Orlando, FL (Justice News Flash) — The Employee Retirement Income Security Act consists of a group of laws passed by the United States Congress over three decades ago which regulate nearly all private employee benefits. For example, ERISA governs benefits such as pension plans, 401(k) plans, health insurance (including “COBRA”), long-term and short-term disability insurance, life insurance, and workers’ compensation. Unlike individual disability insurance policies, ERISA plans have a mandatory appeal process that claimants must follow before a lawsuit may be filed to recover benefits. If your ERISA claim is denied, you will have 180 days to file an appeal. The federal courts typically handle ERISA benefit lawsuits. Jury trials are not permitted in ERISA cases; rather, federal district judges that are appointed for life terms will decide the outcome of your ERISA claim.
The majority of ERISA claims allow a single appeal. If that appeal is denied, you will be forced to bring your claim in federal court with the claim being based solely on the administrative record. It is not infrequent for that record to consist entirely of the insurer’s claims record. Usually, there will be no jury or testifying witnesses. Interestingly, another critical fact that you should remain conscious of when filing an ERISA claim is that you must submit the entirety of the evidence you may ever want the court to consider during your ERISA claim and appeal process. Oftentimes you will not be permitted to introduce any new evidence after the final appeal denial. Accordingly, ERISA claimants are at an extreme disadvantage if they attempt to pursue their claim without the assistance of legal counsel. Such mistake will frequently result in a denial which cannot be appealed successfully.
Insurance plans governed by ERISA can be exceptionally complicated. Professional assistance is often necessary to help individuals navigate through the maze of ambiguous and confusing wording contained within these policies. It would be extremely unwise to risk filing an appeal without a thorough understanding of the law and compiling all of the relevant and necessary evidence to bring the claim at the administrative level, or, potentially, in federal court.
If your ERISA claim has been denied, be sure to contact the Orlando Social Security Disability Lawyer / trial lawyers at Rue & Ziffra so that you do not jeopardize your chances of succeeding on appeal. Our team of proven attorneys will bring the requisite experience and legal talent to the table to ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Rue & Ziffra, P.A.
632 Dunlawton Ave
Pt. Orange, Florida 32127
toll free: 1-888-246-8613