What Is ERISA?

If you've become stuck in the process of obtaining your long-term disability benefits — whether filling out the initial claims paperwork or worse, learning that your claim has been denied — it's easy to feel that the system is simply rigged against you. My firm is here to not only offer you the experienced representation you deserve, but also help you understand just how the law can help hardworking people just like you.

How ERISA Benefits You

Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974 as a way to provide safeguards to workers who participate in employer-funded pensions, 401(k)s and other benefit plans. Three of the most important features of ERISA that directly benefit enrolled workers are:

  • It requires plan administrators to provide participants with important information about their benefits. This means that workers cannot be left in the dark about how their benefits are being financed and managed.
  • It creates a "fiduciary duty" on the part of administrators. This means that those who manage benefit plans have a legal duty to act in the best interests of participants and their beneficiaries. They cannot take actions that put benefit funds at undue risk or otherwise mismanage assets related to benefits.
  • It gives benefits holders and their beneficiaries legal options, including lawsuits. Plan administrators are required to have an appeals process for denied claims, meaning that they can't simply deny a claim without giving a claimant a second chance. This also means that workers can file suit in federal court if claims are unfairly denied.

These last two are especially important if you have been denied long-term disability benefits by your disability insurer. A qualified ERISA lawyer can determine if you have been treated unfairly during the claims process, and whether your claim is likely to succeed on appeal or even in a federal lawsuit. You deserve to know that your benefits will be there when you need them most; my firm is here to ensure just that.

For help with your long-term disability claim in Florida, contact me, attorney Terry Kann, at my Gainesville office. Fill out the online contact form or call 352-505-4790, toll free 866-544-3069.