federal court system.
The Importance of Your Initial Disability Claim
If an ERISA disability claim has been denied in a court, it is difficult to have that decision overturned because the insurance companies only need to show a small amount of evidence to prove their reason for denial. If you do not provide enough information to prove your case, or if you made any errors on your application, there is a good chance your claim will be denied. So, you need to make sure your initial claim is complete, accurate and provides enough information to create a strong case.
Applying for Long-Term Benefits
The process of applying for long-term benefits is long and can be quite complicated. The following steps will help guide you through the process and help in achieving a positive outcome.
– Read your policy. Be aware of what is and is not covered. Ask your policyholder for a copy of the Summary Plan Description and make sure you know and understand it.
– Determine the date of your disability. All of the dates that are associated with your claim are dependent on this date. So, it is imperative that it is accurate.
– Determine your last day of work. This date is important for determining the start-date of your benefits and onset of your disability.
– Know your deadlines. There are many deadlines involved with filing an ERISA claim. Failure to meet any of them by even one day can mean your claim will be denied.
– Get copies of your medical records. The information the insurance company will use to determine your eligibility is contained in these records. It is imperative you know what is included in these documents and that it is accurate.
– Talk to a lawyer. A qualified and experienced disability attorney is a great resource for helping you work through this difficult process.
If you have questions regarding ERISA or if you would like to talk to an attorney about beginning an ERISA claim, contact the law office of Daniel Berger today.