The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is a federal law that sets standards for the protection of employees and their family members for disability benefits and life insurance benefits provided through private employer-sponsored benefit plans.
The ERISA statutes were enacted to protect employees (and their beneficiaries) who enroll in employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits and life insurance benefits. ERISA is intended to ensure that employees receive the employer-sponsored benefits promised to them.
By comparison, the main purpose of the insurance companies who sell and administer ERISA governed life insurance and disability insurance plans is to maximize their profits.
When a claim for ERISA covered benefits is denied, the insurance company who denied the claim is required to provide written notification of the denial and an explanation of the reason why the claim was denied.
After receiving a written notice of a denied claim, the person making a claim must take steps to appeal that denial promptly. If they fail to do so, their claim can be permanently denied, and they will lose their right to sue in the federal courts where ERISA lawsuits are conducted.
Our ERISA attorney, James Brookshire, represents people who have been improperly denied disability or life insurance benefits. In most cases, his legal services are provided on a contingent fee basis; in those cases, attorneys’ fees are only paid if the representation is successfully concluded. In some cases, the insurance company who improperly denied an ERISA claim could also be required to pay a successful claimant’s attorneys’ fees.
If you have a group life insurance or disability claim that has recently been denied, don’t delay; contact us to learn how James Brookshire may be able to help you.