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What is ERISA?

If you purchased your long-term disability policy through your employer or received your long-term disability coverage as an employee benefit, then your disability policy is almost always subject to the restrictive ERISA regulations.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as “ERISA”, is a federal law that sets the minimum standards for pension plans and disability insurance plans in the private industry. ERISA was initially created to protect the rights of individuals; however it’s pro- insurance company regulations have increased the profits of insurance companies and made it difficult for a claimant to overturn a denial of disability benefits. The principal purpose of ERISA was “to protect… the interests of participants in employee benefit plans… by establishing standards of conduct, responsibility, and obligation for fiduciaries of employee benefit plans, and by providing for appropriate remedies… and ready access to the Federal courts.” ERISA is a very complex statute which sets forth claim handling procedures that insurance companies must follow when administering a long-term disability claim. The ERISA claims procedures statute for the handling of ERISA disability claims is 29 CFR Section 2560.503-1.

Unfortunately, each insurance company has their own interpretation of what they must do in order to comply with ERISA claim procedures. To make matters even more difficult, the federal court decisions on the interpretation of ERISA generally differ from one state to another.

Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have handled ERISA long term disability denials against every major disability insurance carrier throughout the country. Due to the complexities of ERISA and the constantly changing court rulings, it is important to hire a law firm that handles ERISA long-term disability cases on a daily basis. Attorneys Dell & Schaefer represents claimants at all stages of an ERISA long-term disability claim, which includes application, appeals, and lawsuit.

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