The Employment Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, was enacted in 1974. It is the law that established the minimum guidelines for retirement, health, life insurance, disability, and other employment benefit plans. This act is managed by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, or EBSA which is a unit division of the U.S. Department of Labor, or DOL. ERISA is a law that applies to private employers that offer employee-sponsored health coverage insurance and other employee benefits. It does not require that employers provide such benefits, but it does set the rules for the benefits employer provide. The following will describe how an ERISA lawyer in San Diego can help you if you have been denied benefits.
The biggest problem with ERISA is that it does not favor the disabled employee, but instead the insurance company that provides the coverage and benefits. This is one reason it can be difficult to nearly impossible to get long-term coverage through your employer’s group disability insurance coverage. Ironically, that is part of why employers offer this kind of coverage and yet, due to ERISA, the coverage falls short of protecting the individual and his or her rights to said benefits.
Did you know that you are not entitled to have a jury trial under ERISA laws for this kind of insurance coverage? These cases are all determined by a judge and is based on whatever evidence has been provided by the insurance company in their files. This poses a problem when it comes to long-term coverage and in obtaining punitive or compensatory damages even if you deserve it. ERISA claims are usually filed within the federal court system which makes any state laws null when it comes to dealing with wrongful insurance company problems.
If you feel you have been denied benefits for long-term disability, you should seek advice from an attorney. You do have the right to bring the issue to court and have legal representation at your side. ERISA lawyer services are performed on a contingency basis which means you pay nothing for their services upfront and they only get compensated if you do. Your initial legal consultation is free so there is no risk in finding out if you have a case.