As an employee in Washington with a benefits package, you may be able to rely on ERISA disability benefits if you ever become disabled and can no longer work. Today, we'll take a look at some of the basics of ERISA benefits.
FindLaw states that firsts and foremost, ERISA does not apply to private disability insurance plans. It only applies to the disability benefits that you are offered by your employer in a benefits package.
ERISA has complicated regulations control that oversee every aspect of the disability plan. They also control how you, as the employee, are able to obtain the benefits that the plan offers. First, your employer must legally provide you with certain information. This can include:
- Explaining what the plan does and doesn't cover
- Outlining how to make an appeal if your claim is denied
- Directions on how to file a claim if you become disabled
After that, ERISA gives the insurance provider a time limit to decide if they will accept or deny your claim. This limit is 45 days, which can be extended up to 30 more, and no later. If they choose to deny, they must explain why in writing. If you decide to appeal their denial, you must also do so by a deadline set by ERISA.
If your claim and appeal are both denied, then you can file a lawsuit under ERISA which will be overseen by a judge. Since this entire process can all be quite complex, you may benefit from the aid of an attorney throughout it.