In Pennsylvania, there are two primary types of long-term disability plans: private plans and plans that are governed through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. While both types of plans can provide disability benefits to those out of work for a long period of time due to a disability, the plans are very different.
What is long term disability?
Applying for long-term disability benefits through an insurance provider is a complicated process, and the assistance and guidance of an attorney is advised. For more information regarding what you need to know about ERISA-based policies, refer to the following:
What is ERISA?
ERISA was established in 1974 and is a federally backed program that provides protection to employees who are injured at a workplace where their employers have an ERISA plan. More specifically, ERISA is intended to protect employees in the event that their insurance companies deny their long-term disability insurance claim by providing employees with the right to pursue a lawsuit in federal court. Furthermore, ERISA gives employees the right to sue employers in the event of a fiduciary breach.
Long-term disability benefits under ERISA are intended to replace lost wages that a person cannot collect due to his or her disability. In many cases, an ERISA plan limits long-term disability payments to between 12 and 24 months, and the list of conditions that are considered qualifying disabilities, and therefore are protected by ERISA, are also limited.
Finally, the amount you can receive for disability benefits under ERISA can differ depending upon the circumstances of your case but is usually limited to 50 to 75 percent of your wages before your disability occurred.
If you are hoping to pursue long-term disability benefits, it’s important that you follow the application instructions.
Applying for Long-term Disability Benefits Under ERISA
In order to qualify for ERISA long-term disability benefits, a person must undergo a thorough application process. The application process is often lengthy, and unfortunately, many ERISA long-term disability claims are denied.
If you want to apply for ERISA long-term disability benefits, the first thing that you should do is request a copy of your insurance policy, which ERISA protects your right to do under the law. By understanding your specific policy and what disabilities are covered, you’ll have a better idea of how to pursue your disability benefits moving forward.
The other important factors that are considered in an insurance long-term disability application involving ERISA are the date the disability occurred, the date of your last day of work and what the deadlines are for filing your disability benefits claim. If you do not meet the deadlines established by your policy, your claim will be denied. You also will need plenty of medical evidence to support your disability if you hope to have your long-term disability insurance claim accepted.
Seeking Legal Counsel for your ERISA Disability Dispute
If you are applying for long-term disability benefits or are considering pursuing an ERISA disability dispute for your denied long-term disability benefits, an attorney can help. A disability lawyer can guide you through the process of filing your claim and filling out your application, provide you with more information about the type of documentation you will need to file your claim and will give you insight regarding what types of long-term disability benefits to which you may be entitled.
For assistance in pursuing a long-term disability claim or ERISA disability dispute, the attorneys at ARM Lawyers, are ready to take on your case today. To get started immediately, call us now at 570-257-4509 (Stroudsburg), 484-765-8140 (Palmerton) or 610-849-2788 (Bethlehem).