The Role Human Resources Plays In Your Disability Benefits
People who work in human resources play a vital role in managing the needs of employees and in administering benefit programs offered by employers. When you suffer from long-term disabilities, their actions can make the situation easier or more difficult. Communication delays, problems in obtaining policy documents, and disputes over eligibility and benefit coverage are all common problems. Find out more about the role human resources play in long-term disability benefits and their obligations under federal laws.
ERISA: Duties Of Long Term Disability Plan Administrators
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that governs employer-provided benefit programs. In addition to providing protections for workers and guidelines in filing claims and disputing decisions, it also provides requirements that human resource employees must follow in administering benefits.
Under ERISA, long-term disability (LTD) plan administrators owe a fiduciary duty to those that are covered. As benefits are generally administered through human resources officials, this means that they are required to do the following:
- To choose the best type of plan in terms of both cost and coverage levels;
- To make sure employees are aware of coverage and eligibility requirements;
- To provide copies of all plan-related documents, free of charge and at the employee’s request;
- To generally act in the employee’s best interest in managing and administering LTB benefits.
Employers can be subject to heavy fines if plan administrators do not adhere to these duties. Individual human resource employees involved in LTD benefit and plan management can also be held personally liable in a lawsuit for losses workers suffer as a result.
What To Expect From Human Resources If You Suffer Long Term Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Labor further specifies some of the duties that go along with employee benefit plan management and administration. The following details some of what you should expect from human resources in the event you suffer long term disability benefits and need to file a claim:
- The policies in effect should be current and up-to-date;
- They should be able to answer basic questions about LTD benefits and filing a claim;
- They should be able to refer you to the appropriate person for more complex questions or to resolve potential problems that arise;
- They should protect your privacy in regards to personal information about you, your health, and your reasons for filing a long-term disability claim;
- They should be able to ensure reasonable accommodations in the workplace and a plan of action for when you decide to return to your job.
Let Us Help You Today
While human resources have a legal duty to provide practical help and information when long-term disabilities happen, they often fail to do so. If you are experiencing problems with LTD benefits or filing a claim, reach out to Farrell Disability Law. We act as a strong legal ally on your side. Contact our Jacksonville long-term disability attorney and request a consultation in our office today.