If you have questions about your employer-provided benefits, such as retirement, disability, life insurance, and others, a Tampa ERISA lawyer can help you. You need someone with experience dealing with insurance companies and employers who often have teams of lawyers on their side. The Law Offices of J. Price McNamara has extensive experience with ERISA-related claims and can guide you through the process. Call us today at (504) 458-8455 for a consultation about your case.
What Is ERISA?
The Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) is a federal law that establishes guidelines for employee retirement plans and welfare benefit plans. More than 50 percent of American workers earn retirement benefits through their employers, and around 59 percent access health benefits through their employers. Those plans are regulated by ERISA, as are many other employer-provided benefits.
ERISA only addresses insurance policies and benefits provided through an employer. However, private plans that are not covered by ERISA are still subject to state and local rules. A Tampa ERISA lawyer can evaluate your plan and help you understand your rights, even if that plan is not through your employer.
Disability insurance plans provided through your employer are under ERISA regulation. Both short-term and long-term disability plans must comply with ERISA stipulations. ERISA mandates that your plan administrator, which may be your employer, the insurance company, or a third party, provide you with written information about the following:
- Eligibility for plan benefits
- Claim process and procedures
- Disability benefits to which you are entitled
- Filing deadlines and other schedules
- Appeals process if your claim is denied
You can usually find this information in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) and Plan Document, which you should receive when you sign up for benefits. If you have questions about your disability insurance, contact a Tampa ERISA lawyer for more information.
If your loved one passed away and had life insurance through their employer, a Tampa ERISA lawyer can help you make a claim. Even if you can’t find your loved one’s plan, we can help you obtain necessary information and file appropriate documents with the insurance company.
Common reasons your life insurance claim may be denied include the following:
- Beneficiaries controversy
- Eligibility for benefits
Many initial life insurance claims are denied; however, a Tampa ERISA lawyer can help you appeal a denied and obtain life insurance benefits from the policy.
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance benefits may be claimed when severe injury or death occurs as the result of an accident. If the situation involves an illness or non-accident (such as murder or suicide), then you may not be eligible for benefits. Your AD&D insurance company may initially deny your claim, especially if they require additional information about your situation. A Tampa ERISA lawyer can help you make an AD&D claim or appeal a denial, if necessary.
If your insurance company denies your claim, you have a right to appeal. Your insurance company should provide you with information about how to appeal a claim. However, you must meet very strict deadlines for making an appeal. Those deadlines can be difficult when you have to gather additional information. A Tampa ERISA lawyer is familiar with the appeals process and will work to gather necessary documentation to support your claim.
If your insurance company denies your appeal, you may be able to seek a remedy in court. We can help you file a complaint in court demanding that the insurance company pay you benefits according to the plan description. When taking an insurance company to court, you will likely be up against a team of lawyers on their side. You deserve to have a Tampa ERISA lawyer on your side to help you deal with the legal issues.
Your insurance company is regulated by the government. If they breach their duty under ERISA or any other law, the court may hold them liable. In fact, they may be responsible for paying for your claim as well as additional losses you’ve incurred because of their delay. A court may even impose punitive damages to “punish” the insurance company for acting in bad faith.
Bad faith insurance claims can be complex; moreover, the insurance company will fight them with all of their power. It’s important to have a Tampa ERISA lawyer on your side if you need to face an insurance company in court.
A Tampa ERISA Lawyer Can Help You
ERISA and other state and local laws regulate insurance companies that provide benefits to employees. Those regulations impose requirements on insurance companies; however, you must often force those companies to comply with their rules. When doing this, it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced in ERISA claims. At The Law Offices of J. Price McNamara, our Tampa ERISA lawyer has helped hundreds of clients. Call us today at 504) 458-8455.