The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has been a sticking point for many who have tried to file disability claims. While the spirit of the act might have been positive, many of the rules surrounding ERISA have made it complicated, arduous, and challenging to understand for those who depend on it for benefits. Many ERISA disability attorneys in Philadelphia, PA, find that their clients may not fully understand the process, despite so much riding on the outcome of their claims. Of course, the opacity of the law and how it gets applied makes it hard for anyone who isn’t experienced to make sense of what rights a claimant is entitled to under ERISA.
Below are a few questions surrounding ERISA and disability claims that get asked most frequently.
What is ERISA?
ERISA was a law whose purpose was to protect individuals who enroll in retirement and healthcare plans in the private sector. The law lays out expectations for how quickly information about a policy should be given and what responsibilities an employer has for selecting the policies they offer their employees.
The law has been amended to allow a former employee to continue coverage, and some amendments provide special protections for those who have been disabled.
How Does it Impact My Disability Claim?
Disability claims can be impacted through ERISA because the law lays out a framework for how disability insurance claims are processed.
However, over the years, ERISA has been put through various appeals through the courts that have changed the process, making the deadlines shorter and limiting claimants’ abilities to gather and present evidence of their claims.
Can I Appeal?
The good news is that, despite the revisions that have been made to the application of ERISA over the years, there is still a way to appeal decisions made about a disability insurance claim. The act requires that an appeals process be established, and a claimant also has the right to see evidence that will be used against them by the insurance company. However, there are stringent deadlines about when the appeal needs to be filed, and it can sometimes result in a lawsuit.