ERISA stands for The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which established minimum standards for retirement, health, disability and other welfare benefit plans. Portions of the act include disability insurance, and life insurance plans. However, many people are unsure about what ERISA is and how it affects them. Consequently, there are many myths surrounding ERISA that need to be addressed. In this blog, I talk about 4 common ERISA myths to help you get a better understanding of ERISA.

Myth #1: My Diagnosis Entitles Me to Disability Benefits

Many people likely share a similar diagnosis and are capable or working. This means you will need additional evidence to prove how your condition specifically limits your ability to work. You need to have a supportive doctor because insurance companies have their own doctors who will evaluate you or your records and may determine you can work – despite the true facts.

Myth #2: Insurance Forms Are Enough to Get My Benefits

Insurance forms only ask for your basic information and lack the supporting evidence needed to prove your disability claim. Remember, insurance companies aren’t there to hand you benefits, so having an experienced ERISA attorney by your side is recommended.

Myth #3: All Employers Are Required to Offer ERISA Benefits to Employees

This is false. Employers are not required to offer ERISA benefits to their employees. However, if such benefits are offered, ERISA laws and regulations govern them, with few exceptions. ERISA only applies to private employers, it does not apply to benefits offered to government employees.

Myth #4: I Don’t Need a Lawyer for My Appeal

Although this is technically true, submitting an appeal on your own could cost you the benefits to which you are entitled. An experienced ERISA attorney knows that the only time evidence of disability can be submitted is during the appeal process. They know what different insurance companies look for, how to address the insurance company’s assertions; and know what needs to be included in the appeal to have the best possibility of obtaining payment if the appeal is denied and litigation is utilized. If you are serious about protecting your rights, you should consult with an experienced ERISA attorney.