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Five Things To Know About ERISA And How It Impacts Long-Term Disability Benefits In Florida


Long-term disability insurance available through your employer can provide a safety net if a medical condition prevents you from working for a year or longer. These benefits are generally governed by a complex federal law known as ERISA. Our Jacksonville long-term disability lawyer explains more about this law and how it impacts your rights to benefits.

What You Need To Know About ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law established in 1974. Administered through the U.S. Department of Labor, it dictates how employer-provided pensions and other benefits are administered. If you suffer a long-term disability and file a claim through an employer-provided disability policy, it is important to be aware of how rules and regulations under ERISA are likely to apply. The following are five important things you need to know:

  1. ERISA protects your rights to policy-related documents.

One of the first things you should do if diagnosed with a long-term disability and considering filing a claim is to review the terms of any employer-provided policies. ERISA requires your employer to provide copies of all policy-related documents, free of charge and at your request. Carefully review and pay close attention to coverage limits, qualifying conditions, and exemptions.

  1. ERISA governs the claims appeals process.

ERISA dictates how policy administrators manage benefits and process claims. It also provides guidelines for filing an appeal. If your long-term disability claim is denied, you have the right to request a hearing before an administrative court, who will review all the evidence and the circumstances surrounding your case.

  1. ERISA offers the option of taking your case to court.

The process for filing a long-term disability claim appeal involves an initial hearing before the administrative court, followed by a special hearing before an administrative committee assigned to your case. If, after going through this process, your disability claim continues to be denied, you then have the opportunity to file a lawsuit through the Florida District Court.

  1. ERISA trumps other state and federal laws.

There are numerous state and federal laws that help to protect the rights of workers. However, when it comes to employer-provided long-term disability or other benefits, ERISA trumps them all.

  1. ERISA applies to most private employers.

ERISA applies to most private employers who offer pension or other benefits, regardless of business structure, whether they are a non-profit, or the number of employers they have. However, it does not apply to government agencies, places of worship, or companies that provide benefits primarily for foreign workers.

Contact Our Experienced Florida Long-Term Disability Lawyer

At Farrell Disability Law, we have extensive knowledge of ERISA and practical experience applying it in different situations.  To get the trusted legal guidance you need in filing a claim or appealing denied benefits, contact our Florida long-term disability lawyer and request a consultation in our Orlando or Jacksonville office.


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