What You Need to Know About ERISA & Long-Term Disability Insurance

When you began working for your employer, you may have been impressed by certain benefits they offered, like access to long-term disability insurance. However, if you’re now in a position where you are trying to file a long-term disability claim, you may be encountering an acronym you’ve never heard before: ERISA.

What Is ERISA?

ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It is a federal law that sets minimum standards for pension and health plans provided by private-sector employers. It was originally meant to protect employee benefits and standardize the administration of employee benefit plans, which includes group life insurance plans, group health insurance plans, and group disability insurance plans.

However, there have been many amendments to the law over time and, in many ways, these changes may negatively impact people who have long-term disability insurance through an employer.

How Do You Know if ERISA Applies to Your Claim?

ERISA generally does not apply to people who are employed by the government, religious organizations (e.g. church), or schools.  Most other private-sector employees, who have long-term disability insurance through their employer, are covered by ERISA.

At first glance, it would appear that ERISA protects workers who are employed by private businesses. However, its strict regulations and complicated filing process make it easy for the average consumer to miss a deadline or make a mistake.

Under ERISA:

  • You are not entitled to a trial by jury if you believe you’ve been wrongfully denied benefits
  • You must appeal the insurance company’s decision through an administrative appeal process
  • You may only have 180 days to complete the appeal after the denial

If you fail to include all of the necessary information in your appeal, including the occupational, medical, legal or financial documentation that helps build your case, you may never be able to include this information in your record. One seemingly insignificant detail or document may prove to be essential to your claim. Minor errors can prevent a legitimately disabled person’s chance at receiving the benefits he or she deserves.

Contact Sokolove Law Now if Your Long-Term Disability Claim Was Denied

An experienced long-term disability lawyer can help you identify all of the necessary documentation and help ensure you’ve compiled a comprehensive appeal. You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself — so why go through a complex appeal process without an attorney looking out for your best interest?

If you were injured and your long-term disability claim has been denied, don’t go through the appeal process alone, Sokolove Law may be able to help you recover your benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: May 2, 2022