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Why is ERISA an unfair law for disability insurance claimants?



ERISA stands for the Employer Retirement Income Security Act and it was a Federal law that was passed in the early 1970s which was supposed to make it more affordable for employers to be able to offer long term disability coverage as well as health insurance for employees.

In reality in my personal opinion, what happened is that, a lot of individuals, while they got a low price for this type of coverage, they actually get somewhat screwed in the end with the administrative process. I personally feel that ERISA is an unfair law, it is a pro-insurance company law and it really puts insured’s backs against the wall the time comes to file a claim.

There are 4 opinions so far. Add your comment below.

Frank Thomas:

I’m 50 year old, have been out on workers’ comp. for the passed 2 years. I worked for this company for 30 years; went to my employer about my disability insurance through them and spoke to a HR employee that stated that I didn’t qualify for the disability insurance, with no letter in writing or any reasoning. This policy was a policy that my employer had purchased in 2010. I have filed for SSI and I’m waiting for this. Also I have been told that I need to look for work. I have been a labor foreman for my life and in the union to about 15 years, I have not graduated from high school and a ninth grade education and have done this work my whole life. I’m in the union, there is no light duty, and my company will not take me back because no light duty. I’m at a loss for what I should do. I also get unemployment when not in surgery, I have had neck surgery, total shoulder replacement and now going to have more surgery on carpel tunnel and trying to find problem that still exists, with other problems now with my health. Is this ERISA something that I should be perusing? I am going to get the employer to send a letter in writing for the denial, also we did request this just a year ago. Would this be in my best interest to look into? Now I’m looking at no retirement acct. through my employer and I am only bringing in half the money I did, union retired benefits. It will not be what I had hoped and worked so hard in trying to make. What should I do in your opinion?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Frank,

You should look into LTD coverage, but you have a lot of potential setoffs and waiting two years to file a claim is problematic. Also if you are receiving unemployment, then it makes it very hard to get approved for disability insurance.

Sam:

Worked for this large corporation in a highly technical position. They do not have enough work and they are terminating me in one month but since I have PTO I will be on payrol until mid August. I have paid short term and supplementary disability insurance for my entire employment. Is it too late I claim disability?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Sam, if you are still covered under the policies you would legally have rights to apply. Do you have a disabling condition? If so, do you have a doctor that will support you being able to perform the duties of your occupation? The obvious obstacle will be the insurance carrier’s argument that you are only filing for disability due to being laid off, but knowing that means you can prepare for those arguments. If you have a copy of your policy please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

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