What is the Administrative Record in an ERISA disability appeal?
The Administrative Record (also known as a claim file) consists of all the information provided by a claimant to support disability during the course of a claim (to include claim forms, medical records and employment information) or information collected by or created by an insurance carrier during the course of its review of a claim for entitlement to benefits. The Administrative Record spans the time from when a claim is first filed to when a final denial is entered by the disability insurance carrier. At trial a Judge can only consider substantive information contained in the claim file and, except for instances that only relate to a conflict of interest or procedural irregularities, the court cannot consider any other information that was not provided within the time frame of the administrative record. This is why preparing the ERISA Appeal is so important and vital to winning a claim. If one fails to provide valuable information to support their disability, they may forever be excluded from doing so. A claimant must provide the insurance company with every document he or she thinks is relevant prior to the time the disability company makes a final decision to deny a final ERISA appeal.