You’ve worked extremely hard for years to provide for your family, but a long-term illness or injury now prevents you from performing your job duties. The physical symptoms lead to emotional and financial distress over lost income and making ends meet.
If an employer-sponsored long-term disability plan covers you, benefits should help alleviate those fears. An experienced attorney specializing in ERISA law can help you navigate a complex sea of paperwork, medical documentation and employment information to get the benefits you deserve.
ERISA rules protect workers
The Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law designed to protect workers covered by private long-term disability plans offered by employers. ERISA also covers retirement and welfare benefit plans. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, roughly 59% of workers are eligible for health benefits.
How does the claims process work?
While your employer may be the “plan administrator,” the “claim administrator” is typically a private insurance company. Your employer must provide a free copy of the “summary plan description” detailing the plan, benefits and the conditions covered. Insurance companies routinely deny claims for many reasons. But that’s where ERISA comes in. The law requires that plans and administrators follow the rules and procedures for:
- Benefit claims
- Denials of claims
- Appealing denied claims
While filing a claim is usually easy, common mistakes often result in insurer denials. An ERISA attorney is there to make sure you don’t get cheated out of benefits you’ve earned. A lawyer can help ensure that paperwork is done correctly and that you meet deadlines for filing your claim or appealing a denial.
These benefits are only available for those with severe, debilitating conditions, and an attorney can help make sure that the insurer follows procedures correctly. That will allow you to focus on your health and not struggle with red tape and aggressive insurance company tactics.